The American identity is shaped by the decidedly fraternal twinship (they are most decidedly not identical though perhaps might well be conjoined) of divine purpose and economic superiority. Perhaps nothing reveal the depths to which this trust in the economic sanctity of Manifest Destiny was conferred upon America in the name of the Judeo-Christian supreme being as clearly as the publication of a questionably legal codification of statutes by which miners were expected to behave in the Placerville Herald in 1853. Forget the Constitution; to be assured that everyone understood just how implacable these guidelines for a lawful conduct would be, they were framed in the style of the Biblical laws handed down directly from God to Moses.Manifest Destiny in its most elevated state of meaning is shorthand for America’s willingness to look the other way when spreading the gospel of democracy westward, indigenous people be damned. The spirit of the American Revolution somehow managed to transform the enemy of colonial insurrection from the civilized and daintily attired European aristocrats into the less civilized non-Anglo indigenous peoples to the West, South and far East and south, be they equally well-attired like the Pio Pico family or barely indistinguishable from one another like the similarly-dressed Chinese immigrants.
The cold harsh reality of Manifest Destiny as seen in the reflection of the glittery gold nuggets existing mostly in the minds of those who migrated west to reap the advantages of its potential offers a much clearer and darker picture. At every turn, the United States position toward California as a goal of Manifest Destiny is firmly and even severely couched in the basest of economic terms.
From the reactions to the Bear Flag Revolt to the passage of the Gwin Act to displacement of individual miners by institutionalized hydraulic mining and right down to the unpleasant truth that most women who made it to wild west of gold rush California were there strictly for capitalist purposes all reveals that the lofty democratic ideals of Manifest Destiny are really just a smokescreen for economic empowerment for the haves at the expense of the have-nots.
In a remarkably short period of time, the California Gold Rush of 1849 went from being an organic representation of genuine democratic ideals at work into a foreboding foreshadowing of the country’s transformation from a faux-democratic republican experiment in governance to a plutocracy run by wealthy industrialists whose dream of expansion had far less to do with extending right and power to the masses than with sustaining their own dreams of a government greased by a never-ending speculative fever dream of gold rushes.

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