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?
College or any institution of higher education in general is instilled in the minds of Americans as the only path for advancement in regard to leading a successful life. The ideology is that through higher education there are more opportunities that are presented in the career front that will constitute a more successful life. How did this ideology become the one that we associate with higher education, or more importantly when?
When we look at the system of higher education during the early years of this country not everyone was given the privilege of attending an institution of higher education. This is mainly because it was viewed as just that, a privilege. It was those who came from elite and predominant families who more often than not perused higher education and became doctors, lawyers, and philosophers. Higher education was a means for intellectual stimulation and societal advancement.
So when did the primary reason as to why those who pursue higher education become so that they can seek a certain career path in order to move up the economic latter? When did college come to seem like more of a chore rather than seen as an opportunity to expand one’s intellectual horizon as the primary focus?