Manifest Destiny refers to the attitude in America during the 1800’s when pioneers settled the country and believed that the U.S. was destined to stretch across the whole continent, from the one coast to the other. The phrase was used by politicians at the time and first published in an 1845 article about the annexation of Texas in the U.S. Magazine and Democratic Review. The manifest destiny belief is said to have helped to fuel the war with Mexico and the removal of Native Americans.

An Attitude of Nationalism and Superiority

At the time, Americans had just won Independence through the Revolution, which made them very nationalistic.  For many pioneers, it had become a mission to populate America and they moved west in droves to settle there.

Many settlers were very religious and believed that God has blessed the growth of America. Native Americans were seen as heathens and American missionaries saw it as their mission to bring Christianity to them. Other Americans saw the Native Americans as inferior, causing many racial clashes.