Manifest Destiny

The idea behind Manifest Destiny came from the thought that America was destined to expand from the Atlantic Ocean to the Pacific Ocean. This expansion was not to be considered selfish, but more of a way to extend the freedom and liberty of being an American to new places.
Also, beyond just a political movement, Manifest Destiny was seen as a way to spread the "superior race," that is, white people of northern European origins. They saw the Indians, Mexicans, and other races in the western regions as "racially unfit" to be part of America.
Manifest Destiny became more well-known and popular as the idea became publicized in the "penny press" and reached more and more people. Although many people supported this idea, not all of them could agree on the extent of the expansion or how the expansion should take place. Some wanted to use force while others thought that it should happen peacefully or not at all.
There were also those who didn't want any expansion at all. Henry Clay, for example, was against this Manifest Destiny because he believed it would reignite the controversy over slavery that had been settled, for a time, with the Missouri Compromise.

Timeline of Manifest Destiny
With the exception of Alask and Hawaii, many of the western regions of the United States were added in the 1840s, when Manifest Destiny began to take hold and spread throughout the American community.
With the exception of Alask and Hawaii, many of the western regions of the United States were added in the 1840s, when Manifest Destiny began to take hold and spread throughout the American community.


This picture shows the enthusiam that many Americans had to make the move westward.  However, it was that same enthusiasm that covered up the worries of Clay and others who warned about the controversy over slavery which could, and would, threaten the stability of the Union.
This picture shows the enthusiam that many Americans had to make the move westward. However, it was that same enthusiasm that covered up the worries of Clay and others who warned about the controversy over slavery which could, and would, threaten the stability of the Union.