Settling in the west: Manifest Destiny
When one is confronted with the task of doing research on something that happened in the past, there is one crucial tool to help achieve the goal of understanding history. A primary source is an important tool for one who wishes to study anything from the past. Analyzing a newspaper article from the 1840’s provides an interesting reflection into what life was like back then. My report will delve into the topic of manifest destiny, based on a newspaper article written by John L. Sullivan, who wrote an article for the magazine Democratic Review in 1845, describing the new concept of Manifest Destiny “to overspread the continent allotted by Providence for the free development of our yearly multiplying millions." The main purpose of analyzing this article is to see the type of reaction that an educated American had towards the ideals of brutishly taking over land.
At the time, America was a rapidly growing nation. A rapidly growing nation, however, needs land and resources to satiate its growth. That is why the Government stood behind the concept of Manifest Destiny, or the belief that America was predetermined by divine providence to be allotted all the land they need, as long
as they go out and claim this land. This lead to many conflicts with Native Americans, as the soldiers who went out to claim this land were greeted, often with violence, by natives who had been living there.
Many Americans rallied behind the slogan of “54°—40”, a reference to the boundary that the U.S owned. These citizens demanded that the U.S should, by all means necessary, take as much land as needed even if it meant fighting wars along the way. The Author of this article suggested that the U.S would only be capable of handling emancipated slaves if it had enough territory to hold them.
The primary source that I am writing about is an article that was written in July of 1845 in the magazine Democratic Review and edited by...