U.s. News And Democratic Review

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"Manifest Destiny"

(Magill's Quotations in Context)

Context: In 1837, John O'Sullivan and S. D. Langtree founded in Washington the U.S. News and Democratic Review (better known as the Democratic Review) as a mouthpiece for nationalism. They predicted the expansion of the United States to include Mexico and Cuba. In 1841, O'Sullivan bought out his partner and moved the publication to New York. In a six-page patriotic article, "Annexation," the editor opened the seventeenth volume, with an appeal to his countrymen to forget the dissention that discussions of the annexation of Texas had caused between friends and foes of slavery. Now that the Texas Congress and Convention had accepted the proffered invitation by the United States to join the Union, annexation had come about. "Her star and her stripe may already be said to have taken their place in the glorious blazon of our common nationality. She comes within the dear and sacred designation of Our Country." So let opposition cease. If there must be party differences, let them grow out of other problems. O'Sullivan reminds his readers that the move was not one of spoliation or revenge against Mexico. Nor was it a military conquest or territorial aggrandizement at the expense of justice. Objections by England or France are to be disregarded. Because of the acts and faults of Mexico. Texas had become free, and by the great divine plan was fated to become part of the United States. From early times, people believed that God or Providence looked after the development of nations. The British sovereigns were such "by the grace of God," and during the Revolution, countless divines in the Colonies proclaimed Americans to be God's chosen people. It was the fate or destiny of a nation to achieve whatever success came to it. So Lowell could write of "the destiny of the free republics of America," and Churchill could extend the idea to "the destiny of mankind," controlled by something beyond space and time. Even the homespun philosopher "Josh Billings" (1818–1885) wrote an entire article on "Manifest Destiny," which he defined as "the science ov going tew bust or enny other place before yer get there." O'Sullivan saw the...

(The entire section is 543 words.)