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Manifest Destiny. The Power of an Idea. How did we get from…. Atlantic Coast all the way to the Pacific Ocean?. Manifest Destiny. It is the driving force, the motivating idea of Westward Expansion. Phrase is coined by John L. O’Sullivan in 1839 (Read editorial)

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Manifest Destiny

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manifest destiny

Manifest Destiny

The Power of an Idea

manifest destiny1
Manifest Destiny
  • It is the driving force, the motivating idea of Westward Expansion.
  • Phrase is coined by John L. O’Sullivan in 1839 (Read editorial)
  • Idea is present in Winthrop’s “City on a Hill” speech 1630
definition manifest destiny
Definition: Manifest Destiny
  • The idea that it is America’s God given right or destiny to expand her borders and spread her way of life across the continent.
3 themes you usually see in the idea of manifest destiny
3 Themes you usually see in the idea of manifest destiny
  • the virtue of the American people and their institutions;
  • Our destiny is to spread these institutions, thereby redeeming and remaking the world in the image of the U.S.
  • America is under God to accomplish this work
jefferson america a beacon for world
Jefferson: America a Beacon for World
  • "Trusted with the destinies of this solitary republic of the world, the only monument of human rights, and the sole depository of the sacred fire of freedom and self-government, from hence it is to be lighted up in other regions of the earth, if other regions of the earth shall ever become susceptible of its benign influence."
gordon wood reflecting on am revolution
Gordon Wood Reflecting on Am Revolution
  • "Our beliefs in liberty, equality, constitutionalism, and the well-being of ordinary people came out of the Revolutionary era. So too did our idea that we Americans are a special people with a special destiny to lead the world toward liberty and democracy."[
walt whitman
Walt Whitman
  • "What has miserable, inefficient Mexico—with her superstition, her burlesque upon freedom, her actual tyranny by the few over the many—what has she to do with the great mission of peopling the new world with a noble race? Be it ours, to achieve that mission!"
john quincy adams 1811
John Quincy Adams 1811
  • The whole continent of North America appears to be destined by Divine Providence to be peopled by one nation, speaking one language, professing one general system of religious and political principles, and accustomed to one general tenor of social usages and customs. For the common happiness of them all, for their peace and prosperity, I believe it is indispensable that they should be associated in one federal Union.
alexis de tocqueville first wrote about it in his 1831 work democracy in america
Alexis de Tocqueville first wrote about it in his 1831 work, Democracy in America
  • The position of the Americans is therefore quite exceptional, and it may be believed that no democratic people will ever be placed in a similar one.
see think wonder
See, Think, Wonder
  • In your groups answer the following questions on the newsprint provided.
  • What do you see in the painting?
  • What do you think about that or what does it mean?
  • What does it make you wonder or what questions does it raise?
  • his painting (circa 1872) by John Gast called American Progress, is an allegorical representation of the modernization of the new west. Here Columbia, a personification of the United States, leads civilization westward with American settlers, stringing telegraph wire as she sweeps west; she holds a school book. The different stages of economic activity of the pioneers are highlighted and, especially, the changing forms of transportation.
  • Why a woman?
standard and learning target
Standard and Learning Target
  • 1. Origin of the phrase
  • 2. Analyze picture American Progress
  • SS-08-5.1.1
  • Students will use a variety of tools (e.g., primary and secondary sources) to describe and explain historical events and conditions and to analyze the perspectives of different individuals and groups (e.g., gender, race, region, ethnic group, age, economic status, religion, political group) in U.S. history prior to Reconstruction.
  • DOK 3
  • Students will explain how the growth of democracy and geographic expansion occurred and were significant to the development of the United States prior to Reconstruction.
  • DOK 3
  •   Learning Target
  •  Students can explain how the idea of Manifest Destiny is a driving force in the expansion of the westward the United States.