John L. O’Sullivan on Manifest Destiny, 1839

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Answer the following questions in 4-5 sentences for each question based on the reading John L. O’Sullivan on Manifest Destiny, 1839:

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1. In 1839, more than 60 years after the publication of the Declaration of Independence and the start of the American Revolution, political writer John OSullivan describes his view of the American people. What characteristics does he emphasize?

2. What traits does he think make other nations problematic and even doomed? Write down some specific quotations from the article.

3. Describe OSullivans argument about Americas place and influence on the evolution of civilization. In what ways do Americas characteristics indicate the rise of a new world and the demise of the old world? According to him, what was wrong with the old political and social systems that made it likely that they would fail?

4. Compare OSullivans perspective of Americans and the U.S. to Crevecoeurs, which was written nearly 60 years earlier as the American colonies were at war with Great Britain. What similarities do you see?

5. What does it mean to be American today? What promises does it make about rights and duties?

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