Manifest Destiny and American Expansionism

The term “Manifest Destiny” was coined in 1845; however, it was only a concise expression which embodied the mindset of the society, evolving through years. The concept reflected both the pride of American Nationalism and the idealistic perception of the social structure, which was connected with the strong religious influence. Many people saw Manifest Destiny as the expression of the historical inevitability of the American domination on the continent. There was a strong sense of mission which drove many people to push the borders further (McNeil, 2015). The concept of American liberty’s immense importance was the factor that served as the reasoning of the ongoing expansion.

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However, the religious impact also played a highly important role in developing of the Doctrine of Discovery (Fenelon, 2016). It is essential to notice that for many people the concept of Manifest Destiny was primarily based on the idea of America’s divine providence. According to this perspective, the United States was destined by God to expand its borders with no limitations. Therefore, for the vast part of Americans, the expansion, relocation, and migration were all driven by religious spirit and the confidence in God’s will. In general, this aspect of Manifest Destiny represented its utopian, idealistic quality.

In addition, it is essential to observe the economic aspect of the expansion. First people who began to push the borders further were fur trappers. They were in search of the new sources of obtaining the product, and they went westwards. Their experience of discovering new fertile lands was the factor which encouraged many others to follow their path.


Fenelon, J. V. (2016). Genocide, race, capitalism: Synopsis of formation within the modern world-system. Journal of World-Systems Research, 22(1), 23-30.

McNeil, K. (2015). The Doctrine of Discovery reconsidered: Reflecting on discovering indigenous lands: The Doctrine of Discovery in the English colonies, by Robert J Miller, Jacinta Ruru, Larissa Behrendt, and Tracey Lindberg, and Reconciling Sovereignties: Aboriginal Nations and Canada, by Felix Hoehn. Osgoode Hall Law Journal, 53(2), 699-728.

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