From sea to shining sea
In 1845, newspaper editor John O’Sullivan coined the term “manifest destiny” to describe the ideology of continental expansionism.
Though the term was new, the ideas underlying it were much older, dating back to the first colonial contact between Europeans and Native Americans. The ideology that became known as “manifest destiny” included a belief in the inherent superiority of white European-Americans, as well as the conviction that whites were destined by God to conquer the territories of North America, from sea to shining sea.
Manifest Destiny justified extreme measures to clear the native population from the land, including forced removal and violent extermination. For proponents of Manifest Destiny, the American Indians were mere impediments to the forward march of racial and technological progress, and they advocated pursuing a policy of Indian Removal.^1
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