What Was Manifest Destiny As A Set Of Ideas Did It Cause Historical Events Or Was It Merely A – Coursework Example
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“Manifest destiny” is an expression used to justify the American expansionism. Firstly, this term was used by John O’Sullivan in his article “Annexation” in 1845, presupposing that the USA had a purpose to spread their territory from the Atlantic to the Pacific Ocean. Since then, there were a lot of hypothesis about the meaning of this phrase. The aim of this work is to reveal the main idea of the “manifest destiny” and to decide whether it appeared as a result of the historical events or caused them.
Albert K. Weinberg in his book “A Study of Nationalist Expansionism in American History” wrote: ““Manifest destiny”, the once honored expansionist slogan, expressed a dogma of supreme self-assurance and ambition – that America’s incorporation of all adjacent lands was the virtually inevitable fulfilment of a moral mission delegated to the nation by Providence itself” (1963). “Manifest of destiny” can be definitely considered as the main point of changing of the American history. Unlike the history, which had a particular set of events happened on a real time and date, “manifest of destiny” is an unreal phenomenon, which represents the general idea of the American ideology and culture. Frederick Merk wrote about it: “The term was not the wholly new. Phrases like it had been used before, but this precise combination of words was novel and right for a mood, and it became part of the language” (1966). Its influence on the American history Frederick Merk described in the following way: “Its appeal to the public, whatever the sense was greater than its
counterpart had been in the days of Adam’s vision”. It motivated Americans to take actions for creation of the better life and facilities. For example, the insertion of the American military forces to Florida during the crises. The reason for this was the desire of southern planters to have better soil. As a result, they settled these territories and planted them without any hesitation. This action expressed a great level of arrogance of the American people, who thought that they could land anywhere they want. “Manifest destiny” was supported by such famous people as Roosevelt and Harrison. They sustained the idea of the expansion of the American territory, though there were some people who were against it (Mark Twain, Andrew Carnegie and so forth).
Concluding this article, it is necessary to mention that “manifest destiny” appeared as a form of a motto for the USA and represented its position and aims to other countries. This phenomenon caused the process of exploring and conquering the new lands and establishing new borders. The term “manifest destiny” has not been used in policy since the beginning of the XX century, but it still appears in the publicistic literature and is widely used as a designation of the American "mission" which aims to promote the democratic policy throughout the world.
Albert K. Weinberg. A Study of Nationalist Expansionism in American History. Chicago: Quadrangle Books, Inc., 1963. Print.
Frederick Merk. Manifest Destiny and Mission in American History. The USA: Vintage Edition, 1966. Print.
Laman, Russell. Manifest destiny. University of Virginia Library. Chicago: Regnery,1963. Web.