"...It is confidently believed that our system may be safely extended to the
utmost bounds of our territorial limits, and that as it shall be extended  the
bonds of our
Union, so far from being weakened, will become stronger..."

 ~ From the inaugural address of James K. Polk,  11th President (1845-49)

John Gast - "American Progress," (1872)


"...To state the truth at once in its neglected simplicity, we are free to say that were the respective cases and arguments of the two parties, as to all these points of history and law, reversed - had England all ours, and we nothing but hers - our claim to Oregon would still be best and strongest. And that claim is by the right of our manifest destiny to overspread and to possess the whole of the continent which Providence has given us for the development of the great experiment of liberty and federated self-government entrusted to us."

~  John L. O' Sullivan, "Manifest Destiny" editorial, New York Morning News on December 27, 1845

Westward the Course of Empire Takes Its Way (mural study, U.S. Capitol)
Emanuel Gottlieb Leutze (1816 - 1868)


"This dramatic image of westward expansion is a study for a mural in the United States Capitol, one of the most ambitious statements of cultural nationalism during the mid-nineteenth century. Leutze combined pioneer men and women, mountain guides, wagons, and mules to suggest a divinely ordained pilgrimage to the Promised Land of the western frontier. In the border, medallion portraits of explorers Captain William Clark and Daniel Boone flank a vista of the San Francisco Bay -- the ultimate western destination. Above, a bald eagle holds a scroll on which is lettered Westward the Course of Empire Takes Its Way -- while Native Americans escape in a maze of winding plant tendrils."

Source: "The Mythic Landscape", Panoramas; The North American Landscape in Art

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