Analysis

The ideology of manifest destiny has molded the American people’s perspective about their place in the world. While many Americans believed in manifest destiny there were critics of the ideology. One of the critics was Thomas R. Hietala who argued that “Empire by Design, Not Destiny” (Dennis). Hietala stated that “by joining their concepts of exceptionalism and empire, the expansionists found a rationale for denying to all other nations and peoples, whether strong or weak, any right to any portion of the entire North American continent” (Dennis). The ideology of manifest destiny influenced the United States in many aspects including expansion, economics and war. However, critics argue that Americans were not at all destined by God to create an empire but it was in the way they carried out their actions in each sphere that led them to believe they were destined to create an empire. Throughout the history of the United States the ideology of manifest destiny would influence American exceptionalism and continues to influence it today.