Manifest Destiny

Topics: Manifest Destiny, United States, American Civil War Pages: 16 (5779 words) Published: February 16, 2011
Manifest Destiny

This painting (1872) by John Gast called American Progress, is an allegorical representation of the modernization of the new west. Here Columbia, intended as a personification of the United States, leads civilization westward with American settlers, stringing telegraph wire as she travels; she holds a school book. The different economic activities of the pioneers are highlighted and, especially, the changing forms of transportation. The Native Americans and wild animals flee. Events leading to

the US Civil War
Northwest Ordinance
Kentucky and Virginia Resolutions
Missouri Compromise
Tariff of 1828
Nullification Crisis
Nat Turner's slave rebellion
The Amistad
Texas Annexation
Mexican–American War
Wilmot Proviso
Ostend Manifesto
Manifest Destiny
Underground Railroad
Fugitive Slave Act of 1850
Compromise of 1850
Uncle Tom's Cabin
Kansas–Nebraska Act
Bleeding Kansas
Bleeding Sumner
Dred Scott v. Sandford
Brown's raid on Harper's Ferry
Election of 1860
Secession of Southern States
Star of the West
Corwin Amendment
Battle of Fort Sumter
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Manifest Destiny was the 19th century American belief that the United States (often in the ethnically specific form of the "Anglo-Saxon race") was destined to expand across the North American continent, from the Atlantic Seaboard to the Pacific Ocean. It was used by Democrats in the 1840s to justify the war with Mexico; the concept was denounced by Whigs, and fell into disuse after the mid-19th century. Advocates of Manifest Destiny believed that expansion was not only wise but that it was readily apparent (manifest) and inexorable (destiny). The concept of American expansion is much older, but John L. O'Sullivan coined the exact term "Manifest Destiny" in the July/August 1845 issue of the United States Magazine and Democratic Review in an article titled "Annexation."[1] It was primarily used by Democrats to support the expansion plans of the Polk Administration, but the idea of expansion faced opposion from Whigs like Henry Clay, Daniel Webster, and Abraham Lincoln who wanted to deepen the economy rather than broaden its expanse. John C. Calhoun was a notable Democrat who generally opposed his party on the issue, which fell out of favor by 1860.[2] The belief in an American mission to promote and defend democracy throughout the world, as expounded by Abraham Lincoln and Woodrow Wilson, continues to have an influence on American political ideology.[3] Contents [hide]

1 Context and interpretations
2 Themes and influences
3 Era of continental expansion
3.1 Continentalism
3.1.1 All Oregon
3.2 Mexico and Texas
3.2.1 All Mexico
3.3 Filibustering in the South
3.4 Native Americans
4 Beyond North America
4.1 Spanish–American War and the Philippines
4.2 Later usage
5 German Lebensraum
6 See also
7 Notes
8 References
9 Further reading
10 External links
[edit]Context and interpretations

Manifest Destiny was always a general notion rather than a specific policy. The term combined a belief in expansionism with other popular ideas of the era, including American exceptionalism, Romantic nationalism, and a belief in the natural superiority of the English-speaking peoples (at the time often called the "Anglo-Saxon race"). While many writers focus primarily upon American expansionism when discussing Manifest Destiny, others see in the term a broader expression of a belief in America's "mission" in the world, which has meant different things to different people over the years. This variety of possible meanings was summed up by Ernest Lee Tuveson, who wrote: A vast complex of ideas, policies, and actions is comprehended under the phrase 'Manifest Destiny'. They are not, as we should expect, all compatible, nor do they come from any one source.[4]

John L. O'Sullivan, sketched in 1874, was an influential columnist as a young man, but is now generally remembered only for his use of the phrase "Manifest Destiny" to...
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