"Go West Young Man" Horace Greeley

Horace Greeley is often credited with a famous quote actually made by John B. L. Soule. The quote first appeared as the title to the 1851, Terre Haute Express editorial written by Mr. Soule. Along with being wrongly credited to Mr. Greeley, it has also often been misquoted. It was originally written as:

“Go West, young man and grow up with the country.”

PowerPoint for Nov. 16:  Talking about  the  Frontier

We will explore the several rationales for national expansion.  I take the different themes from Albert K Weinberg’s MANIFEST DESTINY (1935).  Weinberg discusses three themes: 1) natural right,  2)  predestination, 3) destined use of the soil, 4) extension of the area of freedom, 5) true title, 6) the mission of regeneration, 7) natural growth, 8) political gravitation, 9) inevitable destiny, 10) the white man’s burden, 11) paramount interest, 12) political affinity, 13) self-defense 14) international  police power, and 15) world leadership.

Use of the soil

What good man would prefer a country covered with forests and ranged by a few thousand savages to our extensive Republic, studded with cities, towns, and prosperous farms embellished with all the improvements which art can devise or industry execute, occupied by more than 12,000,000 happy people, and filled with all the blessings of liberty, civilization and religion?     —– Andrew Jackson, Message to Congress on “Indian Removal,” 1830

Treaties were expedients by which ignorant, intractable, and savage people were induced without bloodshed to yield up what  civilized people had a right to possess by virtue of that command of the Creator delivered to man upon his formation — be fruitful, multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it.  — Governor Geo. R. Gilmer, Georgia, 1830.

Extending the area of freedom

If ours is to be the home of the oppressed, we must extend our territory in latitude and longitude to the demand of the millions who are to follow us, as well as of our own posterity as those who are invited to our peaceful shores to partake in our republican institutions.  — Alexander Duncan, Congressman

Mission of regeneration

Mexico is in a state of suspended animation. She is in fact dead.  She must have resurrection.  She must be electrified — restored.  This American Republic is strong enough to do anything that requires strength.  it is vital enough to inject life even into the dead.   Editorial UNITED STATES DEMOCRATIC REVIEW 1858

Inevitable destiny

This great pressure of a people moving always to new frontiers, in search of new lands, new power, the full freedom of a virgin world, has ruled our course and formed our polices like a Fate.Woodrow Wilson, 1902.

White man’s burden

The [Filipinos] are not capable of self-government.  How could they be?  They are not of a self-governing race.  They are Orientals, Malays, instructed by Spaniards in the latter’s worst estate.  — Albert J. Beveridge.

Oregon and surrounding territories.


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