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Although the term was not coined until much later, the idea of manifest destiny sailed to the current United States of America with Christopher Columbus and the first settlers in the early 17th century. Historians base its origins in Imperialism and the belief that expanding a nation's boundaries was not only inevitable but also God's will. Manifest destiny was a precursor to the U.S.-Mexican War, the relocation of Native Americans, and even served as a prelude to the Civil War. Its basic beliefs and concepts continue to shape life in the U.S., even today.

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1. John L. O’Sullivan Coins the Phrase

Author John L. O'Sullivan used the term "manifest destiny" in 1845 during the Texas annexation in an article in the Democratic Review and the United States Magazine. Conquering North America, expansionism, and enlightenment of native peoples from the Atlantic to the Pacific were the cornerstones of this ideology. O'Sullivan used the idea in his argument for annexing Texas as well as to argue against European interference.

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