From: Karmen Lewis
Time: 10:28:36 PM
Remote Name: 188.8.131.52
Karmen L Lewis History 67 Tuesday/Thursday William Cutler 3/4/00
Question: Define the phrase “Manifest Destiny” and explain its significance to U.S. history in the 1840s.
In the 1840’s Manifest Destiny was the term used to describe the territorial expansion of the United States all the way to the Pacific Ocean. Many believed that because of economic and political superiority, and growing population, the United States should rule all of parts of America. John L. O’Sullivan created the phrase “Manifest Destiny”, in the 1845; in edition he was the editor of The United States Magazines and Democratic Review. To some people the term “Manifest Destiny”, was part of an idea that America had a divine function. It was thought that America was destined by God to expand its borders with no territorial borders. In addition, many expansionists believed that it was God’s will that Americans spread over the entire continent. To many it seemed inevitable that the lands to the west of Mississippi which were claimed by Mexico, England, and many Native American tribes, be taken over by Americans. On the other hand, anti-slavery activist and many Democrats were opposed to any expansion that would add new slave-holding states to the Union. Even though “Manifest Destiny” was responsible for the growth of American in the 1840’s, it had negative aspects. In simple terms many perceived “Manifest Destiny” as the “White Man’s” acting upon his greed. Many Americans destroyed anything and anyone that came in their way. The Native American culture was one that quickly felt that wrath of the “White Mans” greed. There was mass destruction of the Native American tribes. Thousands were murdered and many were detained if problems arose.