Manifest Destiny: Have we revived the definition?

Manifest Destiny, it’s what drove Americans during the mid-nineteenth century to expand westward due to the belief that America had a divine obligation to stretch their boundaries. This belief that God himself gave Americans the right to take by any means necessary and conquer that land. Manifest Destiny is linked to and can be seen as its own “frontier”.  Seeing as the Frontier has become a metaphor for progress, what better constitutes progress than expansion westward to further the creation of American Identity and its superiority.

In present day we no longer use divinity as reason for occupying other nations (or similar situations) for whatever reason it may be. We have reclaimed this definition it is no longer because it is our God given right as Americans, it is simply because we are Americans and we constitute such power and superiority that is our right.

Is this because American Identity has already been shaped and instead we need to reassert that identity?


One thought on “Manifest Destiny: Have we revived the definition?

  1. In a sense, Manifest Destiny was “completed” once the United States stretched from coast to coast. The original goal of westward expansion was fulfilled and America now spans the continent, but the spirit of Manifest Destiny lives on in modern American Exceptionalism. American acquisition of land may be a thing of the past, but the United States still yearns to grow and expand. Today, America spreads its culture rather than its borders. American ideals can be found around the globe, reaching much farther than Manifest Destiny ever did. Though Manifest Destiny has become an outdated concept in American policy, the desire for expanding influence still exists.


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