Manifest destiny: the term manifest destiny, coined by john o"sullivan, belongs to the 1840"s (and doesn"t apply to any other time). The first was the materialistic part of it that was to obtain goods and desire for land to increase american trade. The second part was idealistic, spreading republican ism and eliminate monarchies, to spread protestantism and defeat. Catholicism, and for whites to defeat brown (mexicans). It is these characteristics that make manifest destiny only applicable to this time period. An obvious significance of manifest destiny was that it drove. America to obtain almost all of its current westward states. A less obvious but equally or even maybe of greater importance was that manifest destiny is that it was one of the main causes of the civil war. Many historians would argue that if it were not for american expansion west, driven by manifest destiny, then there may have never been any conflict between the north and the south.