Manifest Destiny

(July 15-20, 2012) — A six-day conference to Santa Fe, N.M., co-sponsored by the McConnell Center and Liberty Fund, Inc.
When Jul 15, 2012 12:00 AM to
Jul 20, 2012 12:00 AM
Where Santa Fe, New Mexico
Contact Name
Contact Phone 502-852-3947
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Application – now closed


Kentucky social studies teachers grades 5-12 are eligible to apply. Preference will be given to teachers who have not participated in a McConnell Center professional development opportunity.

The United States has long viewed itself as a nation with a unique place in human history, occupying the role of a nation that both maintains and promotes the values and possibilities of human liberty. However, the goal of maintaining a free and responsible polity can, on occasion, be at odds with the political goals associated with a specific foreign policy or efforts at national growth.

In the 19th century, the United States engaged in a number of wars and military engagements that led to significant increases in the size and wealth of the nation. The expansion of the United States was described by its supporters as fulfilling America‟s “manifest destiny” to control much of the entire continent of North America.

This conference for Kentucky civics teachers will consider the issue of America’s so-called “manifest destiny” in the 19th century. How does a nation incorporate new people and vast amounts of new land while also preserving and promoting ideas of liberty? Is such growth consistent with the United States Constitution?

Covered Expenses

  • round trip airfare to Santa Fe, New Mexico
  • double room accommodations
  • all meals during the Institute
  • all conference readings and other educational resources
  • all transportation and admission fees associated with group travel during the Institute

Conference Topics

  • The Louisiana Purchase
  • The Webster/Hayne Debate
  • Texas, California and the War with Mexico
  • Making the World Safe for Democracy

Conference Discussion Leaders

  • Brad Birzer, PhD is Russell Amos Kirk Chair in American Studies, Professor of History and Director of the Program in American Studies at Hillsdale College.
  • Ken Grasso, PhD is a professor of political science at Texas State University, San Marcos.