We are independent & ad-supported. We may earn a commission for purchases made through our links.
Advertiser Disclosure
Our website is an independent, advertising-supported platform. We provide our content free of charge to our readers, and to keep it that way, we rely on revenue generated through advertisements and affiliate partnerships. This means that when you click on certain links on our site and make a purchase, we may earn a commission. Learn more.
How We Make Money
We sustain our operations through affiliate commissions and advertising. If you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase, we may receive a commission from the merchant at no additional cost to you. We also display advertisements on our website, which help generate revenue to support our work and keep our content free for readers. Our editorial team operates independently of our advertising and affiliate partnerships to ensure that our content remains unbiased and focused on providing you with the best information and recommendations based on thorough research and honest evaluations. To remain transparent, we’ve provided a list of our current affiliate partners here.

What is Manifest Destiny?

Mary McMahon
Updated May 23, 2024
Our promise to you
Historical Index is dedicated to creating trustworthy, high-quality content that always prioritizes transparency, integrity, and inclusivity above all else. Our ensure that our content creation and review process includes rigorous fact-checking, evidence-based, and continual updates to ensure accuracy and reliability.

Our Promise to you

Founded in 2002, our company has been a trusted resource for readers seeking informative and engaging content. Our dedication to quality remains unwavering—and will never change. We follow a strict editorial policy, ensuring that our content is authored by highly qualified professionals and edited by subject matter experts. This guarantees that everything we publish is objective, accurate, and trustworthy.

Over the years, we've refined our approach to cover a wide range of topics, providing readers with reliable and practical advice to enhance their knowledge and skills. That's why millions of readers turn to us each year. Join us in celebrating the joy of learning, guided by standards you can trust.

Editorial Standards

At Historical Index, we are committed to creating content that you can trust. Our editorial process is designed to ensure that every piece of content we publish is accurate, reliable, and informative.

Our team of experienced writers and editors follows a strict set of guidelines to ensure the highest quality content. We conduct thorough research, fact-check all information, and rely on credible sources to back up our claims. Our content is reviewed by subject-matter experts to ensure accuracy and clarity.

We believe in transparency and maintain editorial independence from our advertisers. Our team does not receive direct compensation from advertisers, allowing us to create unbiased content that prioritizes your interests.

Manifest Destiny was a concept which heavily influenced American policy in the 1800s. The idea was the driving force behind the rapid expansion of America into the West from the East, and it was heavily promoted in newspapers, posters, and through other mediums. While Manifest Destiny was not itself an official government policy, it led to the passage of legislation such as the Homestead Act, which encouraged Westward colonization and territorial acquisition. It also played an important role in American thought.

The term was first used in 1845 by John O'Sullivan, an American newspaper editor who was writing about the proposed annexation of Texas. O'Sullivan stated that it was America's “manifest destiny to overspread the continent.” The editorial suggested that through expansion, the United States could become a recognized political and social superpower. America had, in fact, O'Sullivan argued, been uniquely chosen for the task of expanding Westward, driving out the wilderness and establishing civilization.

The Westward expansion of the United States did not, of course, begin with Manifest Destiny. The Louisiana Purchase of 1803, in which 23% of the existing territory of the United States was acquired, was probably the first major step. The government saw the appeal in acquiring more land, as well as the potential political power which large tracts of land could confer upon the young nation. As a result, a policy pursuing aggressive expansion was actively pursued. The idea of Manifest Destiny was merely a component, and one which captured the popular imagination.

O'Sullivan's Manifest Destiny editorial added fuel to the fire with a catchy phrase. Numerous government campaigns painted the allures of the West for prospective settlers, and promoted programs which could help people acquire and hold land in the West. With the discovery of gold and other valuable minerals, a tide of Easterners started to pour into the West, supported by their belief in their right and duty to expand.

The idea of Manifest Destiny was also behind American political actions overseas. Although the term ceased to be used in a political context in the early twentieth century, the far-reaching impact of Manifest Destiny was clear. A section of the Manifest Destiny editorial reminded Americans that they were uniquely positioned to spread democracy throughout the world, and this concept clearly played a role in twentieth century American foreign policy. Many historians use the term “Manifest Destiny” to refer to the period in American history which was marked by rapid expansion “from sea to shining sea” through annexation of the Western half of the continent.

Historical Index is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Mary McMahon
By Mary McMahon

Ever since she began contributing to the site several years ago, Mary has embraced the exciting challenge of being a Historical Index researcher and writer. Mary has a liberal arts degree from Goddard College and spends her free time reading, cooking, and exploring the great outdoors.

Discussion Comments
By jessiwan — On Nov 09, 2013

@post 113: Stop whining about how bad black people have it in the US. If things truly are as bad as you claim they are, why don't black people leave US and/or head back to Africa? That's right, they won't, because being treated poorly be white people still beats living in Africa.

Seriously, everybody black and every apologist for black people should just shut up about how bad black people have it, already.

First of all, things are not as bad as you make them out to be. Secondly, even if they were, maybe it's time for you to do some introspection. Can it be that some black people are unlikable? Just think about it. And stop whining already.

By anon354426 — On Nov 08, 2013

The manifest dynasty was done out of greed, primarily by white people. However the white gender as a whole was not responcible and saying the were and still are is ignorant. The people who are postin black power comments are complitly disregarding the fact that blacks did own slaves. In fact at some point in history just about every race has.

On top of this whites were not the only race of people that stole land. No group of people currently own the land they started out with. Indains have in fact stolen land along with blacks, hispanics, persians, and much more.

In all im not trying to justify the actions of the manifest dynasity and yes i would agree they were wrong, however that does not mean racism should be flowing through the postings. Because blamming the white race as a whole and saying we will pay for what we have done, saying we are all ignorant and greedy is in fact rasict. I could say uneducated things such as ALL blacks are lazy criminals or ALL blacks are on welfare. But by saying this i only weaken are nation as a whole.

There are horrible white people yes. There are horrible blacks. There is good and bad in every race and until people can start to understand this we are not going to advance as a whole. Your race does not determine the inner workings of your being and although it is a part of who you are it doesn't make you a good or bad person. Black power is just as stupid as white power. In order to stop a group of rasict people you became rasict kind of ironic.

lets not have an online war of the races because every race is a fault for somthing and so many facts are being left out of your messages. If you are going to tell history tell it all not just the facts that makes your opinion stronger.

By anon337850 — On Jun 08, 2013

Very insightful on what manifest destiny did, but you left out one thing: What is the ideal?

By anon301396 — On Nov 03, 2012

I think that everyone on this site who is trying to talk like black people have it so hard is just wrong. If you don't like what is going on here, then get the heck out. If you think blacks and whites are treated so different, then leave.

I am a teacher and female at that, and I promise you I have never slept with a student. Also, I do not care about the color of my students; it is the work of the student. If you write a paper in ebonics, I will give you an F for that.

There is also a lot of talk about slavery on here. Well, if it was not in your lifetime, then you can't change it and have no right to complain about it, so get over it already! It's not like it happened to you, or your parents or even your grandparents. Sorry, no sympathy from me. At this point, I'm just tired of hearing it and wish that everybody would get a topic to complain about that they actually experienced first hand!

By anon251375 — On Feb 29, 2012

I notice the article left out the negative impact on American Indians. If you're going to tell history you have to tell it all, warts and all.

By anon246095 — On Feb 07, 2012

@Anon 62417: How do you know that Adam and Eve were white? They could have been any color under the sun.

By anon246004 — On Feb 07, 2012

Didn't it occur to anyone that black people probably went along with the white people during the Westward Expansion period? If you think about it, blacks would have done the same. So would have Chinese, Indians, etc. All people are basically the same: they have the same kinds of motives.

How did an article over westward expansion expand into a debate on whether or not whites are evil? As the book "To Kill a Mockingbird" states, some people from all races are immoral and evil, but some from all races are moral and good. Also, what's with all of the hate mail? Ever heard of tolerance? Sadly, this word and its meaning are slowly fading away from our culture.

You hear of all these people killing themselves over being bullied for being different. These deaths would have been prevented if people just lived and let live.

By anon243484 — On Jan 28, 2012

Fantasy = manifest destiny.

By anon242912 — On Jan 25, 2012

This is an excellent site. I can't believe that I actually was so dumb to come here last.

By anon233724 — On Dec 08, 2011

You are so out of touch with reality. Anything can be justified with a few choice words. Hey, you almost had me fooled.

I suppose everyone wants to feel good about themselves in some way.

Manifest Destiny is a nice choice of words for "we're entitled to do whatever we want"

By anon222607 — On Oct 16, 2011

Yep, American whites are absolutely pure evil. This is is why we are the only nation to *give back* territories conquered by force. Examples: After resoundingly defeating the Mexicans, we not only gave back much of the territories, but purchased with with quite a bit of money, and loan/debt forgiveness the very lands groups like La Raza (literally translated "The Race", a.k.a the Mexican version of the Klan, and Hitler youth rolled into one!) claim is theirs. We did this in spite of the genocides, and organized banditry that Mexican's like Villa inflicted upon United States citizens.

Example two: When we defeated the Spanish, and liberated the Philippines we gave back the land to their own independent government, and paid them money to lease an area as a naval base (which even that we gave up in the 1990's). It was not Philippine guerrillas which got rid of the Spanish (and this is not to discount that they played a role), but US Naval power that defeated the Spanish.

In spite of the fact that we haven't yet pulled out of Iraq, and Afghanistan - they have their own independent, and democratically elected governments. Pretty far from a big bad imperial power.

I can list 12 more examples where we have done the same. The British gave up India after they were forced to, because they couldn't hold on to it. We've given up territories during times of positions of strength. We may be ruthless capitalists, but we are far from the imperialists we are accused of being. Japan has its own government, as does Germany to name a few more.

As far as Mexico goes, we still send military air to guard their southern border to this day to make them more secure. Alas, we don't do half as much to secure our own from the millions of Mexicans living here illegally.

We have made a few blunders along the way, but we've eliminated many bad regimes, and our public health efforts are responsible for roughly 1:2 Africans being alive today.

Also on that block, we didn't create AIDS to decimate Africa. This was a rumor that was started by the KGB, and fed to the populations of the third world to generate anti-American sentiment. It's still widely believed, but it makes no difference.

Far from being peaceful people who lived in harmony with the butterflies, buffalo, and other critters - the Indians attacked us several times. Despite this, many efforts were made to make peace with the various tribes. Some were successful, and some were not. No one intentionally doled out smallpox blankets. Koch's postulate didn't even exist at that time, and no one had a clue what caused smallpox.

Disease transfer was not a one way street either. The world wide spread of diseases like syphilis, and the millions of deaths every year due to the disease of addiction to tobacco are some of the gifts of the red men for the Whites, Blacks, and Asians for that matter.

Omitted from many modern history books are the histories of Indian cannibalism, scalping, the rape of enslavement of white women, white children, and even white men by those peaceful, living in harmony with the rocks Indians. Also omitted are the Indian genocides of entire towns, and the burning alive of many people by fire after the Indians have driven them into churches, and other buildings. (Oklahoma has some prime examples of this if you want to dig in older history books.)

Even in cases like the Barbary coasts -- we did not immediately launch attacks to secure shipping, and commerce. Most people only know Tripoli from the Marine corps hymn these days, but in those days the tribes of the Barbary coast regularly forced us to pay tributes (some of them totaling a million dollars a year, and more), kidnapped, murdered, and tortured merchant sailors whom the held for ransom, and generally acted as terrorist upon the seas. This is not much different from the situation off the coast of Somalia today, except the barbarians had some form of recognized government sanctioning it.

We tried to enlist the help of the French, British, and Maltese to put an end to this terrorism, but they felt it was cheaper to pay. So we went it alone, and with a minor setback or two set the standard for patrolling the seas to make the world safer for commerce. Eventually the British came on board, and the practice of kidnapping sailors for ransom became far less common. (Though it is still a problem in much of the Caribbean, and off the coast of some of the horn of Africa.)

The United States (in partnership with many nations) provides the lions share of security for ocean going vessels to make the world safe for commerce. It was primarily United States ships which went in, and cleared the mines the Iraqi's laid in the shipping channel as a case in point. Our coast guard performs thousands of rescues annually without regard to the nationality of the vessels.

Yes, we are the only nation to use nuclear weapons in open warfare. This action probably saved the lives of 10-12 million Japanese, and a half million or more Americans.

Even though the Japanese regime openly used chemical, biological warfare, massive acts of genocide in China and other places, committed war crimes far too numerous to list in this space, Americans still returned their country to their after we defeated them.

We liberated Europe not one, but thrice at the cost of billions of dollars, and millions of US casualties. We also defeated communism -- a system of government that in Russia alone claimed the lives of between 50-70 million people, and reduced much of Russia into third world status from which they are still recovering to this day. We fed much of Europe in those years after the war, and did tremendous work to try to contain disease, restore order, safe drinking water, sanitation, and funded a great deal of the infrastructure in those areas ravaged by WWII. Some of the bridges we built in WWII are *still* in use today.

At great cost to the citizens of the United States we devoted millions of men, equipment, and know how to keep Europe free from Soviet aggression for more than 40 years. We are still deeply involved in the commitment to stem communist aggression with billions of dollars of commitment to securing peace in areas like North Korea.

We provided (and continue to provide) the lions share of troops, equipment, and finance to overthrow the despotic regime of Iraq, keep the worlds oil supply flowing, and out of the hands of a tyrannical dictator that used chemical weapons against is own people. We are currently providing the lions share of support against the terrorist regime in Libya. (This does not discount the contributions of nations like France, but the reality is we have the most capable forces in the world, and unlike most European armies -- we actually spend the money to train, and equip special forces to do those dirty, nasty, and thankless jobs.)

We brought the world the vast majority of the vaccines which allow a little more than two out of five of you to read the very message I am typing now. We didn't just sit on those vaccines -- we launched a world wide effort to eradicate several diseases, some of them successfully. We are still spending vast sums of money to combat malaria, river blindness, and many other plagues upon this earth. We have efforts to try to bring safe drinking water to much of the world.

While not the first nation to try, it was whites who championed the end of the several thousand year old institution of slavery. To put some things in perspective Haiti still has slavery to this day (they call it the restavec system), and Sudan only made it illegal to pay your taxes in slaves in, I believe, 2007.

It was whites, and in large part America (who still funds this effort with more money than anyone else) whom championed the effort to end child labor in the world.

American's invented the transistor, CMOS, and countless other things which improve life all over the planet. With a little help from our British friends we also invented the internet.

We are still a breadbasket to the world. At one time we produced over 70 percent of the worlds food supply. Now that number is in the mid 30 percent range.

Examples of this: we export over 18 percent of the worlds rice (the most important staple crop) Without America's contribution to the food supply 1-2 *billion* people would starve to death.

I have admiration for the French and Dutch forces that try to bring a token level of security to parts of Africa, but there are only a few nations in the world which can handle any type of sustained effort overseas, and only one that can do it in several places at once in a moments notice.

We make mistakes, and we can't touch everything in the world that is broken (nor should we), but we remain a beacon of hope to the world, and one of the few places where free speech still exists. We've put man on the moon, more satellites into orbit than any other nation (including those responsible for GPS, the majority of communications satellites, and for weather forecasting), built railways from coast to coast, highways from coast to coast (the largest highway system in the world!), and invested in the infrastructure which has helped to make us one of the more prosperous nations in the world.

America has a lot to be proud of. In our short history we have done more to advance mankind than any other nation on this earth, and that is not a statement I make lightly, or with arrogance. The sacrifices Americans have made are not trivial in the least, both in blood, and in terms of our standard of living.

Have a coke, smile, warm up your plate in the microwave, and when you turn the lights on remember where the transformer, the generator, alternating and direct current came from, and the advances we made in physics which made that possible.

Manifest destiny? Yes, to try to bring a standard of civilization to the world. We carved it out of rock, the land, toiled and spilled much blood for it.

By anon208344 — On Aug 22, 2011

As white people, you need to acknowledge your role in making this world a better, and a worse place. What happened to the Native Americans was genocide. Nothing has changed. It's happening today and you are condoning it by voting the same types of megalomaniacs into power. 9/11 was an act of desperation (these people were willing to die – intelligent people who were able to fly those planes). There are US forces on every continent and you are plundering natural resources and destabilising entire regions. You justify your actions by blaming despots, communism and Muslim fundamentalists (funny how you aren’t interested in cleaning up the politics of Zimbabwe - oh yes there is no oil there so Mugabe can butcher his people).

You are the only nation to have used nuclear weapons, and have amassed enough to wipe the entire human race off the face of the planet. When will you see how greedy you are collectively and as individuals? The world is tired of a nation who has abused it and I am afraid that you are going to plunge us all into a war soon that we are not going to be able to stop. Oh yes, I am white too.

By anon179505 — On May 24, 2011

The American government, the history books, and, sadly, a lot of the American people support things done by the U.S. government and its military where they would condemn other nations of doing to a lesser degree. This includes imperialism, using its military and government influence to intimidate and coerce, and war crimes.

It's wrong when other nations do it but yet just cause when the Americans do it. As former Secretary of State, Robert McNamara said in the documentary, "Fog of War", the only reason America has never been charged with war crimes is because it has won all its wars. Americans can romanticize its history all it wants but the real facts are that the country was founded on bullying and domination.

By anon171371 — On Apr 30, 2011

@ post no. 113: Quit your pity party. Blacks have just as many opportunities as every other race.

Why did you turn the conversation to point blame at white people? It was originally about how black people have it bad, now you're going on about white people being horrible people.

In case you didn't know, a black person is just as capable of molesting a 12 year old as a white person is.

White is the only race you can't be proud of.

If a black person walks around saying he's proud to be black its fine, but if a white person says their proud to be white, it's "racist".

Also, blacks as well as mexicans have a college fund in america. Whites do not.

There is a nursing foundation for only black nurses, but not one for just white nurses?

Hmmm.. Do blacks really have it that bad? Looks to me if you want to whine about something, you should get your facts straight.

By anon169319 — On Apr 20, 2011

So I have just started researching Manifest Destiny and the more interesting part is what was the motivation for it. Some of you say it's ego driven or anti-christian. I want to know the reason, not just the facts.

By anon162608 — On Mar 24, 2011

Post Number 100: That is very wrong what you were saying. If all the slates were level, Blacks would enjoy more success. You see, the slate is not level. Blacks have invented lots of inventions and the whites have stolen or taken it away and used them and made millions.

The Black sound of music is being copied by less talented white artists and they are making millions off of the “Brown” sound. Every white singer on American Idol sings a Black song and wins and they know this formula. Christina A., Michael Bolton, Amy Winehouse, Elvis Presley and countless others have made millions off of the Black sound.

Teachers in the schools and colleges and have a tendency to somehow legally give Blacks lower grades. When you fill out any forms, the first thing they ask is your race. Why? Don’t tell me it’s for statistics. It’s a form of counting you out before they can judge you on your ability.

The system is designed to try to hold Blacks down in all kinds of visible and subliminal ways. Blacks are turned down from opening up businesses in their own neighborhoods, while any other race can come over from third world countries and open up a thriving business in the Black neighborhoods. Banks find ways legally to turn down loans for Black business.

The Black children are given lazy, rejected, prejudiced white teachers who come in the urban area to teach. They write up black students, especially male Black students and try to put them on medication, while in the meantime, White female teachers are having sex with little Black boys as young as 12. The rejected teachers come into urban areas because they are not good enough to teach in their own areas, and there are more Whites on welfare. White, prejudiced police come into Black areas and take out their hatred against Blacks. They come into the neighborhoods and shoot up the Blacks, especially the Black men and they do not get punished for it. They get a slap on the hand for shooting men 50 times or more, so before you write crap, check out your Black history and see how many inventions and ideas have been stolen and are still being used by Blacks.

The media tend to always report bad images and bad news when it come to Blacks for a media circus, when there are other races doing worse. Case: Charlie Sheen, Alec Baldwin etc., they get more media coverage. If a black person was to act like this, he would never be given a second chance. He would be kicked out of the country.

Again, if the slate was fair, you would see all people who are working hard would succeed.

By anon162606 — On Mar 24, 2011

Post Number 105 Collins...that is very wrong what you were saying....if all the stake were level...Black would enjoy more success..You see the slate is NOT level...Blacks have invented lots of inventions and the whites have stolen or taken it away and use them and made millions....The Black sound of music is being copied by less talented white artist and they are making Millions off of the "Brown" sound....every white singer on American Idol sings a Black song and wins and they know this FORMULAR....Christina A, Michael Bolton, Amy Winehouse, Elvis Presley and countless other have made MILLIONS off of the Black sound.........Teachers in the schools and colleges and have a tendency to somehow legally give Blacks lower Grades....When you fill out any forms...the first thing they ask whether you wants your RACE....WHY?.... don't tell me it's for statistics..it's a form of counting you out before they can judge you on your ability ...They system is design to try to hold Blacks down in all kinds of seeable and subliminal ways.....Blacks are turn down from opening up business in their own neighborhood...while any other RACE can come over from THIRD world countries and open up a thriving business in the Black neighborhood......Banks find ways legally to turn down loans for Black business....The Black children are giving Lazy rejected prejudice white teachers that come in the urban area to teach...they write up black students especially MALE Black students and try to put them on medication while in the mean time White female teachers are having SEX with little Black Boy as you as 12.....The rejects teachers come in urban area because they are NOT GOOD enough to teach in their own areas....and their are more WHITES on welfare.....White prejudice police come into Black areas and take their hatred against Blacks...they come in the neighborhoods and shoot up the Blacks especially the Black men and they do not get punish for it...a slap on the hand for shooting men 50 times or more.....so before you write BS...check out your Black history and see how many inventions and IDEALs have been stolen and are still being used by Blacks ......AGAIN if the slate was fair...you will see if anyone is working hard they will succeed......

By anon159746 — On Mar 13, 2011

this is really good. I need to write a concluding paragraph on my manifest destiny research paper. i already covered the trails they used, hardships along the way, daily life, the people who moved west and where they settled. So what else could i write in a concluding paragraph? Please get back to me! it's sunday and i need to hand this in by tuseday. thanks.

By anon157617 — On Mar 03, 2011

I don't think that Manifest Destiny is and was not about greed. I think it was about the expansion of U.S.A. We wouldn't have California, Montana or Oregon. In fact, we wouldn't have any of the Western states if it had never existed.

By anon157615 — On Mar 03, 2011

The Louisiana Purchase was a great thing. I am glad the U.S.A. bought the Louisiana Purchase.

I think that it was good to go out West but not in the manner that we did it. The Indians were here first. Look at Andrew Jackson and the Trail of Tears, and all the Indians who suffered. Overall, the U.S.A. turned out pretty good after all.

By anon156997 — On Mar 01, 2011

first thing first, some of you got the facts straight and some as straight as a circle. Manifest destiny was greed. But greed is part of the human nature. Wars have been waged for greed, and countless lives lost, like the story of 300.

By anon150019 — On Feb 06, 2011

Watch "bury my heart at wounded knee." It's very compelling. Everyone in our times admits it is wrong, but how wrong is the question? Unless you research and see some of the feelings of native americans, you don't know. They used many tools of extermination on the native americans, who were simply trying to preserve their heritage, and equally unprepared for what awaited them. Debate over lands continues to this day also.

By anon147822 — On Jan 30, 2011

I really enjoyed this site. i am taking American History in college and this was very helpful, thank you. After reading all of the postings I am not surprised at the divergence of thoughts. No wonder we have such a difficult time getting along.

By lcollins105 — On Jan 24, 2011

Every single person who resides in America has benefited from Manifest Destiny. (with the single sole exception being the native americans.) Regardless of their color, like it or not. It may have been a group of white men who initiated it, but I've yet to see a single black person say 'oh, I want to go live in a third world country because I don't agree with MD'. No, instead they cry and complain then sit back and enjoy the benefits. Hypocrites!

By lcollins105 — On Jan 24, 2011

Wow, I cannot believe the racist comments posted on here. The big bad white people enslaved me. Everyone feel sorry for me.

Oh my God! Get the heck over it! For one, it was not you and you did not personally know one single person who did go through it.

My ancestors were enslaved too, but I don't expect the world to pay forever because a group of people were jerks. No, I am not making light of slavery. But at least get your facts straight. Whites were enslaved as well, and yes, blacks owned slaves too. Huh, go figure, blacks had slaves. It was what was done at that point in time. No matter what color their skin was, if they were able, they owned slaves and plenty of blacks did. Kind of blows your argument of poor black people who were done so wrong, now doesn't it?

I mean, how can you be so furious about slavery when your own people did it too? Or didn't you know that little fact? Or did you know it and choose to just ignore it because its so much easier to blame another race for your own inadequacies? And if you want to really talk about a race of people done wrong, what about the Jews? Watch some live footage of the holocaust than tell me all about being done wrong. Ignorance breeds hate, hate breeds idiots. Educate yourself on the facts before you claim an entire race is evil.

I can very well make the same argument concerning the black race and say every black person is a criminal and is lazy and evil and only wants to sit home on welfare doing their drugs. They should all be shipped back to Africa. Makes a lot of sense doesn't it? No, of course it doesn't.

Ignorance is what holds all races in the Dark Ages.

By anon140591 — On Jan 07, 2011

I was just reading this and thinking about Turner's Thesis. There is still a relative significance in the difference in the way the East and the West run their governments.

According to Turner, the further west the pioneers got, the wiser they were with their government ideas, etc. California was the first to allow gay marriage and legalize marijuana. Is it not arguable that the original attributes that Turner applied to the West are still displaying their features today?

By anon134772 — On Dec 15, 2010

I'm in eightth grade us history and I just wanted to say that this provided me with a lot of info for my project. It was extremely helpful and beneficial. In addition, the comments were a source for extra info.

By anon132437 — On Dec 06, 2010

Gives you the information you need straight up.America needs more websites like this! Loved using it and will use it again.

By anon131750 — On Dec 03, 2010

- anon81610 and - anon77523: Have you ever read a history book? Taken a World History class? White people are not the only people who have done bad things to people for greed.

Every civilization in history has its faults, has done some sort of evil, has pushed for expansion in want of land and money. Read up on the history of China, Russia, the early Indus Valley civilizations, Aztecs, Persians, Romans or any nation/country/civilization/peoples and if you find one that hasn't done some sort of evil to another group of people, then I will gladly admit I am wrong.

In the end, most of these countries/nations/whatever you want to call them have had at least a slight positive impact on history, but wouldn't have gotten there if they didn't commit those some necessary evils (not all were but there are some).

By anon129545 — On Nov 24, 2010

What's with all the black power comments? Seriously it's getting awkward.

By anon100275 — On Jul 29, 2010

quote from Gen. George Patton, "it is the destiny of the United States to rule the world".

By anon87687 — On May 31, 2010

To anon81610: I am afraid it is you who are consumed by hate and blame the entire white race for your destructive inner ideas. It is you who is spreading evil and hate through posts like the ones you've posted here. I will pray for your soul to heal before your judgment day with your maker as for me? My heart is full of love and forgiveness and God.

By anon86953 — On May 27, 2010

this article is very informative. it gives you the information straight up and simple.

By anon86854 — On May 26, 2010

Regarding the trail of tears: It is the chicken vs. the egg. It was Manifest Destiny that led to the trail of tears. White man's self consuming greed sent the native Americans down the trail.

By anon86677 — On May 26, 2010

Did the manifest destiny cause the trail of tears?

By anon85768 — On May 21, 2010

what caused people to believe in manifest destiny? or what is the historical context of manifest destiny?

By anon85336 — On May 19, 2010

So, anon85192, what is it that you need?

By anon85192 — On May 19, 2010

i am doing an exit project on manifest destiny and i need some research. can someone help?

By anon83920 — On May 13, 2010

What about Africans oppressing their own people? Or the Chinese? Or Hispanics? How ignorant to say that white people are evil, when there is evil all over the planet.

You know, I am of Slavic origin, and do you know where the word "slave" comes from? Take a wild guess. The word "slave" is actually derived from persons of white heritage. I can't believe people. If we are to progress as a whole, can we not learn from our horrible past? Making claims like that are only perpetuating more violence and hatred.

By anon81610 — On May 02, 2010

No matter what you say, about the past, history, manifest destiny, indians, slaves and all things, haters will always hate and have enough excuses. That's what most white people are and do, but just remember before all our time is up, white folks are going pay for every single act of crime they have committed to the people on this earth, be it to the native americans, blacks, chinese and so many more.

Vietnam? white folks will pay for their crimes in one way or the other. Maybe their children will or grandchildren but they will pay. Oh i forgot -- but white folks don't care, right? See, that's how evil they are, and will always be because all they want is gold and dollars.

They worship nothing but greed and wealth, and for that purpose they will sell, kill and destroy anything and everything.

By anon80253 — On Apr 26, 2010

Manifest Destiny is James Polk and 11.5 million American Indians dead and 350 thousand rounded up and placed in concentration camps, a.k.a. reservations

where they still reside.

Manifest Destiny marches on imposing its will on the defenseless countries of the world.

Oh, when will Manifest Destiny stop! MiJeL

By anon77523 — On Apr 14, 2010

I've watched the robbing, raping and murdering of all peoples of color all over this planet. And even worse, I've watched the Black inventors of art, writing, science, mathematics, astrology, etc since the days of Ancient Egypt be downplayed as if American history was the beginning of black people.

Even worse, I still read crap where whites are still justifying their evil ways? I guess the reduction of your melanin really has weakened your sense of right and wrong! But the times are changing!

Thanks to the Aquarius Age(1970) Black people are getting their civilizing powers back. And ain't nothing you evil devils can do about it. Black Egypt is back in your face, and you all don't even know what's going on! Well let this be your warning, and let destiny manifest that!

By anon76333 — On Apr 09, 2010

There is no 'absolute right' to any land on this great Earth. People only occupy it at a certain time and use it to their will during such time. The argument of the 'land belonging to the natives' is so asinine that anyone using it should be ashamed at their lack of vision and intelligence.

Using the 'native' idea, we as a people on this planet should unlock all the zoos and let all the animals go free, since the animals and insects were here way before man was. Where does it stop?

Do we elect skeletons of dinosaurs to be our leaders? Do you see now how dumb and idiotic it is to say the land belongs to 'natives'?

There is no place on this earth where the originating species is still in control of their own piece of land. Someone or something has pushed them off and occupied it and now its their land.

Secondly, to those who constantly want to imply that Christians are bad and evil for having been the impetus that started this country, they need to do a little reading themselves. This entire 'enlightened' world would still be scrabbling in the mud running from lions if it were not for guidance by religion.

It is where we get the order of our societies, our writing and our civilization. Because of organized religion we have writing, medicine, laws and a social structure that has guided the human race and enabled this technology. Praise God for that ability!

To sum it all up, without determination combined with faith in God, this country and many others would not be here, there would be roving bands of murderers and thugs ruling with death and destruction.

We would have no art, music or technology, much less the quality of life that we have and enjoy. There would be no social programs that help those less fortunate, there would be nothing -- nothing without having the drive and desire, coupled with God's grace and guidance to form it out of the nothingness that it was.

You all owe your very existence to nameless millions of people who came before you, toughed out a life in conditions that none of us today would be able to last one week in. All of these pioneers, these Americans, were guided by a belief in God that kept them going.

You all need to recognize this, not the fact that the land was taken from someone else. It was transformed from someone else so you can sit on the internet and complain about it.

By anon72854 — On Mar 24, 2010

What were the results of Manifest Destiny?

By anon71433 — On Mar 18, 2010

How did manifest destiny affect the population of the natives?

By anon70616 — On Mar 15, 2010

I thought the guests in this web page answered the questions at a much quicker speed than other web pages. I would like for someone to please answer anon12591.

By anon70615 — On Mar 15, 2010

The Louisiana Purchase and Manifest Destiny created what problem for the United States?

By anon68979 — On Mar 05, 2010

Actually anon, Manifest destiny was our destiny.

By anon62417 — On Jan 26, 2010

because of "manifest destiny's" religious roots, couldn't one say it started when the garden of eden became too small and the bite of the apple was the first expansion of white greed?

By anon61530 — On Jan 20, 2010

Didn't Manifest Destiny say "from sea to shining sea?" Where do Cuba, Hawaii and Alaska come in?

By anon59276 — On Jan 07, 2010

why were the pioneers in the west during manifest destiny.

By anon59275 — On Jan 07, 2010

why was there a manifest destiny?

By anon56256 — On Dec 13, 2009

to - anon12591, That's easy. It expanded the growth in terms of white settlements and stunted it in terms of cultural humility.

By anon54909 — On Dec 03, 2009

No one cares how the land was acquired.

Got issues with history of USA. Send all blacks back to their continent, give back all the land stolen from indigenous peoples and cram up all the settlers in their respective 13 colonies. Quit importing more squatters and let revisionists turn back the clock. Also learn the true meaning of "schmelztiegel". Better yet. understand that word means "crucible," not melting pot.

Years of social engineering crap will never delete this truth. America was a crucible, because only those suited for survival could make it in the wilderness. Read the letters of american farmers.

It now has become a melting pot where, thanks to the welfare system, crud gets mixed with pure product, and makes an inferior quality society -- more crud.

By anon52585 — On Nov 15, 2009

"Who cares about greed and all that?" What on earth are you talking about? Greed is what lit the fire that became westward expansionism. Greed spawned what became many, if not all, of the states west of the Mississippi. Clearly, anon51432, you never paid attention in history class from like the fourth grade onward. what a stupid comment you wrote.

Greed is in the hearts of all humans. It's just a part of who we are, and therefore it cannot be ignored!

If I were you, anon51432, next time you want to make a comment, make sure you know what you're talking about.

By anon52328 — On Nov 13, 2009

everyone has their individual views on what America did to be born. But what anon 51432 said, forget about the past, shouldn't be considered. without the past you would not know how to react to the future conflicts we have now.

By anon51432 — On Nov 05, 2009

anon you talk a lot of smack. it's all the past. who cares about greed and all that? and the term is white people not gringos. O.K.? and if they didn't do that the united states wouldn't be what it is today.

By anon50897 — On Nov 01, 2009

Looking at the history of the United States of America our founding fathers used manifest destiny as an excuse for the way they treated other races and an explanation for greed and power.

Some say if they had not done what they did we would not be where we are today. Is what we have today worth a history of pain, blood, injustice and evil doing? Maybe it is to those who did not have to live it every single day. I challenge you to put yourselves in the shoes of those who cultures were trampled and identities stolen. Would you feel that it was worth it?

By anon50712 — On Oct 31, 2009

When looking back at these times - Manifest Destiny - one can clearly see yet another method of land cession by the U.S. It is hard to believe that with so many hands in this, no one saw or had the ability to understand that so much of what they were doing was wrong. From over-harvest of resources and animals, to destruction of life-sustaining elements of native people, the spread of disease, the stamping out of native heritage all makes me feel shame even now. I often wonder what life would be like today if we had been honest, cooperative and kind to those who deserved such respect.

By anon48234 — On Oct 10, 2009

Everyone, read native america, discovered and conquered thomas jefferson, lewis and clark, and manifest destiny. it is written by robert j. Miller. It will help in understanding manifest destiny. Plus it predates the americas. So check it out.

By anon46129 — On Sep 23, 2009

If the mexicans stood up and kicked out the Spanish? Like the 13 colonies kicked the British out and had a stable government! Maybe they could have still owned California, Texas etc. Just remember it's over! If you were a citizen back then of the united states of 13 you would have the same feelings. But if you're in the united states now it's OK being a bad citizen? Complain about everything even stuff out of your control: slavery, Indians and mexicans? It's over and done. 1800s history!

By anon45483 — On Sep 17, 2009

Great discussions!

By anon45117 — On Sep 13, 2009

Manifest Destiny is the gringo's excuse to dominate land. Suppose that god's will was for them to expand. An excuse for imperialism and the taking of riches of the land(gold). We see this phenomenon not only on American land(as we know it as now) we see it in the days of the crusades, the missions/exploitations in Africa.

By anon42959 — On Aug 24, 2009

help what is the purpose/definition of manifest destiny?

By MalikShabazz — On Aug 13, 2009

This smells of duality. On one hand you have the Europeans destroying lives to acquire land which present a so called moral dilemma. On the other hand, you have the nature of human groups or tribes. As far as we can go back in time, humans as groups, tribes or nations have sought to conquer each other. If you see this as a natural act then you cannot argue against Manifest Destiny. Being that my mother was Native American I feel the pain of my forefathers who lost their land because of Manifest Destiny. Yet, at the same time I do understand that they did not claim the land to be theirs. They just lived on it, they used the land treating it with respect. The Europeans used many ways to take the land. What bothers me about Manifest Destiny is the same problem I have with the slave trade. After perpetrating the act(s) of slavery and genocide they feel that it is wrong for the victims to seek compensation, justice, and true equality. If the descendants of these victims were to exact revenge and/or seek compensation is that wrong? No, it is not! Yet, they have placed in the minds of the descendants of the victims a false sense of right and wrong. It is an illusion! There is no true freedom when the oppressor makes up and controls the laws. The true meaning of freedom is to be able to do what one wants to as long as it is within one rights granted by the law. If the laws are controlled by a certain elite and the minds of the masses are as well controlled by the above mentioned elite then where is there any freedom. You call it ego while I call it inequality!

By anon38477 — On Jul 26, 2009

wow this is better than my text book and it was written by one of the best textbook companie in the world.

By anon38118 — On Jul 23, 2009

The problem with Manifest Destiny is that it simply did not expand far enough north or south until the entire western hemisphere would have become one great United States of America!

By anon32459 — On May 21, 2009

Manifest destiny was not opposed by the Americans. Actually, they wanted it. They would force Natives off their land to move west.

By anon31102 — On Apr 29, 2009

The manifest helped with the shaping of the U.S. because without it we wouldn't have that much land and that's what they really want; more land for the free is what most people protested in that time; Manifest Destiny was just the governments way of saying more land for the free.

By ghosts — On Apr 19, 2009

Does anyone know if some Americans oppose or anyone else opposes manifest destiny?

By bobcat3 — On Apr 02, 2009

What was the most important land acquisition during Manifest Destiny?

By anon28479 — On Mar 17, 2009

Manifest destiny affected the united states whether the natives were condemned or not.

By anon27144 — On Feb 24, 2009

Manifest Destiny=Genocide, Stealing, Killing, Greed, anti-christian, anti-ten commandments, anti-human, hypocrisy, etc. etc. etc...

By anon26505 — On Feb 14, 2009

was there someone who actually *wrote* it? or is it even a document?

By quadradomus — On Dec 09, 2008

Posted by: anon12591

how did manifest destiny shape the growth of the U.S? The United States Govt. held both it's left hand and right hand entwined during the "Exploration" of this country. The left hand was called Manifest Destiny, and the right hand is called genocide. The two hands strangled native Americans as they pushed them from the East to the West coast.

For an amazing read, check out "Bury My Heart At Wounded Knee."

Then if you can stand it... go read the current world news. It will make you wonder where Manifest Destiny ends.

By anon19960 — On Oct 22, 2008

In response to anon17209, you could definitely argue that Manifest Destiny is ego driven. The thing is, so are a lot of other things. When you look at US History, Americans do a lot of things that, when viewed in hindsight, look hypocritical or manipulative or just plain wrong. But you have to remember that they were living in a different time and some things were necessary evils.

And, when it comes down to it, whether or not it was ego driven doesn't really matter. It got the job done.

By anon17209 — On Aug 25, 2008

Isn't manifest destiny really another way to say that certain ideas are worth pushing onto others without their say being considered?

It seems as though the concept is very ego driven. Ego of a new government, politicians, etc. I realize that if the US hadn't pursued the concept of manifest destiny that the world would be a very different place; my point is that the pursuit of US expansion seems like a lot of ego vs. philanthropy (which no one ever claimed, anyway - just trying to make a distinction).

By anon12591 — On May 09, 2008

how did manifest destiny shape the growth of the U.S?

By anon8026 — On Feb 06, 2008

Wisegeek is the best! It gives you what you want and need straight forward. It is the best site for information i have ever used.

Mary McMahon
Mary McMahon

Ever since she began contributing to the site several years ago, Mary has embraced the exciting challenge of being a...

Learn more
Historical Index, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.

Historical Index, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.