“We have no interest in the scenes of antiquity, only as lessons of avoidance of nearly all their examples. The expansive future is our arena, and for our history. We are entering on its untrodden space, with the truths . . . in our minds, beneficent objects in our hearts, and with a clear conscience unsullied by the past. We are the nation of human progress, and who will, what can, set limits to our onward march? Providence is with us, and no earthly power can. We point to the everlasting truth on the first page of our national declaration, and we proclaim to the millions of other lands, that ‘the gates of hell’—the powers of aristocracy and monarchy—‘shall not prevail against it.’
The far-reaching, the boundless future will be the era of American greatness. In its magnificent domain of space and time, the nation of many nations is destined to manifest to mankind the excellence of divine principles; to establish on earth the noblest temple ever dedicated . . .. Its floor shall be a hemisphere—its roof the firmament of the star-studded heavens, and its congregation an Union of many Republics, comprising hundreds of happy millions, calling, owning no man master, but governed by . . . natural and moral law of equality, the law of brotherhood—of ‘peace and good will amongst men.’. . .”
– John L. O'Sullivan on Manifest Destiny, 1839, from "The Great Nation of Futurity," The United States Democratic Review 6:23 pages 426-430.