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Manifest Destiny Essay, Research Paper

For two centuries, Americans had been progressively taking over and establishing

a continent. People felt that westward expansion between the 17th century and the 1840s

was ?golden?, but dangerous. People felt it was feasible only through patient work and

timorous calamities. With each year of national growth, the confidence and power of the

people was magnified, and every step forward divulged a broader horizon. Americans

began to feel that the whole continent was to be theirs to do as they please with. It was

theirs to exploit and theirs to make into a great, unified nation. This was a land of

opportunity, a showcase to manifest the goodness of democratic institutions, tangible

proof that the Americans were God?s chosen people. John L. O?Sullivan, a journalist,

summed America?s new atmosphere up in a sentance in 1845. ?The fulffillment of our

manifest destiny to overspread the continent alloted by Providence for the free

development of our yearly multiplying millions?. Manifest destiny was the belief of

nineteenth-century Americans that their nation’s territorial expansion was inevitable and

ultimately a good thing, even for those being conquered. This conviction helped

Americans justify the aggressive acquisition of new territories in the 1840s and later in

the 1890s. Due to manifest destiny, politicl boundaries became insignificant and

expansion was occuring rapidly.

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