Manifest Destiny


US History Age of Jackson and Westward Expansion Manifest Destiny
Students learn about the concept of Manifest Destiny and how it related to America's westward expansion in the mid-1800s. Then, they learn about the Mormon exodus to Utah. Finally, students evaluate the painting "American Progress" and discuss how it depicts the idea of Manifest Destiny.

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Overview

In this experience, students learn about the concept of Manifest Destiny and how it related to America’s westward expansion in the mid-1800s. Then, they learn about the Mormon exodus to Utah. Finally, students evaluate the painting American Progress and discuss how it depicts the idea of Manifest Destiny.

Objectives:

  • Analyze the relationship between the concept of Manifest Destiny and the westward growth of the nation.
  • Explain why the Mormons moved to Utah.


In the nineteenth century, America was expanding. American settlers were moving westward in large numbers. Americans began to believe that it was their “God-given” right to expand westward across the entire country. They believed that the United States of America should stretch from the east coast to the west coast. The phrase “Manifest Destiny” was used by John L. O’Sullivan to describe this newfound attitude about American expansion.

Objectives:

  • Analyze the relationship between the concept of Manifest Destiny and the westward growth of the nation.
  • Explain why the Mormons moved to Utah.
Think about the term Manifest Destiny. What does that mean? Look up the words manifest and destiny and record their definitions in the table below.






Discuss the definitions with students.

Manifest: clear or obvious to the eye or mind

Destiny: the events that will necessarily happen to a particular person or thing in the future.

Mention to students that the term Manifest Destiny was a belief that the expansion of the United States from coast to coast was both justified and inevitable.


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