Causes Of Manifest Destiny

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In 1845, a magazine editor named John O’Sullivan first used the phrase Manifest Destiny to describe the belief that the United States was going to control and settle land across the continent, from the Atlantic Ocean to the Pacific. The word manifest means "obvious." The word destiny means "fate, future, or conclusion." O’Sullivan’s phrase captured the views of many Americans, including James K. Polk, who was elected President in 1844. This view was later expressed by artist John Gast in his 1872 painting American Progress. In addition, some settlers had religious motivations for moving West. For example, Mormons who moved to Utah hoped to establish a new society for their believers, away from persecution in the cities where they had once settled. Polk’s belief in Manifest Destiny contributed to actions he took as president that resulted in the United States gaining territory in the West. These actions included annexing territory, fighting a war, and signing treaties. In 1818, the United States and Great Britain signed a treaty. This treaty said that both nations would share the Oregon Country. The missionaries sent back glowing reports about Oregon’s Willamette Valley. This made others want to move to the region. In the 1840s, thousands of settlers came from the East. They were looking for land. They followed the Oregon Trail to the region. The treaty gave Britain the part of land north of the 49th parallel, and the United States got the part south of
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