1820s - Continentalism

Continentalism was an early, loosely defined form of Manifest Destiny, the 'doctrine' that would emerge 25 years later and galvanized the nation's imagination

         Continentalism, a political doctrine that was in vogue in the early 1800s  among expansionist politicians, held that the United State's should expand its boundaries to the Pacific Ocean.  In contrast with Manifest Destiny, Continentalism was a secular notion whose advocates believed that the United States would one day spread south through Mexico and beyond.  In the early 1800s, expanding the nation to the Pacific Ocean was considered very radical by mainstream citizens and politicians.  A generation later, Manifest Destiny would transform a nation of provincial outposts into a continental empire.