During the mid-nineteenth century, Americans believed they had the divine right to expand westward the boundaries of the United States, through the Appalachians all the way to the Pacific Ocean. In time, the United States would gain the territories of the French, Spanish, and Russians, as well as other islands from around the globe, and take the shape we now know. Independence had been won in the Revolutionary War, and the period was one most patriotic ones of the history of the United States. The people had its very first president, a completely new and unique constitution, and had fought off the greatest military power of the time, Great Britain. The War of 1812 helped to strengthen the pride and nationalism of America’s people, and Jacksonian Democracy laid the foundations for Manifest Destiny. Although Manifest Destiny occurred during the nineteenth century in the United States, Manifest Destiny goes back to the Doctrine of Discovery, which was created by the Pope during the fifteenth century. The Doctrine of Discovery stated that Christian nations had the divine right to claim lands that were not occupied by Christians in the name of Christ. The doctrine instilled the idea in Americans that they had the divine right to indigenous lands. This idea continued throughout the 1800’s, but it was not until 1845 when a newspaper editor coined the term “Manifest Destiny”. The Second Great Awakening, a Protestant revival movement during the early nineteenth century, fueled Manifest Destiny through religious revitalization and the idea that God wanted the American people to move and expand westward. Economic and social conditions also encouraged people to move westward. Democrats feared industrialization, and saw moving westward as a way to establish new agricultural territory and counterbalance industrialization. The purchase of the Louisiana Territory encouraged traders, hunters, and farmers to move there after...
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