In what ways is Manifest Destiny still with us today?In what ways is Manifest Destiny still with us today?

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pohnpei397 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

You could argue that the idea of Manifest Destiny remains with us today because we continue to try to remake the world in our image.

One aspect of Manifest Destiny was the idea that we had the best culture and government in the world.  This gave us the right to spread out and take more territory so as to put more of the world under that culture and that government.

Today, we no longer believe that we have the right to more territory.  But we do believe that we have the best system of government.  We have gone to great lengths to try to make other countries of the world be more like us (Iraq and Afghanistan come to mind).  This can be seen as evidence that the idea of Manifest Destiny remains with us today.

accessteacher eNotes educator| Certified Educator

This is a massive topic and you will receive a real diversity of different opinions! Personally, I think that the whole concept of Manifest Destiny has decreased since George Bush Junior left power and Obama took office, although it is still very much alive and kicking. Manifest Destiny concerns the way in which America, by divine right or choice, was made a superpower in the world and therefore was free to interfere in the politics of other countries as it liked. Although Clinton's disastrous Somalia invasion showed the limitations of this view, arguably Bush's foreign policy represented a new stage of this approach. However, fortunately, Obama seems to be steering America on a less problematic course.

litteacher8 eNotes educator| Certified Educator
I think there are a few legacies of Manifest Destiny. One is our attempts at imperialism that are still with us. I am thinking of Guam and Puerto Rico. Another example is our need to integers with sovereign countries when our interests are involved, as we did in Iraq and in so many other cases. One of the first things I thought of when I read your question was our attempts to colonize space. We even called it the final frontier. On another note, I think that one of the legacies of Manifest Destiny is our need for open spaces with little population. This is why we go camping in Alaska and visit national parks. In a way, we are returning to our Manifest Destiny roots.
brettd eNotes educator| Certified Educator

As I type this answer, I am at a public library on an Indian reservation in New Mexico, so one of the legacies of Manifest Destiny is readily apparent, and I suppose if you asked any Native American, the answer would be something along the lines of cultural and linguistic genocide, not to mention physical genocide and subjugation. Of course, we would not be an empire without the completion of Manifest Destiny, and our prosperity and wealth are directly related to the taking of 3 million square miles of resource rich farmland, and the removal of those who already lived there.

rskardal eNotes educator| Certified Educator

It may be worth paying attention to the concept of "Manifest Destiny" as battles over the Arctic Passage heat up. The north, which has long been considered Canadian territory -- at least, according to every map and globe I've seen since I was a child -- is becoming a contentious area, with America, Greenland, and Russia all staking claims to this emerging trade route. Will America invoke God's blessing while trying to gain control of this territory?

kapokkid eNotes educator| Certified Educator

I would suggest that we don't necessarily feel comfortable openly taking territory from other countries but we aren't shy about trying to get what we want and using whatever means necessary to get it.  So even if we aren't taking over Iraq, we are willing to go to great lengths to get favorable deals on their oil and get American companies in there to profit from its development.

lrwilliams eNotes educator| Certified Educator

I think that Manifest Destiny has transformed into being more about policies than territories. We are not so concerned with occupying other countries, but we do want them to have the same or at least similar policies that we have in the US.

noralone1 | Student

I find it so great that a nation be driven by honorable ideals willing to spread them all over the world seeking man's salvation.But claiming to be morally compelled by God Almighty to kill weaker people and steal their land,This is not the best of America. That looks a little bit odd!!This doesn't look to be the will of  Jehovah or Jesus or Mohammad or Buddha!!America at its best exports freedom and democracy, not death and destruction.One of the shining moments in America's history occurred when the Marshall Plan rebuilt Europe, even the part of Europe that had just tried to kill America. After defeating  enemies, America fed them and then helped to create free societies in which they could thrive. As a result, adversaries were turned  into allies. Contrast this approach with the current situation in Afghanistan and Iraq !!America is a great country when we follow the lead of great people.


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