Manifest Destiny to PNAC

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, leads civilization westward with American settlers, stringing telegraph wire as she sweeps west; she holds a school book. The different stages of economic activity of the pioneers are highlighted and, especially, the changing forms of transportation. Native Americans and animals flee in terror.
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, leads civilization westward with American settlers, stringing telegraph wire as she sweeps west; she holds a school book. The different stages of economic activity of the pioneers are highlighted and, especially, the changing forms of transportation. Native Americans and animals flee in terror.

This is the history that the USA school system does not teach, that of Manifest Destiny, before it existed as a coherent thought, and beyond the dawning of that idea to PNAC.


by Jack JC


It is a well recognized fact that the USA achieved its independence from Great Britain in 1776.  The turmoil though, that led up to the revolution, was economic and emotional in origin: economic in that some people were sorely affected by taxation decisions from overseas, emotional in that many people were whipped into a frenzy to achieve the architects desire.  Here is information that I doubt the US texts carry.  In 1763 Canada became a part of of the British Empire after a long and bitter struggle between Britain and France.  In 1766 Sir Guy Carleton, the newly appointed governor of Quebec noted that the Atlantic colonies were close to rebellion and worked diligently to ensure the French population would remain a part of the British Realm, Quebec Act 1776.  This caused considerable discontent among the New Englanders and others who had looked forward to expanding into this very same fertile (hence profitable) territory thus laying one of the seeds of the revolution.

In 1763, as peace was proclaimed between the French and English, feelings between the colonies and England became very strained.  This was due in part to the practice of sending British Governors out to govern the colonies, but also the realization that the colonies no longer needed as much protection against the Natives and French.  Furthermore, the Crown felt it only fair that the colonists should assist in paying for the costs of the war from which they had benefited (in the form of protection), and so introduced the Stamp Act as a means of collecting some of the costs.  This raised the cry of “no taxation without representation”, and other taxes followed to replace the Stamp Act.  King George, despite the situation in America, was too stubborn to institute the third stage of Empire – that would be for a later Monarch.  It should be noted that Spain and France, bent on retention of their own empires, very much supported the US revolution – thus the Americans served as proxy troops for Spanish and French interests in weakening the British Empire.

I should note that the US Constitution enshrines in one document pre-existing rights and freedoms from the British Acts, thus the rebels did not gain any further rights over their British cousins, they replaced several documents; the Magna Carta, Habeas Corpus Act, Bill of Rights, Petition of Rights, Apprentice Act and so many others based on 1,000 years of Anglo-Saxon Jurisprudence with one – the Constitution of the United States.  The US government was still based on the four competing “pillars of power” similar in many ways to the Constitutional Monarchy in Britain.  Exchange a King for President, the House of Lords for a Senate, a Parliament for a House of Representatives, and an armed and free people for an armed and free people.  The similarities are remarkable.  But what is significant is that despite having the same legal rights as a British citizen, there is no evidence I can find of any non-violent legal challenge to the British Courts regarding the US complaints on taxation – that is suspect in my eyes.

Regardless, the revolution sowed the first seeds of Manifest Destiny.  Imagine the fear that the Empire, ¼ the world land mass and 1/5 the world population, might bring to bear the combined weight of the Empire to reabsorb the fledgling USA, what would have happened to all those traitors?  The solution would be to diligently use Britain’s enemies against the Empire to create the seeds of its destruction and a new world order.

But did freedom to speak and believe as one wanted really come to the USA?  It should be noted that Empire Loyalists composed about 1/3 the population of the US, and the US government refused to guarantee their safety so more than 30,000 people were transported to Canada, Great Britain and other parts of the Empire to save them from continued mistreatment at the hands of the Americans.  The British Army did not leave New York till all who wished to leave had shipped out.

The United Empire Loyalists?

It should be considered significant that the War of 1812 was instigated by the Americans in the form of a pre-emptive strike on British interests in North America at the same time that Britain was fighting against Napoleon in Europe.  Napoleon attempted mastery of Europe and the USA assisted Napoleon by diverting British troops critically needed in Europe to North America.  Again, the US served as proxy troops fighting in a European induced war against European interests.  So much for the “Isolationist theory” that you often see permeating the internet.  The war of 1812 ended in two decisive conclusions, the USA would not be reabsorbed into the Empire, and Canada would choose a different path than the USA.

In 1818, the USA pushed Spain out of the Florida’s, ruthlessly punishing any Seminole people who took up the sword to assist the Spanish.  The excuse given by the US troops for the rough treatment was that the Florida’s were part of America and therefore they had a right to expand into them – a philosophical bent peculiar to those purporting to believe in Manifest Destiny.  In 1822 Monroe issued a “doctrine” advising all nations to stay away from “the western hemisphere” essentially claiming it for the USA.  The Monroe Doctrine (1823)

In the 1830’s the first writings on MD appeared, here is a excerpt from O’Sullivan.In this the case is clearly laid by the USA that the USA is “destined” to own all the firmament under the “star studded sky”.  In actual fact, this document is based on a premise that all “white” men are created equal as at the time this was written, slavery in the USA was widely practised.  In essence, therefore the document is based on a lie.

In the 1840’s Manifest Destiny drove the US to declare war on Mexico and wrest most of the southwest USA from them.  Later the 1860’s dragged the USA into the civil war (based on societal tension between the two cultures), here is an interesting article on a forgotten cause of the civil war.  Forgotten Cause of the Civil War  Yet other drivers also existed, mainly constitutional in nature, wherein the South believed that the Constitution was consensual, whereas the North believed it not – thus the North was driven by Manifest Destiny.  Causes of the Civil War

At the time that the Civil War was raging, settlers were heading west in both the USA and Canada.  Both Britain and Canada recognized that Manifest Destiny would drive the US Government north to wrest large sections of western Canada away from British control as there was no force in the Canadian west to anchor that territory.  Enter the North West Mounted Police, two battalions of red clad ex British forces to act as a “Police force” representing British Commonwealth Law, but armed and equipped as light regular cavalry complete with field artillery.  The traditions of the RCMP (descendants of the NWMP) are still heavily drawn from 1860’s British Military drill.

In another series of incidents, the US government supported the Fenian Movement that would later develop into the IRA, a terrorist organization.  There was even covert and tacit support for invasions of British Canada as the Fenian Secretary for War was a US Army Officer, who was ‘removed from the lists’ for the period of the raids.  Fenian Brotherhood

In the 1890’s, war was fomented with Spain, and Cuba cleared of Spanish troops.  In the reparations the USA acquired Puerto Rico, Guam, and the Philippines for a sum of 20 million.  This war, oddly enough was sparked by an insurrection in Cuba, followed by a US warship the “Maine” being destroyed with 260 lives lost….the territorial gain made by the USA was all out of proportion to the cause.  USS Maine Memorial  The Hearst newpapers immediately blamed the Maine’s sinking on the Spanish although both US and Spanish investigations could not prove definitively who caused the explosion.  Later investigations in the 1970’s suggest a coal bunker explosion and not an external mine.  Could Hearst have planned the explosion?

The ceding of the Philippines to the USA, sparked a three year long war between the USA and their previous Philippine allies.  This war was sparked when a US sentry discovered three armed Philippine soldiers on a bridge and fired at them – that was 4 February 1899.  For more information please consult this link…Philippine-American War   It’s dangerous to be an ally of the USA.

In 1914 the Great War started in Europe – that would be the first “war to end all wars” WWI, and the US entry into the war was sparked by the sinking of the Lusitania in 1915, the Sussex pledge of 1916, and German declaration of unrestricted U-Boat activity in 1917.  On 6 April 1917 the USA entered the war on the side of Great Britain and France.  It should be noted though, that US trade with the allies had increased from 825 million in 1914 to 3.2 billion in 1916, and was being secreted across the Atlantic in defiance of the USA’s “neutral” pledge to Germany.  The Lusitania used to bring the US into the war on the allies side really was carrying munitions.  Secret of the Lusitania: Arms find challenges Allied claims it was solely a passenger ship

After WWI, the USA refused to ratify the League of Nations based in Geneva.  Why?  It would be interesting to do a background search on Henry Cabot Lodge and Alfred Beveridge as these two individuals are the two who killed the USA’s entry into the League of Nations – essentially setting the League up for failure, and despite Woodrow Wilson campaigning for it.  Regardless, this ushered in a brief period of US isolationism. WWI

Finally, we come to WWII, the second war to end all wars.  Britain and the Commonwealth forces entered the war early in response to Hitlers annexation of Czechoslovakia in March of 1939 and later invasion of Poland on 1 Sept 1939.  From there, the blitzkrieg spread through Belgium, and France, ending in Britain isolated and alone.  What is little known is US trade with Germany, and the wealthy US financiers who assisted in bringing Hitler to power.  Prescott Bush made a financial killing bankrolling Hitler, as did other US families – major financial feeds that led into the beginning WWII.  It should be noted that is is entirely possible that the US bankrolled Hitler with the intent of causing WWII, but had to step in when Hitler was too successful.  A “brush war” in Europe would have been very expensive for the participants and reduced the international effectiveness of at least three international “Imperial” countries.  By feeding the war and remaining neutral the USA could feed arms to both sides.

During the early days of WWII, Britain, with the Commonwealth not quite hitting full war time production, entered into the Lease-Lend Act.  The one side of Lease-lend that most people don’t know is the absolutely crippling effects on the British economy from 1944 till the 70’s.  Lease-lend was a deal from hell for the British, and one could surmise was dangled in front of a desperate Empire to bring them to their knees – by the way, the number the US congress gave the act could be significant in suggesting that – 1776.  In essence, the Act gave Britain much needed military gear at the expense of bases around the globe on a 100 year lease thus reducing British military presence and protection of her colonies.  Furthermore, it prevented the export from Britain of any goods that were imported via this act until the debt was repaid; thus machine parts and tools, weapons, food, etc could not be exported from a country that was once a world wide hub of commerce.  The dawn of American world expansion and military hegemony had come!

Many will claim that the USA would enter the war as a result of a sneak attack on Pear Harbour, there is, however, other information that does lend one to question.  On 16 October 1941 the Stimson diary notes “make sure that Japan was put into the wrong and made the first bad move”.  Also, a prior warning of Japanese intention had been received on 12 Dec 1937 with the USS Panay incident.  Other items to note are that the Japanese did present proposals to avoid war, including a plan to leave Indochina if oil trade would resume with Japan.  Although there is no doubt that the Japanese occupation forces were brutal far to excess, one must further question why, when adequate warning was given, were the orders to “tighten security” at US bases so poorly written?  It’s as if the US government wanted a disaster to simplify their entry into the war.  Here is a chronological link that will prove most interesting for those who like to see a larger picture.  Chronology of World War II

It should also be noted that the UN was born of WWII with a headquarters in New York.  Apparently when the head office of an International Organization is on US territory it is considered appropriate for the US to become a member.  With the fall of the Japanese Empire and the Third Reich the stage was set for the rise of Communism as the next major threat – welcome the McCarthy Era. COINTELPRO: The Untold American Story

With Communism as the next major obstacle to world domination it should be obvious that containment of Communism would be attempted: outright assault would be too costly for either system.  The Korean War started in 1950.  In 1910 the Japanese had overrun Korea, and during WWII, US forces had cleared the southern part (up to the 38th parallel) while USSR forces had cleared the northern portion of Japanese troops.  The USSR then posted Kim Il Sung as the leader in the North, while the US replaced a left leaning government in the south (formed June 1945) with an “elected” government led by Syngman Rhee.  Division of Korea  The USSR encouraged Kim Il Sung to embark on a massive troop buildup and on 25 June 1950 Kim Il Sung crossed the 38th parallel.  The Korean War was on and ROK troops were rapidly shattered as North Korean troops pushed south – the reunification process had begun.  The UNSC was being boycotted by the USSR due to the exclusion of the Peoples Republic of China (the Republic of China was included instead ie, Taiwan), and so the US and other members of the UNSC were able to push through a “police resolution” drawing US and Commonwealth forces into the conflict.  As the war raged on, the PRC stated that any US advance north of the 38th, a boundary that the USA had only considered “temporary” anyway, would be considered an act of aggression.  On 7 October 1950 US forces exceeded the Chinese limitation, and China entered the war.

To explain China’s response to the Korean War, as a result of imbalanced trade with Britain, where gold and silver flowed east and silk and china flowed west, Britain instituted the Opium wars, resulting in the Boxer Rebellion and later fall of the Qing Dynasty.  The western powers, USA, Britain, France, and Germany made agreements to carve China up into protectorates and were on the path to doing so with the Kuomintang government.  With the invasion of Japan in the 1920’s, the rise of Communism under Mao Zedong and the later victory of the Chinese Communist party China was saved the embarrassment of being carved up by the western powers.  The borders were slammed shut, press ganging and “shanghaiing” were stopped, the opium trade was halted, and Chinese culture was saved.

The Chinese, after the treatment they had received at the hands of western powers, had every reason to avoid a US controlled Korea.  Korea was actually a success for the People’s Liberation Army as for the first time in 100 years, a Chinese army faced down and held their own against western forces during a conflict.  Wikipedia has an excellent entry on this war.  Korean war

But what about this Joe McCarthy?  The fellow who had led such a campaign against Communists, and damaged so many reputations and careers?  A very interesting read, and it appears his hands were firmly in the pockets of a group of companies.  USA McCarthy

From the 1950’s on, the struggle between Communism and US Capitalism was fought across the globe by proxy troops, each supplied by their respective masters.  In the end, US Capitalism came to outlast Communism with the fall of the Berlin Wall in the 1989.  I will not consider the very important Vietnam War because the seeds of that war were laid with the advent of McCarthyism and the rise of an industro-military complex within the USA.

Established in spring of 1997, PNAC echoed into a mission statement the words spoken by John O’Sullivan in the 1830’s…that it was the manifest destiny of the USA to rule the world.

About PNAC

A version of this article was first published in the Truthout Town Forum.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Jack JC,  is a reserve Officer in a NATO aligned country, he has a Bachelors Degree in Mechanical Engineering and an interest in the strategic effects history and culture bring to present geo-political affairs.  As an international travelor he has friends and family serving in both NATO and non-NATO countries and would prefer that his friends and family in both camps not kill each other.  He has operated at senior corporate levels of management, and has developed equipment for both civilian and military use.


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Jack JC, is a reserve Officer in a NATO aligned country, he has a Bachelors Degree in Mechanical Engineering and an interest in the strategic effects history and culture bring to present geo-political affairs. As an international traveler he has friends and family serving in both NATO and non-NATO countries and would prefer that his friends and family in both camps not kill each other. He has operated at senior corporate levels of management, and has developed equipment for both civilian and military use.