What Is the Significance of Manifest Destiny?

By Staff WriterLast Updated Apr 13, 2020 10:12:15 AM ET

According to PBS.org, Manifest Destiny was significant to the expansion of the United States in the 19th century. It was the primary force that caused the United States to expand west across North America. To Americans, expansion offered self-advancement, self-sufficiency, income and freedom.

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Manifest Destiny was the belief by Anglo-Saxon Americans that it was the destiny, or the mission, of the United States to expand across North America and impart idealism in institutions that were capable of self-government. This expansion process excluded any institutions or people incapable of self-government such as Native Americans. Without Manifest Destiny, the United States would not have reached its current size; however, the expansion had a serious impact on Native Americans. As a result of Manifest Destiny, Native Americans lost all of their land.