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What idea said that the US should expand west to the Pacific?

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March 23, 2015 6:55PM

In newspapers and in political talk, the idea of manifest

Destiny looked like a real concept, but a closer look reveals that

it wasn't. The term was created by a newspaper writer, John O'

Sullivan in 1845. It did not cause the US to expand to the west


The 1803 Louisiana Purchase was not a deal made by Jefferson and

Napoleon for any manifest destiny. The purchase gave the US an

immense amount of territory. This was a beginning towards the

movement to the Pacific coast.

The victory of the US over Mexico in the war that ended with a

treaty giving the US most of what was the now Southwest and

California. Mexico could not protect what they inherited from

Spain, and in that era, a treaty giving the victor territory was

commonplace. The war, by the way was not fought for the idea of

manifest destiny.

The US expanded by annexing Texas, no manifest destiny there at


Long before any of the above, American Mormons had settled in

what is now Utah, to escape religious persecution. The US

government nor mainstream public opinion had little to do with this

"push" west movement.

By 1849, the California gold rush was on. Thousands of Americans

headed there to become wealthy miners. They did not travel to

California because of a manifest destiny.

During the US Civil War Lincoln created the Homestead Act to

give settlers almost free land if they improved it by farming as

example. Lincoln was never a manifest destiny politician.

In summary, there is no evidence that Americans moved westward

based on a slogan or that God had destined them to do so.

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March 23, 2015 6:58PM

Major edit of previously erroneous answer corrected. Please see

my profile or contributions,

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