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Watersheds as Commons: An Introduction

Wed. 4/6 at 8:30am: The idea of Manifest Destiny seeded America's cultural paradigm to such an extent that it contributes to the shaping of policy even today.By 1845, the concept of westward expansion had come to dominate the minds of many. Journalist John O'Sullivan urged that the United States annex Texas because it was "our manifest destiny to overspread the continent allotted by Providence for the free development of our multiplying millions." In other words, it was the divine right of white Anglo-Saxon Protestants to claim the west in the name of democracy.

In this program, we explore the idea of Manifest Destiny, review Thomas Jefferson's vision of America as an agrarian nation, and introduce John Wesley Powell's promotion of watersheds as commonwealths.