Previous page  
List of subjects |  Sources |  Feedback 

Share |

Discover in a free
daily email today's famous
history and birthdays

Enjoy the Famous Daily

Manifest Destiny: 1845

Texas is annexed and admitted to the union in March 1845. Nine months later, in December, the editor of the New York Morning News (John O'Sullivan) feels in bullish mood about this expansion of US territory. He writes an editorial about the natural future of the nation's 'yearly expanding millions'. It is, he says, 'our manifest destiny to overspread and to possess the whole of the continent which Providence has given us for the development of the great experiment of liberty and federated self-government'.

The phrase Manifest Destiny, with its implication of a God-given mission, strikes an immediate chord among America's energetic and ambitious pioneers. It is the perfect slogan for the times.

The Oregon trail has just become established, with the Great Migration of 1843. Vast territories in the west are about to be ceded to the United States, by the treaty of 1848 with Mexico. It will require great energy to colonize not only the remaining open prairies of the midwest but also, now, the regions between the Rockies and the Pacific.

These areas are everywhere sparsely occupied by Indians. Imposing American priorities from coast to coast, and then reaping the expected rewards, will be a painful and often brutal process - but one much eased by the inspiring conviction that Manifest Destiny has decreed this chain of events.

Previous page