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Mexican-American War, 1846-1850; Iraq, 2003-present

May 28, 2009
Colombia leads civilisation; natives flee her advance.

John Gast's 1872 painting depicts Colombia (a personification of Ameirca) leading civilisation - enlightenment over (in the picture, literal) darkness, telegraph lines and trains replace barren empty land, and pastoral farm animals replace wild ones; natives flee her unstoppable 'destined' advance. This is Manifest Destiny

“Righteous but ill-informed people of that day sincerely believed their democratic institutions were of such magnificent perfection that no boundaries could contain them. Such a benevolent Creator did not intend such blessings for the few; expansion was a divinely ordered means of extending enlightenment to despot-ridden masses in nearby countries! This was not imperialism, but enforced salvation. So the average American reasoned in the 1840’s when the spirit of manifest destiny was in the air.”
– Westward Expansion, 1949 – Ray Allen Billington

Shock and Awe in Baghdad, 2003

Shock and Awe in Baghdad, 2003

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