Manifest Destiny

 

The term was first coined by John O´ Sullivan in his article "Annexation" in 1845, but  when he first used the phrase in connection with the annexation of Texas, it attracted little attention. However, on  December, 27 1845, in an editorial on "The True Title" in New York Morning News, it became the focus of national debate.

 

[....] the right of our manifest destiny to over spread and to possess the whole of the continent which Providence has given us for the development of the great experiment of liberty and federative development self government entrusted to us. It is right such as that of the tree to the space of air and earth suitable for the full expansion of its principle and destiny of growth [....]

Justifications for Manifest Destiny:

 

Translatio imperii
>civilization moves westward and comes to an end in America

 

God’s will was it that people were sent to America and cultivate the land, therefore there was every right to own that land

 

Founding Fathers: America as an example for Europe and the world "city upon a hill" idea, destined for more success.
Nature

 

Nature is there to be used, settlers shall bring order into chaos like God brought order into world (Agrarian Ideal)


Geographical justification

U.S. need one unified political system to make sure that no more tyrant from Europe arise on American soil.

Biological Determinism

Origin: Darwinism (“Survival of the fittest”) and implies an
order of superiority.

 

 

Sources:

 

Michael T. Lubragge. “Manifest Destiny.” From Revolution to Reconstruction. New York Times Company. 2011.

 

Stievermann, Jan. “Interpreting the Role of America in New England Millennialism, 1640 to 1800.” A Companion to American Cultural History: From the Colonial Period to the End of the 19th Century. Ed. Bernd Engler, Oliver Scheiding. Trier: Wissenschaftlicher Verlag Trier, 2009.