- Manifest Destiny
the belief or doctrine, held chiefly in the middle and latter part of the 19th century, that it was the destiny of the U.S. to expand its territory over the whole of North America and to extend and enhance its political, social, and economic influences.[1835-45]
* * *Concept of U.S. territorial expansion westward to the Pacific Ocean.The phrase was coined in 1845 by the editor John L. O'Sullivan, who described the U.S. annexation of Texas and, by extension, the occupation of the rest of the continent as a divine right of the American people. The term was used to justify the U.S. annexation of Oregon, New Mexico, and California and later U.S. involvement in Alaska, Hawaii, and the Philippines.
* * *▪ United States historyin U.S. history, the supposed inevitability of the continued territorial expansion of U.S. boundaries westward to the Pacific, and even beyond. The idea of “Manifest Destiny” was often used by American expansionists to justify U.S. annexation of Texas, Oregon, New Mexico, and California and later U.S. involvement in Alaska, Hawaii, and the Philippines.John L. O'Sullivan coined the phrase in his United States Magazine and Democratic Review (July–August 1845) to prophesy “the fulfillment of our manifest destiny to overspread the continent allotted by Providence. . . .” Congressmen quickly adopted the term in their debates over the three territorial questions confronting the United States in 1845 and 1846—the annexation of Texas, the joint occupation of the Oregon Territory with England, and the prosecution of war with Mexico. Although chiefly a tenet of the Democrats, individual Whigs or Republicans also supported Manifest Destiny, which in the 1890s was revived as a Republican policy.
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