Manifest Destiny meant that the move westward was bound to happen, so American thinkers all had their own opinions on the idea of westward expansion, and their own ways of portraying their ideas. Thinkers portrayed their ideas through art, letters, and speeches, all of which proved to be very effective. American thinkers justified westward expansion by using the idea of divine providence, the opportunities of going west, and for the growing population.
The growing population of the United States proved to be a factor in the expansion westward. John L. O’ Sullivan, an influential journalist, stated, “by Providence for the free development of our yearly multiplying millions,” (SH3) which means that the population is set to be growing at millions at a time. O’ Sullivan believes that European Immigrants will be coming to the United States yearly, so in order to be able to take in large amounts of people, the United States needs to expand westward and get more land, no matter what it takes. Another way thinkers justified expansion was by using Divine Providence. John Quincy Adams, a known President of the United States, stated in a letter to his father, “North America appears to be destined by Divine Providence…” (SH2) Divine Providence means that God is intervening with the universe. John Quincy Adams is saying that America is destined by the power of God to move westward. God is all powerful, so he must know what is the right thing to do for the greater good of the nation. Lastly, thinkers justified expansion by using the government policy of manifest destiny. Government officials started to do whatever it took to move westward, even if it meant going to war or killing Native Americans. Frederick Jackson Turner, a historian, stated in an article, “The farmers had met Indians armed with guns.” (SH5) Since the farmers had guns on what they thought was their land, most likely the Native Americans were killed. The United States even went to war with Mexico, in order to win more land to expand the nation. The Government had it’s mind set on expanding the United States.