race and manifest destiny pdf

Race and manifest destiny pdf

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To What Extent Were Manifest Destiny and Westward Expansion Justified?

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4. Manifest Destiny’s Legacy

Reflection on Race and Manifest Destiny

The American people having derived their origin from many other nations, and the Declaration of National Independence being entirely based on the great principle of human equality, these facts demonstrate at once our disconnected position as regards any other nation; that we have, in reality, but little connection with the past history of any of them, and still less with all antiquity, its glories, or its crimes. On the contrary, our national birth was the beginning of a new history, the formation and progress of an untried political system, which separates us from the past and connects us with the future only; and so far as regards the entire development of the natural rights of man, in moral, political, and national life, we may confidently assume that our country is destined to be the great nation of futurity. It is so destined, because the principle upon which a nation is organized fixes its destiny, and that of equality is perfect, is universal.

To What Extent Were Manifest Destiny and Westward Expansion Justified?

Divining America. Foreign Missionary Movement. African American Christianity, Pt. Evangelicalism as a Social Movement. American Abolitionism and Religion. Civil War: The Southern Perspective. The Religious Origins of Manifest Destiny. The American Jewish Experience. Divining America Advisors and Staff.

Donald M. In , an unsigned article in a popular American journal, a long standing Jacksonian publication, the Democratic Review , issued an unmistakable call for American expansionism.

It claimed that America had a destiny, manifest, i. Coming later to the venture, the British and especially the New England Puritans carried with them a demanding sense of Providential purpose. John Winthrop, Governor of the Massachusetts Bay Colony, gave the clearest and most far-reaching statement of the idea that God had charged the English settlers in New England with a special and unique Providential mission.

For this end, we must be knit together in this work as one man, we must entertain each other in brotherly affection, we must be willing to abridge ourselves of our superfluities for the supply of others necessities. Leading preachers of the Second Great Awakening that swept across the United States over much of the first half of the nineteenth century, such as Lyman Beecher father of Harriet Beecher Stowe and Henry Ward Beecher and Charles Grandison Finney, reasserted the claim that America would be the site of the millennium and that the Awakening was its sure sign.

They, however, gave their idea of the millennium a particular American twist. But if it is by the march of revolution and civil liberty, that the way of the Lord is to be prepared, where shall the central energy be found, and from what nation shall the renovating power go forth? At the same time, it makes the nation, itself, an instrument in the coming of the millennium.

It was the Mormons , however, who gave the fullest expression to the idea of America as the site of the millennium. The idea that God had chosen the British colonies for a special destiny received a major reformulation with the American Revolution and the establishment of the United States as a new and unique, independent nation, a Novus Ordo Seclorum —a new secular order. The clergy, especially the Calvinistic New England clergy, was very much a Patriot clergy that probably played a greater role in mobilizing support for the revolution than the innumerable anti-British pamphlets produced between and Americans did not consider their new nation to be simply another nation among nations, but a providentially blessed entity charged to develop and maintain itself as the beacon of liberty and democracy to the world.

As is well known, not only was the United States remarkably diverse religiously, its new Constitution, with the first amendment of the Bill of Rights, also established a clear separation of church and state, expressly forbidding the institution of an established Church.

It was formally a secular nation—though at the same time a deeply religious society—sustained by Divine will, whose citizens were expected to subscribe to its founding principals with religious like devotion. Quickly were the revolutionary leaders, especially George Washington and Thomas Jefferson, elevated into Founding Fathers, and the Declaration and Constitution turned into almost sacred relics.

Thus the apparently secularized expressions [of these phrases] have a deeper resonance which locates the origins of the American mission very precisely even when they are not explicitly elaborated. It is also the constellation of ideas that has informed American nationalism and its actions at home and abroad to this day.

As noted, it was explicitly used it to justify the Spanish American War and its accompanying imperialist goals. The sense of American uniqueness and mission also underlay John F. And President George W. Not surprisingly, however, it remained for Abraham Lincoln to provide the most complex but nonetheless clear statement of the idea that America has a sacred duty to itself and to the world to preserve and protect liberty and democracy.

In , as a young man of 28, Lincoln gave an address to the Springfield, Illinois Lyceum. It was a time of great social and political turmoil. Illinois was riven with violence over the question of the abolition of slavery. In Alton, Illinois an anti-abolitionist mob recently had murdered the abolitionist editor, Elijah Lovejoy, destroyed his printing press and burned his office and house.

In this atmosphere of intense political strife, Lincoln used his Lyceum address to call his fellow Illinoisans and Americans to turn to the basic democratic and liberal tenets the American national creed—the American Civil Religion—and embrace them and hold them as deeply as they held their private religious beliefs. Only such a common national faith, he argued, could provide the real and lasting foundation that would hold the sprawling, diverse, and conflict-ridden nation together.

During the Civil War Lincoln found these beliefs sharply challenged and at the same time gave them their most eloquent and powerful expression. Lincoln had always kept his questing and often skeptical spirituality closely guarded, but as the war ground relentlessly on, his beliefs and speeches took on not a sectarian but a deeply Old Testament tone. In his brief second inaugural address, delivered only six weeks before his assassination, Lincoln explored the relationship between American freedom and Divine Will.

He knew that nations often, if not always, claimed God or the Gods for their side. At first glance, it may seem rather difficult to engage students in a discussion of religion and Manifest Destiny. Teaching strategies will obviously depend on the particular composition of your classes.

In a classroom in Queens, New York the most diverse political jurisdiction in the country well over half its students or their parents are likely to be born outside of the United States and at least half will adhere to faiths other than Christianity. Clearly a very different student population than a teacher in Troy, Ohio, for example, might face. Perhaps the best initial strategy is to open up the issues the topic raises: questions of nationalism and cultural unity; questions of the relationship between belief in an all powerful, superintending God and the actions of nations; questions of what happens when nations claim an expansive mission and justify this with a claim to Divine favor?

Do many or any of them believe that God does play a role in the action and fate of nations? What have been various consequences when the United States and other nations claims a special providence and mission from God? This discussion should lead into a more historically oriented discussion that can best be conducted through the use of key primary documents.

The introductions to the various sections and documents are also especially helpful. The vast scholarly literature that bears on this subject is less a debate than a range of works on different periods and from different disciplines and perspectives.

On Manifest Destiny itself, two older books, Albert K. But see also Sam Haynes and Christopher Morris, eds. Manifest Destiny and Empire Perry Miller, Errand into the Wilderness remains an essential source for the Puritan sense of mission. Sidney E. Civil Religion, Church and State Moorhead, Yankee Protestants and the Civil War, , are particularly useful.

Wilson, et al. To cite this essay: Scott, Donald M. National Humanities Center. All rights reserved. Revised: September nationalhumanitiescenter. I African American Christianity, Pt. Guiding Student Discussion At first glance, it may seem rather difficult to engage students in a discussion of religion and Manifest Destiny.

Scholars Debate The vast scholarly literature that bears on this subject is less a debate than a range of works on different periods and from different disciplines and perspectives.

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Noel H. Hispanic American Historical Review 1 February ; 63 1 : — Reginald Horsman exposes a darker side of the United States past when he concludes in this provocative study that by , rather than after the Civil War, the great majority of white North Americans saw themselves as a separate, innately superior Anglo-Saxon people, successors to the Roman Empire, who were destined to bring good government, commercial prosperity, and Christianity to the Western Hemisphere and the world. North Americans inherited the English tradition of ethnocentrism based on Anglo-Saxon superiority in the art of government. Nevertheless, this doctrine strongly and broadly permeated United States society, which, undergoing rapid change and dislocation of values, was seeking to justify its continental expansion and global ambitions.

Manifest destiny was a widely held cultural belief in the 19th-century United States that American settlers were destined to expand across North America. There are three basic themes to manifest destiny:. Historian Frederick Merk says this concept was born out of "a sense of mission to redeem the Old World by high example … generated by the potentialities of a new earth for building a new heaven". Historians have emphasized that "manifest destiny" was a contested concept— Democrats endorsed the idea but many prominent Americans such as Abraham Lincoln , [9] Ulysses S. Grant , [10] and most Whigs rejected it. It lacked national, sectional, or party following commensurate with its magnitude. The reason was it did not reflect the national spirit.


the historical realities. Reginald Horsman's book is the first study to examine the origins of racial Race and Manifest Destiny: The Origins of American Racial Anglo-Saxonism. Reginald Horsman Read Online · Download PDF. Save.


4. Manifest Destiny’s Legacy

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Divining America. Foreign Missionary Movement. African American Christianity, Pt. Evangelicalism as a Social Movement.

By Reginald Horsman. Cambridge: Harvard University Press, Notes and index. Most users should sign in with their email address.

The Art of BioShock Infinite: Identity, Race, and Manifest Destiny

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Reflection on Race and Manifest Destiny

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