Essay about Manifest Destiny, By John L. O ' Sullivan
Manifest Destiny was a term that described the expansion of the United States. The name “manifest destiny” was brought up by an editor from the Democratic Review, John L. O’Sullivan. He wrote, “Our manifest destiny is to overspread the continent allotted by Providence…” Manifest destiny also had the chance to spread Anglo-American culture and the idea of racial superiority. The “inferior” peoples living the far west of the United States—Native Americans and Mexicans— had to be subjected to the American ideals and to be taught republicanism and Protestantism. The significance of manifest destiny was all in part of expanding new territories and American culture throughout the United States.
“Fifty-four forty or fight!”
During his campaign, James K. Polk realized that manifest destiny was the only way he could win the election. Polk then called for expansion which included CA, TX, and all of the Oregon territory. The slogan, “Fifty-four forty or fight!” was adopted from the northern boundary of Oregon being at 54 degrees, and 40 minutes in latitude. In order to obtain that area of land, Polk had to compromise with Great Britain. While doing so, GB firmly believed they could win the land over; however, in 1846 they were outnumbered—six to one— in Oregon. Britain then offered to split the land at the 49th parallel, leaving Polk satisfied with the decision. The importance of the slogan, “Fifty-four forty or fight!” really set off a strong win for Polk because he…