Manifest Destiny Analysis

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Manifest Destiny is a phrase that expresses the belief that the United States was destined to expand the entirety of the North American continent, from the Atlantic Ocean to the Pacific. Promoters of Manifest Destiny believed that expansion was not only good, but that it was obvious (manifest) and certain (destiny).99 The term combined a belief in expansionism with other popular ideas of the era such as: American exceptionalism, Romantic nationalism, and a belief in the natural superiority of what was then called the “Anglo-Saxon race”.99 The phrase was created in 1845 by journalist John L. O’Sullivan, then an influential advocate for the Democratic Party. In an essay entitled “Annexation”, O’Sullivan insisted that the United States should annex the Republic of Texas, not based on Texas’ desire to join the Union, but because it was America’s “manifest destiny to overspread the continent”.99 Amid controversial discussion, Texas was annexed shortly thereafter, and O’Sullivan’s first usage of the phrase “Manifest Destiny” defined a movement that would cause much bloodshed and debate for the next three decades. However, O’Sullivan’s notion of Manifest Destiny was not a call for territorial expansion by force. In O’Sullivan’s mind, when …show more content…
In addition to the thousands of military and civilian deaths directly attributed to battles, the war left tens of thousands of orphaned children and widowed wives. Intense artillery shelling from U.S. forces caused extensive destruction to buildings in many cities, in addition to damage to essential infrastructure. The naval blockade and movement of thousands of troops across the country severely affected the economy, disrupting internal and external trade, and the massive conscription of peasants caused a steep decline in agricultural and mineral production. The political instability created during and immediately after the war eventually led to another civil war in