Frederick Jackson Turner Courtesy of the Henry E. Huntington Library and Art Gallery, San Marino, Calif.; Whatever the validity of those conflicting views, in the simplest interpretation Manifest Destiny expressed the American version of an age-old yearning for improvement, change, and growth. Manifest destiny is (or was, due to its far greater prevalence in the 19 th century) the idea that the United States had the inherent right to expand all the way to the Pacific Ocean. FREDERICK JACKSON TURNER AND IMPERIALISM 13 identified with his democracy. To a degree unknown among Europeans, Americans do display a restless energy, a versatility, a practical ingenuity, an earthy practicality. McCarthy rejects the romanticized depiction of the West stemming from Frederick Jackson Turner’s “Frontier Thesis” and instead depicts the true brutality of history. But just as imperialism is entwined with nationalism, so Turner himself may have been seized by the same expan-sionist fever of his day - fever that can only be diagnosed as imperialism. Manifest Destiny & Frederick Jackson Turner’s Frontier Thesis Manifest Destiny is a term coined in the 1840s to symbolize the attitude that was prevalent in the 19th Century that emphasized that the United States was capable and destined to stretch from coast to coast.
Frederick Jackson Turner, then, was not far wrong when he maintained that frontiersmen did develop unique traits and that these, perpetuated, form the principal distinguishing characteristics of the American people today. Frederick Jackson Turner (1861-1932) "The existence of an area of free land, its continuous recession, and the advance of American settlement westward explain American development." Inescapable Manifest Destiny Meridian n. point or period of highest development, greatest prosperity, development of power, or the like.