This term, which may have originated with John L. O’Sullivan’s 1839 treatise Manifest Destiny, refers to a concept that is a basic subtext of all Westerns from the classic and silent eras: that because the United States was blessed and chosen by God to be a blessed nation, it was manifestly destined to march forth across the entire continent and transform the frontier from red savagery to white civilization. In virtually every instance of cinema contact between Native Americans and whites prior to Dances with Wolves(1990), it is assumed that the whites are right in subduing and displacing the Native Americans. Any character who aids Native Americans in their fight against whites is considered an evil person of the worst sort. Thus, gunrunners, as in The Plainsman (1936), They Died with Their Boots On (1941), or The Man from Laramie (1955), are automatically seen as despicable, while the white cavalry with its abundance of weaponry is hailed as heroic.

Historical Dictionary of Westerns in Cinema. . 2012.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Manifest Destiny —   [ mænɪfest destɪni, englisch], Schlagwort, 1845 im »United States Magazine and Democratic Review« von dessen Herausgeber John Louis O Sullivan geprägt: die nach amerikanischem Verständnis »offenbare Bestimmung« der Nordamerikaner, sich über den …   Universal-Lexikon

  • manifest destiny — n. A policy of imperialism rationalized as inevitable (as if granted by God). [WordNet 1.5] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Manifest Destiny — ☆ Manifest Destiny n. the 19th cent. doctrine postulating the continued territorial expansion of the U.S. as its obvious destiny: term current during the annexation of territories in the Southwest and Northwest and of islands in the Pacific and… …   English World dictionary

  • Manifest Destiny — For other uses, see Manifest Destiny (disambiguation). This painting (circa 1872) by John Gast called American Progress, is an allegorical representation of the modernization of the new west. Here Columbia, a personification of the United States …   Wikipedia

  • Manifest Destiny —    A slogan of American territorial expansion that was coined in the 1840s. Justi ficatory rhetoric throughout the continental expansion of the United States was clothed in various garbs, of which Manifest Destiny is the best known, and to invoke …   Encyclopedia of the Age of Imperialism, 1800–1914

  • Manifest Destiny — Der Fortschritt Amerikas (John Gast), (ca. 1872). Allegorische Darstellung des Manifest Destiny. Die Figur Columbia personifiziert die USA, die den amerikanischen Siedlern das Licht der „Zivilisation“ nach Westen trägt, und Indianer und wilde… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Manifest Destiny — Destinée manifeste Cette œuvre, peinte vers 1872 par John Gast intitulée American Progress est une représentation allégorique de la « Destinée manifeste ». Dans cette scène, une femme angélique (parfois identifiée comme Columbia, la… …   Wikipédia en Français

  • manifest destiny — noun a policy of imperialism rationalized as inevitable (as if granted by God) • Hypernyms: ↑imperialism * * * ↑manifest destiny * * * manifest destiny [manifest destiny] noun [U] a phrase much used in 19th century America t …   Useful english dictionary

  • Manifest Destiny — the belief or doctrine, held chiefly in the middle and latter part of the 19th century, that it was the destiny of the U.S. to expand its territory over the whole of North America and to extend and enhance its political, social, and economic… …   Universalium

  • manifest destiny — noun Usage: often capitalized M&D Date: 1845 a future event accepted as inevitable < in the mid 19th century expansion to the Pacific was regarded as the Manifest Destiny of the United States >; broadly an ostensibly benevolent or necessary… …   New Collegiate Dictionary

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