Manifest Destiny

Manifest Destiny was the belief widely held by Americans in the 19th century that the United States was destined to expand across the continent. The concept, born out of "a sense of mission to redeem the Old World", was enabled by "the potentialities of a new earth for building a new heaven". The phrase itself meant many different things to many different people. The unity of the definitions ended at "expansion, prearranged by Heaven". Mid-19th-century Democrats would use it to explain the need for expansion beyond the Louisiana Territory.

Manifest destiny provided the dogma and tone for the largest acquisition of U.S. territory. It was used by Democrats in the 1840s to justify the war with Mexico and it was also used to acquire portions of Oregon from the British Empire. But Manifest Destiny always limped along because of its internal limitations and the issue of slavery, says Merk, and never became a national priority. By 1843 John Quincy Adams, a major supporter, had changed his mind and repudiated Manifest Destiny because it meant the expansion of slavery in Texas.

The legacy is a complex one. The belief in an American mission to promote and defend democracy throughout the world, as expounded by Abraham Lincoln and later by Woodrow Wilson and George W. Bush, continues to have an influence on American political ideology.

Read more about Manifest DestinyContext, Themes and Influences, Alternative Interpretations, Era of Continental Expansion, Beyond North America, German Lebensraum

Other articles related to "manifest destiny":

Manifest Destiny (opera)
... Manifest Destiny is a British opera composed by Keith Burstein with a libretto by Dic Edwards ... Manifest Destiny has attracted a large amount of press attention due to its themes, content and subject matter - including scenes showing the ... the opera was extensively rewritten and restaged in London as Manifest Destiny 2011 ...
Manifest Destiny (opera) - Content - Political Content
... The tone of Manifest Destiny's libretto is forthright, reflecting Burstein and Edwards’ shared view of the state of current world affairs ... Manifest Destiny is partially inspired by) the breakdown of accepted divisions and barriers, where global phenomena such as AIDS, accelerated ecological change, urban poverty and uncontained war threaten us ... Manifest Destiny is also notable for having predicted the Abu Ghraib prisoner abuses at least a year before they occurred in real life ...
Manifest Destiny (opera) - Composition and Inspiration
... Welsh playwright Dic Edwards, and the two subsequently wrote Manifest Destiny together, completing the opera in 2003 ... Manifest Destiny is an attempt to describe such a miracle ... peace." In an article written for The Scotsman, Burstein stated"(Manifest Destiny) imagines a scenario in which the protagonists - would-be suicide bombers - are stopped in their tracks ...
Keith Burstein - Biography & Career - Manifest Destiny (2004, Revived 2011)
... by controversial Welsh playwright Dic Edwards, and the two subsequently wrote the opera Manifest Destiny ... Manifest Destiny was set in London, Palestine, Afghanistan, Washington DC and Guantanamo Bay and featured a thematic backdrop of the contemporary unrest in the Middle East (including the ... Manifest Destiny gained a great deal of press attention due to its topical and controversial subject matter, including scenes showing the preparations for a suicide ...
Manifest Destiny - German Lebensraum
... Friedrich Ratzel visited North America beginning in 1873 and saw the effects of American manifest destiny ... Ratzel sympathized with the results of "manifest destiny", but he never used the term ...

Famous quotes containing the words destiny and/or manifest:

    I beg you to speak of Woman as you do of the Negro—speak of her as a human being, as a citizen of the United States, as a half of the people in whose hands lies the destiny of this Nation.
    Susan B. Anthony (1820–1906)

    There are obvious places in which government can narrow the chasm between haves and have-nots. One is the public schools, which have been seen as the great leveler, the authentic melting pot. That, today, is nonsense. In his scathing study of the nation’s public school system entitled “Savage Inequalities,” Jonathan Kozol made manifest the truth: that we have a system that discriminates against the poor in everything from class size to curriculum.
    Anna Quindlen (b. 1952)