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Goal #2 Expansion. How did the forces of expansion impact the nation 1801-1850?. Expansion is……. Process of enlargement Process of increasing, or increasing something in size, extent, scope, or number

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Goal #2 Expansion

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Goal #2 Expansion

How did the forces of expansion impact the nation 1801-1850?

Expansion is……

  • Process of enlargement

  • Process of increasing, or increasing something in size, extent, scope, or number

  • Growth by land acquisition: the increase of a country’s size by the acquisition of new territory

Reasons for Westward migration

  • 1800 387,000 white settlers west of the Appalachian Mountains

  • 1820, 2.4 million

  • Settlers migrated West for:

    • Religious freedom

    • An opportunity to own land

John L. O’Sullivan/Manifest Destiny

  • 1845, John Louis O’Sullivan, magazine editor coined the term Manifest Destiny

  • God had given the continent to Americans and wanted them to settle western land


  • First to arrive in the West took the fertile land on rich river bottom and fertile woodlands

  • Squatters settled land they did not own

  • The government wanted to survey the land and then sell off large parcels to real estate companies

  • Squatters wanted to buy directly from the government

The Preemption Act of 1830

  • Under pressure Congress passed the Preemption Act in 1830

  • A renewable law made permanent in 1841

  • The law granted protection to squatters

  • Allowed them the right to claim land before it was surveyed and the right to buy up to 160 acres for $1.25 an acre

Jethro Wood and John Deere

  • Early farmers used wooden plows to break the sod and roots of the Mid-West

  • Jethro Wood patented an iron plow in 1819

  • John Deere developed a plow with sharp steel-edged blades in 1837

  • The new plows cut the labor in half required to prepare one acre for farming

Cyrus McCormick

  • Cyrus McCormick developed a mechanical reaper in 1834

  • Grain now harvested with a machine instead of by hand with a sickle or scythe

  • The reaper was pulled by horses or mules

  • Allowed the harvest of more grain with less effort

Why were the Great Plains ignored?

  • Settlers who came later went to California or Oregon

  • Many believed the Great Plains contained poor soil unsuitable for farming

  • Called the “Great Desert”

The Division of Oregon

  • Other nations, Native Americans, and the United States claimed parts of Oregon and California

  • In Oregon the United States and Great Britain competed for ownership

  • An agreement in 1818 resulted in both jointly occupying Oregon and to settle the dispute at a later date

The impact of missionaries on Oregon

  • Late 1830s American missionaries went to Oregon to convert Native Americans

  • The missionaries spread the word about Oregon, wrote letters sent back East about the beauty of the territory

  • The missionaries had a great influence on the migration of easterners to the Willamette Valley

Efforts by Mexico to populate California

  • 1821, Mexico gains independence from Spain

  • Mexico controlled a large geographic area, including California

  • California far from the center of government in Mexico City

  • Local California government encouraged foreign settlement, could not attract emigrants from Mexico

  • 1839, to attract more settlers Governor Alvarado granted 50,000 acres to a German immigrant, John Sutter

  • Sutter built a trading post and cattle ranch

  • Sutter’s Fort the first stopping point for Americans when they reached California

  • 1845, 200 plus Americans settled in California

Trails West

  • The trails west started in the East and were very dangerous

  • The first trailblazers were “mountain men”, Kit Carson and Jim Bridger who trapped beaver in the Rocky Mountains, had knowledge of the territory and the Native Americans

  • 1840s, the mountain men found or created several passages through the mountains that would play and important role in the settlement of the west

  • The most popular routes

    • The Oregon Trail

    • The California Trail

    • The Santa Fe Trail

    • The Mormon Trail

Wagon Trains

  • The journey West made in covered wagons

  • Prior to the start of the journey, the wagon trains assembled at staging areas outside of frontier towns

  • Families traded information about the routes, bought supplies, trained oxen, and learned how to handle the wagons that were prone to roll over

  • First wagon trains hired mountain men as guides

  • After the trails were well worn, overlanders used guide books written by earlier migrants

  • On occasion the information in the books were incorrect

  • 1846 Donner Party was trapped in the Sierra Nevada Mountains due to snow

  • 41 died of starvation

  • Some that survived resorted to cannibalism

  • The trip West took 5-6 months

  • Covered about 15 miles a day

  • Men drove the wagons, hunted game, cared for the animals at night

  • Women tended the children, cooked, cleaned and washed clothes

Migrating Settlers and Native Americans

  • Early settlers feared Indian attack

  • Encounters with Native Americans rare

  • Between 1840-1860, 362 emigrants died at the hands of Native Americans and emigrants killed 426 Native Americans

  • Native Americans often provided emigrants with food, information about routes, edible plants , and water sources

  • Native Americans traded fresh horses for cotton clothing and ammunition

Migration as a threat to Native Americans

  • More settlers cross the Great Plains, Native Americans saw immigration as a threat to their way of life

  • The Sioux, Cheyenne, Arapaho, and other tribes depended on the buffalo for food, clothing, shelter, and tools

  • Native Americans afraid the flow of settlers across hunting grounds would disrupt the migration patterns of the buffalo herds

The Treaty of Fort Laramie, 1851

  • In order to bring peace in the West the government negotiated the Treaty of Ft. Laramie

  • Eight Native American tribes agreed to specific geographic boundaries

  • The government of the United States promised that these territories would belong to the Native Americans permanently

The Mormon Migration

  • The Mormons headed West to escape religious persecution

  • In effect they left the United States

  • 1844, after the murder of Joseph Smith, Brigham Young led his people West

  • Several thousand Mormons forged a path, became known as the Mormon Trail, a valuable trail West

  • 1847, the Mormons stopped at the Great Salt Lake in present day Utah

  • Young declared this was where the Mormons would build a new settlement

  • In the wilderness the Mormons staked a claim on the land they called Desert

Opening Texas to Americans

  • July 1821, Stephen Austin leaves Louisiana for Texas

  • The Spanish government promised a large tract of land to Moses Austin if he brought 300 American families

  • Moses Austin died before he reached Texas

  • Texas, part of the Spanish Empire

  • Mexican Independence in 1821, Texas under Mexican control

  • Tejanos, Spanish speaking inhabitants lived in settlements of San Antonio de Bexar and Hidalgo in Southern Texas

  • Few lived north of the settlements

  • Northern region inhabited by the Apache, Comanche and other Native American tribes

  • In order to settle the area, Mexico invited Americans and other foreigners to settle areas near the Native Americans

National Colonization Act

  • 1823-1825, Mexico passed three colonization laws

  • Offered cheap land

  • A 10 year exemption from paying taxes

  • Had to become Mexican citizens

  • Live under Mexican law

  • Convert to Catholicism

  • Some Americans went to Texas on their own

  • Most came due to efforts by empresarios(agents or contractors)

  • The National Colonization Act granted 26 empresarios large land grants in Texas

  • Had to fill land with specific number of settlers

  • Plots of land were assigned to each family

  • Empresarios governed the colonies they established

  • Stephen Austin founded Washington on the Brazos in mid 1830s

  • Austin convinced 1,500 American families to immigrate to Texas

Americanizing Texas

  • American immigrants accepted Mexican citizenship

  • Did not accept Mexican customs nor see Mexico as their own country

  • Spanish Catholic Church was strange to them

  • Most did not attempt to learn Spanish

  • Mexicans did not trust American immigrants because of their lifestyle and dismissal of Mexican ways

The Mexican response to Benjamin Edwards revolt

  • 1826, empresario Haden Edwards’ brother Benjamin Edwards led a rebellion against the Mexican authority

  • Disagreement over who controlled the area, the empresiaro or the Mexican government

  • Edwards declared the American settlements in Texas made up the independent nation of Fredonia

  • The revolt had little support

  • Stephen Austin led troops that allowed Mexico to put down the revolt

  • Few settlers answered the call for revolt

  • Mexican government was afraid the revolt signaled an American plot to take Texas

  • 1830, Mexico banned immigration of Americans

  • Banned the importation of slave labor

  • Mexico taxed imported goods, to discourage trade with the United States

  • New laws angered settlers

  • No immigration, settlements could not grow

  • Import tax, goods cost more that were purchased from the United States

  • The Mexican government was telling the settlers what they could or could not do

  • The settlers saw no need to follow directives from a government they did not accept as their own

Texan Requests

  • Settlers met at two conventions in the town of San Felipe in 1832 and 1833

  • S. Austin chosen as president of the first convention, asked Mexico to reopen Texas to American immigration and loosen import taxes

  • At the second convention, asked that Texas become a new Mexican state

  • Created a constitution for the new state

  • Sent Austin to Mexico City to talk with the Mexican government

  • Fall of 1833 the talks stop

  • Austin sent a letter to the Tejano leaders in San Antonio, suggesting the peaceful formation of their own state

  • The Mexican authorities intercepted the letter

  • Austin did talk with President Santa Anna, did agree to lift ban on immigration

  • Jan. 3, 1833, Austin arrested on his return trip home for treason

  • Held in Mexico City without trial until released in 1835

Santa Anna

  • April 1834, Santa Anna denounced the Mexican Constitution

  • Set himself up as dictator

  • Sept. 1835 Austin realized war was the only option

  • Urged Texans to organize an army

Problems for the Mexican Army

  • The Texan army faced a Mexican army with many problems

  • Political instability in Mexico City led to:

    • Poor military leadership

    • Poor training

    • Poor support

Battle of Gonzales

  • First Texan victory was at Gonzales

  • 75 miles east of San Antonio

  • Mexican soldiers ordered Texans to surrender their arms

  • Texans pointed a cannon at the Mexicans and told them to come and take them

  • No orders to attack, Mexicans retreat to San Antonio

  • 350 Texans followed

  • Drove a larger Mexican force out of San Antonio in December 1835

Sam Houston

  • Texans had their own problems

  • Few with military training

  • No agreement on leadership

  • Sam Houston took command

  • Santa Anna had a force of 6,000 troops to put down the rebellion

The Alamo

  • Santa Anna’s forces found 180 rebels in an abandoned Spanish mission in San Antonio (the Alamo)

  • Feb. 1836

  • Texans commanded by William B. Travis

  • The Texans were to slow Santa Anna so that Houston could prepare his forces

  • Travis sent a call for reinforcements, on 32 settlers from Gonzales made it to the Alamo

  • Low on ammunition and gun powder

  • The Texans held off Santa Anna’s army for 13 days

  • During the fighting at the Alamo the Texas government met at Washington on the Brazos and made a formal declaration of war with Mexico

  • March 6, 1836, the Mexican troops took the Alamo

  • The Texans fought for six hours killing or wounding 600 before being overrun

  • The defenders of the Alamo were defeated

  • Did allow Houston two extra weeks to organize his forces


  • Two weeks after the Alamo the Mexican army defeated Texan troops led by James W. Fannin at Goliad

  • Fannin and his men surrendered

  • Santa Anna ordered them executed

  • Dawn March 27, 1836 300 Texans executed by firing squad

  • Losses at the Alamo and Goliad hurt the Texans but united them behind their new country

The Battle of San Jacinto

  • The Battle of San Jacinto was the turning point of the war

  • Texan army in bad shape, needed new recruits and training

  • Houston retreated , headed to Louisiana

  • Waited for Santa Anna to make a mistake

  • April 21, 1836, both armies camped along the San Jacinto River

  • Santa Anna held little fear of the Texans, let his troops sleep in the afternoon

  • Houston’s men convinced him to attack

  • Used a hill to hide their movements, the Texans crept up on the sleeping Mexican army

  • Surprise attack threw the Mexican army into a panic

  • The battle lasted 20 minutes, the killing lasted for hours

  • Calls of Remember the Alamo and Remember Goliad, the Texans attacked with guns, knives, and clubs

  • Killed hundreds and took 700 prisoner

  • Texans had 9 killed and 34 wounded

  • Captured Santa Anna

  • Houston forced Santa Anna to order his army back to Mexico and recognize the independence of the Republic of Texas

  • The Mexican Congress would not accept the treaty

  • No more military actions in Texas

The Republic of Texas

  • September, 1836 Texas held it’s first election

  • Sam Houston the first president

  • Also voted for annexation by the United States

US response to the request to annex Texas

  • Northern members of Congress opposed to admitting Texas as a slave state

  • President Jackson did not want to inflame tensions between the North and the South

  • Did not want war with Mexico, which still claimed Texas

  • Jackson made no move to annex

  • Jackson on his last day in office did sign a resolution officially recognizing Texas as an independent nation

Causes of the War with Mexico

  • War with Mexico was inevitable, as far back as 1803 there had been territorial disputes with Mexico/Spain

  • The US claimed part of Texas in the Louisiana Purchase

  • US gave up that claim in the Adams-Onis Treaty of 1819

  • Manifest Destiny and acquiring Mexican Territory had strong support

President Tyler and annexation

  • Tension between the US and Mexico increased under the administration of Tyler

  • Tyler wanted to bring Texas into the Union

  • Texas, large population of southern white slaveholders

  • Texas would become a slave state

  • Antislavery leaders in Congress opposed annexation

  • Mexico never recognized the independence of Texas, considered it Mexican Territory

  • 1844, Tyler brought annexation to the Senate

  • Sec. of State John C. Calhoun had written a letter defending slavery that was among the annexation documents

  • Northerners in the Senate used the letter to support the claim that annexation was a proslavery plot, vote of 35-16 the Senate rejected annexation

Election of 1844

  • Early leaders in the race for the presidency Whig Henry Clay, Democrat Martin Van Buren

  • Both asked position on annexation, both declined to take a position in fear of losing support

  • Van Buren lost the nomination for the Democrats to James K. Polk

  • Polk promised to annex Texas and the Oregon Territory

  • Also to buy California from Mexico

  • This promise appealed to northerners and southerners

  • Expand the nation and keep the balanced between free and slave states

  • Polk’s stand made Clay reverse his statement against annexation, now supported annexation if done without war with Mexico

  • Clay angered anti-slave Whigs who supported the Liberty Party, abolitionist third party

  • Spilt the Whig vote, Polk won

54-40 or Fight

  • Polk took a strong stand on Oregon

  • British had claims in Oregon

  • According to Polk “the US has a clear and unquestionable right to it”

  • Polk supporters, 54-40 or fight, wanted all of Oregon to the line 54 degrees 40 minutes north latitude

  • June 1846, Great Britain and US agree to a division, US got all land south of 49 degrees north latitude except for the southern tip of Vancouver Island

Annexation of Texas

  • Tyler pushed an annexation resolution through Congress before Polk took office

  • Feb., 1845- Texas a state

  • The resolution needed only a simple majority of both houses of Congress instead of a 2/3rds majority in the Senate to ratify a treaty

  • Mexico broke off diplomatic relations with the US

  • More problems over the border between Mexico and Texas

  • Mexico claimed the border was the Nueces River

  • Texans and the US claimed the border was the Rio Grande River- 150 miles further west and south

  • More territory than the Mexican claim

John Slidell

  • Polk’s interest in California made the situation worse

  • Polk sent John Slidell to Mexico City to purchase the California Territory

  • Mexican President Jose’ Herrera would not meet with Slidell

Polk starts the war

  • By not meeting with Slidell it appeared there was no way to resolve the disagreement peacefully

  • Polk ordered Zachery Taylor to take troops across the Nueces River

  • Mexico saw action as an invasion

  • Polk wanted Mexico to fire the first shots

  • He then could claim Mexico the aggressor and get popular support for the war

  • May 9, 1846 Polk learned a Mexican force had attacked Taylor’s men

  • Polk addressed Congress, declared the US was at war with Mexico, by an act of Mexico itself

  • To get public support, claimed American blood shed on American soil

  • Whigs opposed the war, saw it as way to extend slavery

  • Most politicians did not like Polk’s actions, but saw the US was committed to war

  • May 13, 1846, Senate vote 40-2, House vote 174-14 in favor of war

US military strategy

  • 1. Taylor would continue to move to the south, crossing the Rio Grande near the Gulf of Mexico

  • 2. a force would be sent to the northwest to capture Santa Fe, trading center, then march to take California, aided by US navy

  • 3. forces would advance to Mexico City and force a surrender

  • For the plan to work needed larger army

  • Congress gave Polk the authority to call for 50,000 volunteers, about 73,000 volunteered

  • Undisciplined, unruly, not the best soliders

Taylor and the War

  • Early May 1846, before Polk signed declaration of war, Taylor defeated Mexican forces at:

    • Palo Alto

    • Resaca de la Palma

    • Moved south, defeated the Mexicans at Matamoros

    • Late September, 1846, Taylor had advanced 200 miles from the Gulf of Mexico and captured Monterrey

Kearny and the War

  • Colonel Steven W. Kearny and his troops left Ft. Leavenworth, west of Missouri headed for Santa Fe

  • Long hard march

  • Arrived in Santa Fe to find Mexican forces had left the city

  • Santa Fe secure, small force pushed on to California

Bear Flag Republic

  • Before Kearny and his forces reached California and war officially declared settlers in Northern California led by John C. Fremont revolted

  • Mexican presence in the territory never very great, settlers little difficulty overcoming it

  • June, 14, 1846 they declared California independent

  • Named it the Bear Flag Republic

  • Shortly the Bear Flag Republic ended when US naval forces occupied San Francisco and San Diego

  • Took possession of California for the US

Winfield Scott and the War

  • War was going as Polk planned

  • To end war needed to take Mexico City

  • Sent soldiers by ship to Vera Cruz, march west take the city

  • Replaced Taylor with General Winfield Scott

  • Afraid Taylor would challenge Polk in 1848 election

  • By September 14, 1846 Scott captured Mexico City

The Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo

  • After the fall of Mexico City the Mexican leaders no choice but to sign the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo, February 2, 1848

  • Mexico ceded the US 500,000 square miles of territory:

    • California

    • Utah

    • Nevada

    • Parts of Colorado and Wyoming

    • The Rio Grande was established as the southern border of Texas

  • US paid Mexico $15 million and took over $3.25 million in debts from the Mexican government owed US citizens

  • Oregon and former Mexican territories under US control

  • Manifest Destiny complete

  • US stretched from ocean to ocean

  • New ports on the west coast opened the US to Pacific and Asian nations

  • Which new lands allow slavery and which would not would lead the US into another conflict

  • Soldiers like Robert E. Lee and Ulysses S. Grant would gain experience in the War with Mexico and use it against other Americans


  • Gold discovered January 24, 1848 by James W. Marshall at Sutter’s Mill in Coloma, California

  • The US got gold fever

  • Population of California exploded in 1849 with an influx of miners (49ners)

Wilmot Proviso

  • An amendment to a military spending bill by Representative David Wilmot

  • The amendment stated that there would be no slavery in any area acquired from the Mexican Cession

  • The Proviso failed to pass but did illustrate the division within Congress and the nation in regards to the expansion of slavery

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