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Manifest Destiny And Sectional Discord


Since the time of the term Manifest Destiny appeared it had many meanings and definitions. For Americans, after the successful end of the war, the feeling of Nationalism extended its victorious lands. As to war conclusion, American settlers considered that their superiority had to move across the minor nations, spread their traditions and institutions through the whole continent. It all started when the settlers started the process of stretching their boundaries.

The term Manifest Destiny was firstly coined by newspaper editor John O'Sullivan in 1845 to give the name and description to meaning to the creed of victorious Americans. From the beginning of 19th century, the population of the United States rose in more than 4 times, in 1800 it was about 5 million and after the mid-century it reached the point of 23 million. That is the reason why in the next two decades the nation needed more territory. In 1840s began the enormous territory growth. The nation stretched in 1.2 million square miles. People of that time lived with high nationalism spirit and the belief "every man is equal", as it was the first rule of Jacksonian Era. Up to the Mississippi River settled and after the purchase of Louisiana, Americans headed west in droves.

Taking into account all the positive points of the evolutionary idea of Manifest Destiny, American settlers prospered in territorial grandstand, making liberty progress and economic growth.

The reason for leading cultural war was that southerners wanted to find new lands for cotton cultivation. After suffering two economic depressions in the beginning of the 19th century, people started to seek their living on new lands that were absolutely free. American nation thanks to the expansion opened new commerce: new trade roots to countries in the Pacific by building ports on West Coast.

But not only positive aspects appeared. Manifest Destiny touched all main human issues: religion, money, race, morality and patriotism as well. From the 1840s began sectional discord, as expansionists invoked Manifest Destiny to rationalize their dominative and imperialistic demands. New acquisitions of Guam, Hawaii and the purchase of Alaska were interpreted as Manifest Destiny in action. The broadest scope of Manifest Destiny was applied to a slogan to areas beyond the continent, namely Cuba, Hawaii and South America.

Overall and taking into account all above mentioned, Manifest Destiny was a crucial page in the American history. The United States would not become such powerful and outstanding nation if the settlers didn’t take all efforts and opportunities into action.

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