Those themes were virtue, mission, and destiny. Manifest destiny focused on the virtue of America’s people and government. American Exceptionalness was the belief that America’s history was exceptional, in comparison to other nations and that it was “good” and ethical unlike what has been Seen in other nations. Exceptionalness showed in the beliefs Of people who thought that God had selected America as a “City on a Hill”; a role model and an ideal for the rest of the world, especially still-developing areas.
Also, many people believed that America’s people, the “Anglo-Saxon race” were, in terms of morality, intelligence, et cetera, naturally superior to other peoples, although we know now this would be subject to change. Supporters of manifest destiny believed not only that they could expand and dominate, but that they also should. They believed it was the mission of the united States to spread democracy, creating a world in the image of America. Others disagreed; they thought that the United States should just remain a ole model for other countries, and that that was their mission.
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Manifest Destiny was the belief that the United States was destined by God with the mission of expanding across the continent, from the Atlantic to the Pacific. To the American people at the time it was much more than some excuse to expand, it was as a deeply rooted part of our culture for both social and religious reasons. People believed it to be an obvious destiny set before us by God as a superior nation to expand. The phrase was first coined in 1845 by journalist John L. Sullivan. John L. Sullivan, although not the first person who supported the concept, was the first person to use the term “manifest destiny’.
He coined the phrase in 1845 in his essay titled “Annexation,” which urged the United States government to annex Texas. He believed that the United States had been given a mission by God to spread democracy, not by force, but simply by spreading across the continent. “We are entering on its untutored space, with the truths of God in our minds, beneficent objects in our hearts, and with a clear conscience unsullied by the past. We are the action of human progress, and who will, what can, set limits to our onward march?
Providence is with us, and no earthly power can. We point to the everlasting truth on the first page Of our national declaration, and we proclaim to the millions of other lands, that ‘the gates of hell’ the powers of aristocracy and monarchy – ‘shall not prevail against it. ” In these words he exposes the strong religious influences of Manifest Destiny. To those who believed in Manifest Destiny it wasn’t just a dedicated dream, it was a God- given promise endowed to the American people. He said that by not annexing Texas, the government was “… Minting our greatness and checking the fulfillment of our manifest destiny to overspread the continent allotted by Providence for the free development of our yearly multiplying millions… ” Sullivan believed that manifest destiny was not just a theory, but a moral ideal. The phrase, however, was not popularized until Whig Robert Winthrop, who opposed manifest destiny, ridiculed the idea in public. There were many interpretations of manifest destiny, but most reflected the widespread feeling f Nationalism that was sparked by the conclusion of and victory in the War of 1812.
Many people supported manifest destiny for patriotic, economic, moral, or spiritual reasons. Others, being mainly southerners, supported it because they thought it would help spread slavery. However, some opposed manifest destiny because they believed that its supporters were using it as an excuse to justify their own means. Robert Winthrop of the Whig party, on the other hand, was opposed to the theory of manifest destiny. He ridiculed the action in public, saying, “I suppose the right of a manifest destiny to spread will not be admitted to exist in any nation except the universal Yankee nation. Winthrop believed the excuse of “Divine Providence” was merely used for justification where self-interest was the real motive. The two viewpoints on the issue of Texas would be the American viewpoint and the Mexican viewpoint. The Americans believed that the land west of them should belong to them; they had no respect for others. They simply moved in and declared it their land. From the Mexican viewpoint, this was stealing the land, the Americans did not think the same way, so that brought up a conflict.
The Mexicans saw the Americans as the enemy, and vice versa, so they started fighting. Finally, after a bloody war, the Americans won and got to keep Texas. The US Government used both negotiation and military strength to gain territory. The addition of Oregon was an example of the US government using negotiation. Most of the time, the IIS used peaceful means to acquire land, they bought or traded land from other countries that occupied the surrounding area such as Britain and France, this is how the US gained the Oregon Territory.