The Concept of Manifest Destiny
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John L. O’Sullivan is given credit to creating the concept as well as the term “Manifest Destiny”. O’Sullivan was the editor of the nationalist magazine, Democratic Review, which gave him the opportunity to introduce the idea of Manifest Destiny, and all it entails, to Americans. Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary defines ‘Manifest Destiny’ as a future event accepted as inevitable. According to O’Sullivan Manifest Destiny was inevitable, and as history shows, he was correct.
In 1839, John L. O’Sullivan wrote, “America is destined for better deeds…” Again, as history shows, it was. American’s wanted more. They wanted more of everything; as it has been said, an abundance of land was the way to creating a prosperous union. American’s attitude about Manifest Destiny was one filled with anticipation, according to O’Sullivan. O’Sullivan states that, “America has been chosen.” It is evident that Americans feel as if they were the ‘chosen people’. Though many nations tried to lay claim to land in North America, Americans would not hear of it. They felt that they had the right to all of the land that they (America) owned as well as a right to the land to the West. It was their thought, expressed through O’Sullivan, that Gd had given them the right to “establish on earth the noblest temple ever dedicated to the worship of the Most High the sacred and the True.” Not only were Americans excited, they were holding their breaths in anticipation of progression. “Yes, we are the nation of progress, of individual freedom, of universal enfranchisement… [All of] this is our high destiny… we must accomplish it.”
Perhaps just as important as to how Americans feel about Manifest Destiny,