Manifest Destiny

“His glory is like the firstling of his bullock, and his horns are like the horns of unicorns. With them he shall push the people together to the ends of the earth; and they are the ten thousands of Ephraim, and they are the thousands of Manasseh” Deuteronomy 33:17

Manifest Destiny

Manifest destiny was a widely held American imperialist cultural belief popular in the 19th-century United States. It claimed that American settlers were destined to expand across North America. Like the Massachusetts Puritans who hoped to build a “city upon a hill, “courageous pioneers believed that America had a divine obligation to stretch the boundaries of their noble republic to the Pacific Ocean. Newspaper editor John O’Sullivan coined the term “manifest destiny” in 1845 to define the essence of this mindset.

The religious settlers believed that God himself blessed the growth of the American nation. The Native Americans were considered heathens. By Christianizing the tribes, American missionaries believed they could save souls and they are among the first to cross the Mississippi River.

Economic motives were paramount for others. The fur trade had been dominated by European trading companies since colonial times. German immigrant John Jacob Astor was one of the first American entrepreneurs to challenge the Europeans. He became a millionaire in the process. The desire for more land brought aspiring homesteaders to the frontier. When gold was discovered in California in 1848, the number of migrants increased rapidly.
There are three fundamental themes to manifest destiny:

1. The special virtues of the American people and their institutions;
2. The mission to redeem and to remake the west in the image of the United States; and
3. A revered duty under God to accomplish this divine obligation.

At the heart of manifest destiny was this pervasive belief in American cultural and racial superiority. Native Americans had long been perceived as inferior, and efforts to “civilize” them had been widespread since the days of John Smith and Miles Standish. The Hispanics who ruled Texas and the lucrative ports of California were also seen as “backward.”

Image result for “City upon a Hill”The origin of the first theme, known later as American exceptionalism, was traced back to America’s Puritan heritage, particularly John Winthrop’s famous “City upon a Hill” sermon of 1630, in which he called for the establishment of a virtuous community that would be a shining example to the Old World. In his influential 1776 pamphlet Common Sense, Thomas Paine echoed this conviction, arguing that the American Revolution provided an opportunity to create a new and better society.

“We have it in our power to begin the world over again. A situation, similar to the present, hath not happened since the days of Noah until now. The birthday of a new world is at hand …”

Many Americans agreed with Paine, and came to believe that the United States’ virtue was a result of its special experiment in freedom and democracy. Thomas Jefferson, in a letter to James Monroe, wrote, “it is impossible not to look forward to distant times when our rapid multiplication will expand itself beyond those limits, and cover the whole northern, if not the southern continent.” To Americans in the decades that followed their proclaimed freedom for mankind described as the inauguration of “a new time scale” because the world would look back and define history as events that took place before and after the Declaration of Independence. It followed that Americans owed to the world an obligation to expand and preserve these beliefs.

Image result for “City upon a Hill”The origin for the second theme is less clear. A popular expression of America’s mission was put forth by President Abraham Lincoln’s message to Congress on December 1, 1862 where he described the United States as “the last, best hope of Earth.” The “mission” of the United States was further expounded during Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address, in which he interpreted the American Civil War as a struggle to determine if any nation with democratic ideals could survive; this has been called by historian Robert Johannsen “the most enduring statement of America’s Manifest Destiny and mission.”

The third theme can be viewed as a natural outgrowth of the belief that God had a direct influence in the foundation and actions of the United States. Clinton Rossiter, a scholar, summed this up “that God, at the proper stage in the march of history, called forth certain hardy souls from the old and privilege-ridden nations … and that in bestowing his grace He also bestowed a peculiar responsibility.” Americans presupposed that they were not only divinely elected to maintain the North American continent, but also to “spread abroad the fundamental principles stated in the Bill of Rights.” In many cases, this meant neighboring colonial holdings and countries were seen as obstacles to the destiny that God had provided for the United States.

One inherent influence is racial predominance, namely the idea that the American Anglo-Saxon race was “separate, innately superior,” “destined to bring good government, commercial prosperity and Christianity to the American continents and the world,” and that “inferior races were doomed to subordinate status or extinction.” This was used to justify “the enslavement of the blacks and the expulsion and possible extermination of the Indians.”

During this time, the United States expanded to the Pacific Ocean — “from sea to shining sea” — defining the borders of the contiguous United States as of today. Americans continued that debate; some have interpreted their acquisition of other Pacific island groups in the 1890s as an extension of manifest destiny over the Pacific Ocean, such as defeating imperial Spain and annexing Puerto Rico, Hawaii, Guam and the Philippines. Others began to see ahead the beginning of a new providential mission: If the United States was successful as a “shining city upon a hill,” people in other countries would seek to establish their own democratic republics. Thus after WWII, Japan, South Korea, and various Southeast Asian countries were added.

See the source imageWith the end of the Cold War in 1989 and the subsequent collapse of the Soviet Union two years later, the United States emerged as the most powerful state on the planet. Eureka! Finally, the United States is known as the “Indispensable Nation.”

Madeleine Albright, then secretary of state, began using this phrase often: “But if we have to use force, it is because we are America; we are the indispensable nation. We stand tall and we see further than other countries into the future,” she said. Overwhelming arrogance within this foreign policy elites has cost America thousands of lives and trillions of dollars, while killing hundreds of thousands of foreigners and ravaging foreign nations: Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya, Yemen, Syria, but she added: “Only the United States had the power to guarantee global security: without our presence or support, multilateral endeavors would fail.”

See the source image

The rise of China appears to be changing this situation, however, because this development has the potential to fundamentally alter the structure of the international system. If the Chinese economy continues to grow at a brisk pace in the next few decades, the United States will once again face a peer competitor. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, from the podium at the Richard Nixon Presidential Library and Museum in Yorba Linda, California, laid out in no uncertain terms with China what the administration wanted to do and how it planned to go about accomplishing its ambitious aims. America, the secretary of state said, has effectively ditched five decades of “engagement” policy and is now embracing a policy now out of favor across the American policy establishment: regime change.

Pompeo repeated the Trump’s administration’s mantra that “the engagement strategy” — which he credits Nixon for launching — has been a total failure because it “presumed that as China became more prosperous, it would become freer at home, and friendlier abroad” and “has not brought the kind of change in China that President Nixon hoped to induce.” Since 2001, the false premise of Gordon Chang’s “The Coming Collapse of China” hasn’t happened, giving rise to consternation and fear among those who love liberal democracies.

Setting Pompeo loose on the concept of ‘human rights’ is a warning the US is about to violate a lot more of them“It’s time,” Pompeo said, “It’s time for free nations to act.” Pompeo’s malicious speech caps upon a series of other remarks that highlighted American current foreign policy: two addresses from Vice President Mike Pence, in October 2018 and a year later, one from Pompeo last October; and three speeches in June to August from National Security Advisor Robert O’Brien, FBI Director Christopher Wray, and Attorney General William Barr.

But President Donald Trump’s “new China strategy,” according to Zack Cooper of the American Enterprise Institute, is, like Russia, a “riddle,” a “mystery,” and an “enigma.” It has hit a hard rock. In fact it strikes back! “China won’t tolerate being suppressed by the US in the battlefield of ideology” the Global Times wrote in response to Trump’s repeated stigma to COVID-19 as the “Chinese virus,” the “China virus,” or even the “kung flu” virus.

Nancy Pelosi also hit back, showing cracks within, calling the coronavirus “Trump Virus” in a CNN Interview. Trump, ever so eager to appear tough on China heading into his reelection campaign, where he is polling well behind rival Joe Biden, said: “China is stealing from us,” he claimed. The US’s investigation into China’s intellectual property theft has alleged that “Chinese theft of American IP currently costs between $225 billion and $600 billion annually.”

Image result for Joseph GoebbelsThe Trump administration has coerced one ally, the United Kingdom, into barring Huawei from its 5G network. “The tide is turning and we are winning,” Pompeo repeatedly reassuring himself, calling Chinese President Xi Jinping “a true believer in a bankrupt totalitarian ideology,” whose goal was “global hegemony built on Chinese Communism.” And as he headed to the UK, Denmark and Germany he emphasized to his European counterparts that “the West is winning” against China’s threat to the free peoples around the world. “I’m happy to report that the death of the transatlantic alliance is grossly exaggerated,” Pompeo said. “The West is winning, and we’re winning together.”

But China hit back, calling Pompeo “Hitler’s propaganda chief Joseph Goebbels” where the propagandist famously said: “Always accuse your enemies of what you are doing yourself.” China certainly doesn’t want a war, and China claimed under no circumstances would their military fire the first shot, the Global Times opined those in power. But China will be well prepared to fire a second shot in response to the first shot. On core interests, China will not back off; its stance is clear. If any of China’s core interests is infringed, a skirmish is certain to get out of control.

So there is a standoff.

See the source imageBut the propaganda war continues as Pompeo warned all US’s allies that if other nations didn’t push back against Communist China then it would “change” the free world. “The old paradigm of blind engagement with China had failed,” he said. America and its allies need to set a new course: “if we want to have a free 21st century, we must induce China to change in more creative and assertive ways, because Beijing’s actions threaten our people and our prosperity.” As the division is perceived only as between freedom and tyranny, Pompeo’s underlying fear that China will strike back is well ingrained into his psych for he concluded with this warning: “The free world must triumph over this new tyranny,” he warned. “If the free world doesn’t change Communist China, Communist China will surely change us.”

“Woe to the crown of pride, to the drunkards of Ephraim, whose glorious beauty is a fading flower, which is on the head of the fat valleys of them that are overcome with wine!” Isaiah 28:1

More about Ephraim, click HERE, HERE and HERE


~ by Joel Huan on August 17, 2020.

One Response to “Manifest Destiny”

  1. […] See another study on Manifest Destiny […]

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