Manifest Destiny is a concept that guided American's view of westward expansion. The phrase was used to describe the idea of the God-given right for America to expand from the originally settled colonies all the way to the west coast. In 1839, John O'Sullivan, a democratic leader and New York newspaper editor, prophesied "the fulfillment of our Manifest Destiny to overspread the continent allotted by Providence (God) for the free development of our yearly multiplying millions." In other words, the United States had a divine mission to take the whole of North America, by force if necessary, and thus make room for its own rapidly growing people. In so doing, Americans believed they would carry the blessings of democracy to "less favored peoples" who happened to occupy attractive lands nearby.
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