Manifest Destiny essay

For the first time the term of Manifest Destiny was used by John O’Sullivan in 1845. It presented a concept, which later had a very strong impact upon the formation of American policy in 1800s. Manifest Destiny didn’t belong to official policies of the American government, however it gave impetus to passing such legislations as the Homestead Act, which supported the colonization of the West. The major aim of this expansion was declared to be  the political and social powers of the country, when pushing out the wildness and establishing civilization in the West.

The Westward expansion started in fact with Purchase of the Louisiana in1803. However the government was interested in acquiring more land, which could contribute to reinforcement of the political power for the young nation. For these purposes the policy of rapid and aggressive expansion was worked out. Manifest Destiny belonged to other components of this policy and drew the public attention quickly.

The major aim of the government campaigns at that moment was to promote the perspectives of the Western lands, to accept the programs, allowing people get and hold land in the West. A serious push for people to move to the West was the discovery of gold and other minerals. By that time the new settlers were sure of their rights for the expansion of these lands.

One of the major concepts and legacies of Manifest Destiny was the definition of the task of Americans as “to spread democracy throughout the world, and this concept clearly played a role in twentieth century American foreign policy” (Merk, 1983). Later on some researchers applied the term “Manifest Destiny” to the whole period of the American history, which embraced the great expansion of the Western lands.

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