How did the notion of "manifest destiny" figure into the gold rush?

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There're plenty of parties who had it in their own personal best interest to see the miners take off for California. Certainly what we would call today travel agents, people booking passage head for California, steamers setting sail from the ports along the east coast certainly promoted the glory and the ideal of a perfect experience in the west. Land of riches. All you need to do is get on board and do it now. Manifest destiny was both a personal calling and a national creed. It was a theory, but it was also a strong belief that people not only should but ought to be out west seeking their personal fortunes, their personal manifest destiny but also in a sense, from the political angle, from the news accounts they read, from the advertising a national responsibility to travel the country, to civilize it, to make it their own, so it's a very important time for that; 1845, before the gold rush, this notion of manifest destiny emerges but there's nothing like the gold rush to really make it appear to be a reality. I'm reminded of the fact that it continues, this notion of manifest destiny. President Reagan said that he believed that the United States is the last best hope of man on earth. If that isn't manifest destiny, I don't know what is, so this idea that we are somehow ordained to manage this land for the sake of the world, to take our place in it and our piece of it is perhaps undying.


Interview with David Shayt, National Museum of American History, May 31, 2006.