The anonymous author, thought to be its editor John L.
O'Sullivan, proclaimed "our manifest destiny to overspread the continent allotted by Providence for the free development of our multiplying millions." The specific context of the article was the annexation of Texas, which had taken place not long before.
Other applications of the notion of manifest destiny were soon found.
It was used to promote the annexations of Mexican territory acquired in the Mexican-American War, of territory in Oregon gained through negotiations with the British, and the seizure (not carried out) of Cuba from the Spanish during the 1850's.
The title of numerous Indian tribes to vast tracts of country has been extinguished; new States have been admitted into the Union; new Territories have been created and our jurisdiction and laws extended over them.
As our population has expanded, the Union has been cemented and strengthened.
Manifest Destiny has served as the basis and inspiration for outstanding acts of American unity and nationalism, but it also is responsible for the horrible mistreatment of Native Americans and bloody wars, including the American Civil War.
Although a loose, abstract idea, Manifest Destiny has had an unparalleled effect on the course this great nation has taken.
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.
The philosophical support for manifest destiny was based on the idea that America was destined to expand democratic institutions in North America, which gave the nation a superior moral right to govern areas where other interests would not respect this goal.