Day 56: Manifest Destiny and Its Legacy. Baltimore Polytechnic Institute November 22, 2010 A.P. U.S. History Mr. Green. Rise of a Mass Democracy. Objectives: explain the spirit and meaning of the Manifest Destiny that inspired American expansionism in the 1840s.
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Baltimore Polytechnic Institute
November 22, 2010
A.P. U.S. History
explain the spirit and meaning of the Manifest Destiny that inspired American expansionism in the 1840s.
Outline the major conflicts between Britain and the United States over debts, Maine, Canada, Texas, Oregon, and growing British hostility to slavery.
Explain why the U.S. government increasingly saw the independent Texas Republic as a threat and sought to pursue annexation
A member of the Democratic Party, John Tyler, becomes the Whig’s vice-presidential candidate in 1840. When President William Henry Harrison dies just one month into his term, Tyler, much to the distress of Whig party loyalists, such as Henry Clay, is elevated to the presidency.
Manifest Destiny, the belief that the United States is divinely inspired to spread across the continent, becomes the rationale for widespread territorial expansion. Critics repudiate it as nothing short of unbridled imperialism.
American expansionism gained momentum in the 1840s, leading first to the acquisition of Texas and Oregon, and then to the Mexican War, which added vast southwestern territories to the United States and ignited the slavery question
American international prestige grows as the United States expands. Successful military campaigns against Mexico along with well-negotiated treaties with Britain force Europe to respect America more, while Latin America begins to be wary of the Colossus of the North.
Mexican War Chart
Election Charts 1844 & 1848
Decades Chart 1840’s
James K. Polk-The 4 point program
1. Lower tariffs-Walker Tariff
2. Restore the independent treasury
3. Acquisition of California
4. Settlement of the Oregon dispute
Did not follow the 54 forty or fight
“Great Britain is powerful and Mexico is weak” Senator Benton, MO
California in 1845
13,000 Spanish Mexicans
75,000 Native Americans
<1,000 foreigners (Americans)
Polk wanted to buy California from Mexico
Once the U.S. acquired Texas, Mexico ended diplomatic relations
Dispute over the southern boundary, the Rio Grande or Nueces River
Polk sent John Slidell to Mexico to offer 25 million for California, but was not received
Rumor was Britain was about to acquire California
Polk dispatched General Zachary Taylor to march from the Nueces River to the Rio Grande-provocatively near Mexican forces
No clash started by May 9, 1846 and he wanted to declare war on 2 grounds:
1. unpaid claims
2. Slidell’s rejection
April 25, 1846-Mexico kills/wounds 16 Americans
Congressman Lincoln wanted to know the spot on American soil where American blood had been shed.
Did Polk provoke war?
Keep away from Britain
Grievances against Mexico
Teach Mexico a lesson
Mexico wanted to humiliate the bullies to the North
Exiled Santa Anna tricked the U.S. into allowing him to slip into Mexico.
Southwest and California operations a complete success
General Stephen W. Kearny-Santa Fe Trail
Captain John C. Fremont-overthrew Mexican rule in California with help from local Americans-California Bear Flag Republic
Buena Vista turning point for Taylor the U.S. Feb. 22-23, 1847
General Winfield Scott battled to Mexico City by September 1847
Nicholas P. Trist-Chief clerk at the State Department negotiated the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo
Confirmed American title to Texas and yielded the area westward to Oregon
U.S. paid 15 million for the land
Claims of its citizens against Mexico ($3,250,00)
Why did the U.S. offer to pay an indemnity to Mexico, especially after it had been forced on them?
13,000 American lives, most to disease
U.S. size increased by a third
Trained Civil War military leaders:
1. Captain Robert E. Lee
2. Lieutenant Ulysses S. Grant
Justified the academies at West Point and Annapolis
Wilmot Proviso-amendment to ban slavery in any land acquired from Mexico
Never became Federal law, but endorsed by all but 1 of the free states