History of Manifest Destiny in US

The middle of the 19th century was an expansive time in the United States, a period when appropriate actions would result in significant benefits. According to these principles, John O’Sullivan was unsuccessful. His risky investments were never fruitful.

His political allies never paid him well for his publishing work. His scheme to seize Cuba was futile almost locking him in jail. Though he was against slavery, he helped the losers in the Civil War because he also aided states right. His friend Nathaniel Hawthorne thought he was weird (Stephanson 1995, 55).

O’Sullivan is remembered for the phrase “manifest destiny” which he invented to depict the plans of the United States to expand the continent so as to advance their technology. Great expansion was already happening across North America in the name of liberty, a liberty referred to be” Anglo-Saxon” in will or pursuit. From that perspective, O’Sullivan’s initial function was ironic, for he came from a lineage of Irish adventures and mercenaries.

His political advancement gave him neither reputation nor splendor. He died in obscurity in 1895 when his phrase would experience an awakening. His literature was not written until 1927, because his phrase was widely used in the Jacksonian period. This phrase became an expression of continental expansionism (Feldman 2004, 87).

In the year 1844 James K. Polk was elected the 11th president of the United States. Polk became victorious due to his work aimed at the expansion of the United States. He wanted the United States to expand westward by incorporating Texas, California, and New Mexico. This plan of expanding the nation westwards was known as manifest destiny. Many Americans wanted the manifest destiny.

But, this expansion upset Mexico. In 1845 Texas became a part of the United States. The United States therefore took charge of the boundary disagreements between Mexico and Texas (Jarnow and Moriarty 2005, 37). The Texas said Rio Grande was its boundary, but Mexico claimed the boundary was further north. As a result, the tension between the United States and Mexico rose.

Mexico and the United States prepared to fight. In 1846 President James sent the American army to the banks of the Rio Grande. Consequently, Mexican army came to fight them. Many men died on both sides as a result of the war. Polk was not happy with the news and he requested Congress to declare war on Mexico.

He asserted that Mexican killed Americans on their land. Congress supported the war. Therefore, the President Polk had faith he would acquire Mexico through war. The United States battled on various fields. They battled in modern Mexico, California, and in New Mexico. Thus, their troops had to march several kilometers to go to war (Mountjoy 2009, 89).

The war ended in 1848 after establishing the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo. This treaty made Mexico to lose the modern states of Arizona, California, Nevada, New Mexico, Texas, and Utah to the United States. This treaty had an impact of isolating the Mexicans who would live in the USA from those who stayed in Mexico.

The philosophy of Manifest Destiny was applied to indicate the victory of the northern Mexico. Their invasion of more than half of Mexico is a clear expression of Manifest Destiny during that era.

However, the idea of manifest destiny symbolized the domination of civilization over nature, Christianity over heathenism, progress over backwards, and whites over Mexicans and Native Americans. The policy of Manifest Doctrine made the United States a wealthy and strong nation. In addition to the riches, their territorial expansion corresponded to the Industrial expansion which resulted in development and success (Gómez 2007, 67).


Feldman, Ruth. The Mexican-American War. Minneapolis: Lerner Publications Group, 2004.

Annotation: Ruth Feldman studied international relations in University of Pennsylvania and writing is her full time job. She has written other books like “Don’t whistle in school” and “How Congress works”

The thesis of the book: This book connects the events and war between the United States and Mexico over Texas. It gives readers an overview of the people and experiences of war on the American soil.

The scope of the book: 2004 241 First Avenue North Minneapolis, MN 55401

Includes bibliographical references and index.

Gomez, Laura. Manifest destinies: the making of the Mexican American race. New York: New York University Press, 2007.

Annotation: Laura E. Gomez studied at Hard University in Social Studies, and sociology from Stanford University. She is a professor of Law and American Studies at the University of New Mexico. She has written other articles including a 2000 article in Law and Society Review, “Misconceiving mothers: Legislators, Prosecutors and the Politics of Prenatal Drug Exposure”

The thesis of the book: In this book Laura Gomez, describes events that led to the formation of the first Mexican Americans. The core of this book is that Manifest Destiny was not a neutral political theory. Instead, it was potent theory that gave Americans a sense of power and authority.

The scope of the book: 2007, New York.

Includes bibliographical references and index.

Jarnow Jesse, Moriarty J., Manifest destiny: a primary source history of America’s territorial expansion in the 19th century. New York: Rosen Publishing Group, Inc., 2005.

Annotation: J T Moriarty has published other books like “America’s Industrial Society in the 19th Century” and “The rise of American Capitalism: The growth of American Bank”.

The scope of the book: 2005, 29 East 21st Street, New York, NY 10010

The thesis of the book: depicts America’s westward expansion as the advancement of civilization across North America.

Includes bibliographical references and index.

Mountjoy, Shane Manifest Destiny: Westward Expansion. New York: Info Publishing, 2009.

Annotation: Mountjoy Shane has written other books like The Indus River, Technology and the Civil War. He is an associate professor of history and dean of student at York College. He studied in the University of Missouri, Lubbock Christian College, and York College.

The thesis of the book: As people increased in number and the economy grew, the need to increase their boundaries increased. The Americans believed it was their right to increase their land. Manifest Destiny was a term applied in the 1939 to imply that the United States had a mission of spreading democracy all over the continent.

The scope of the book: 2009, 132 West 31st Street, New York 10001

Includes bibliographical references and index.

Stephanson Anders. Manifest Destiny: American Expansion and the Empire of Right. USA: Hill and Wang, 1995.

Annotation: Stephanson Anders is the professor of the Columbia Core at Columbia University. He has written other articles such as ‘The Sixties, Without Apology”, and “Kennan and the Art of Foreign Policy”.

The thesis of the book: Stephanson investigates the basis of Manifest Destiny- the American initiative of luck and historical choseness and indicate why it has been cited for a long period of time.

The scope of the book: 1995, Canada.

Includes bibliographical references and index.

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