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Manifest Destiny in the 1840s

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Manifest Destiny in the 1840s. UNIT 7. THEME.

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Emboldened with a spirit of “Manifest Destiny” the United States acquired vast territories in the 1840s. The acquisition of Texas and half of the Oregon Territory was followed by the Mexican War that yielded the U.S. the vast Mexican Cession and reignited the slavery issue.


I. President John Tyler

A. Death of President Harrison, 1841

-- Vice President Tyler ascended to the presidency

President William Henry Harrison had only been in office one month when he died of pneumonia.

B. Tyler had Jacksonian views

-- Thwarted Webster & Clay

C. Signed bill to end Independent Treasury System

D. Vetoed Clay’s attempt at a new BUS

E. Tyler was expelled from his party and his entire cabinet resigned

II. Manifest Destiny

A. Many Americans believed they were destined to conquer the continent

1. Really began with Jackson’s Indian removal policies in 1830s

2. Definition coined by John L. O’Sullivan

B. Election of 1844

1. Democrats nominated James K. Polk

-- Sought to annex Texas and take control of the Oregon Territory

2. Whigs nominated Henry Clay

-- Clay’s mistaken strategy

3. Liberty Party

4. James K. Polk d. Henry Clay

manifest destiny tom
Manifest Destiny = “TOM”

Texas, 1845

Oregon, 1846

Mexican Cession (CA, UT territory, NM territory), 1848

III. Texas joins the Union

A. Republic of Texas lasted 9 years

B. Texas was the leading issue of the 1844 presidential campaign

C. Tyler pushed for annexation and got a joint resolution from Congress (during his lame-duck period)

D. Mexico refused to recognize the annexation

IV. President James K. Polk

A. One of the most successful one- term presidents in U.S. history

B. Polk’s 4-point program

1. Walker Tariff of 1846: Lowered rate from 32% to 25%

2. Restoration of Independent Treasury System (1846)

3. Acquisition of California

4. Settlement of the Oregon dispute with Britain

polk s presidency coil
Polk’s Presidency: “COIL”

C alifornia


I ndependent Treasury System

Lower Tariff (Walker Tariff, 1846)

C. Oregon

1. British and U.S. claims

-- John Jacob Astor: American Fur Company

2. Americans migrated by the thousands into Oregon south of the Columbia River

a. Oregon Trail

b. British concerns

c. Polk abandoned the 54˚40’ campaign pledge