153. Our Manifest Destiny: The Underground History of American Education by John Taylor Gatto from archive.org
Our Manifest Destiny
Now the Aryans became the Anglo-Saxons. Endings in Sanskrit, Persian, Greek, Latin, and Germanic showed how these people had moved across the world, said another German researcher, Franz Bopp. By 1820, a Gothic vogue was afoot. Eventhe bare possibility that some of us were offspring of a powerful race out of prehistory inspired enthusiasm, giving credence to the old Puritan notion of "Election," that America had a divine destiny as a people. This incredible Aryan drama, like the notion of evolution a few decades later with which it should be seen in collegial relation, almost instantly began to embody itself in more practical affairs of life.
To New York State University regent John O'Sullivan, Grimm's tale was the long- awaited scientific proof of an American destiny, a Manifest Destiny, as he and innumerable voices that followed were to call it:
The right of our manifest destiny is to overspread and to possess the whole of the continent which Providence has given up for the great experiment.
In 1851, as Moby-Dick was coming off the press with its parable of Ahab, a year after The Scarlet Letter had plumbed the secrets of Puritan society, regent O'Sullivan personally equipped a war vessel for an attack on Cuba. O'Sullivan's Cleopatra was seized in New York harbor as she weighed anchor, disgorging several hundred armed Hungarian and German cutthroats, "Kossuth sympathizers," as the press mistakenly called them. Indeed, the scheme to "liberate" Hungary, nominally under Hungarian aristocrat Lajos Kossuth, had been hatched by the same Zeitgeist and in the same place, New York City. Charged with violating the Neutrality Act of 1818, O'Sullivan beat the rap. Cuba was safe for another forty-seven years until the battleship Maine blew up mysteriously in Havana harbor.
Buried in the indestructible heart of this imported Aryan linguistic romance was ample justification for a national charter of bold expansionism. In spite of the fact that much of the American nation was empty still, it provided an inspiration to empire, as O'Sullivan's abortive sortie demonstrated, a racial mandate to enlarge areas of American influence, just as Aryans once had conquered as far as ambition could carry them. Race was the font of our national greatness. But how to preserve the Great Race from miscegenation? It was a question asked long before Darwin lent the query the authority of official science.