9 Nov 2022


The American Dream: Manifest Destiny

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Academic level: College

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John L. O’Sullivan’s ‘Manifest Destiny’ is a title that has been used to describe the nature of the US as a country with a fruitful and peaceful future. From the extract, the other definition of the term manifest destiny refers to a nation that upholds humanity, have freedom of right conscious, do not oppresses individuals, lacks inequalities and a nation that upholds personal freedom. For example, the author states that ‘'… but in defense of humanity, of the oppressed of all nations, of the rights of conscience, the rights of personal enfranchisement ( Pratt, 1993) .'' Additionally, the author further describes a manifest destiny when he indicates that ‘'Yes, we are the nation of progress, of individual freedom, of universal enfranchisement ( Pratt, 1993) .'' 

Sullivan views the westwards expansion as a significant element in shaping what the US population is made of. In this case, the author views the US population as a composition of individuals from different nations with a progressive mind to develop the nation as well as the individuals. The author states that ‘‘… we are the nation of human progress… ( Pratt, 1993) .’’ Secondly, the author views the westwards expansion as an important tool towards American greatness, and he states that, ‘‘The far-reaching, the boundless future will be the era of American greatness ( Pratt, 1993) .'' 

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According to Sullivan, the chief goal for the nation is to promote progress in both the nation and its people as well as to promote peace. The author views the US a nation whose primary role is to promote peace among its population, for example, he states that ‘'peace and good will amongst men ( Pratt, 1993) ''. Additionally, the author view of the goal of the nation is that which leads to progress such as when he states that ‘'… freedom of conscience, freedom of person, freedom of trade and business pursuits, the universality of freedom and equality…'' 

Based on the extract the US was a super power during the 1840 era, this is evidenced by the author's statement when he indicates that ‘'… powers of aristocracy and monarchy "shall not prevail against it ( Pratt, 1993) ." With the statement, the author clearly states the position of the nation as a superpower as any form of powers cannot interfere with its missions. 


Pratt, J. W. (1933). John L. O'Sullivan and Manifest Destiny.    New York History ,    14 (3), 2 13-234. 

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