Manifest Destiny• The popular belief among Americans that it was God’s will that the United States do everything in its power to expand its borders to the Pacific Ocean.• Brought hope that westward expansion would bring economic prosperity in a troubled nation• Some were worried the US would become to large to govern effectively.
Oh Texas• U.S. settlers were quickly settling into Texas – esp. after Mexico won its independence from Spain• Mexico wanted a larger non-Indian population, so they offered cheap land to lure people in.• They really just wanted to create a buffer zone!
More on Texas• Mexico also feared the U.S. would try to invade Texas – (they already tried twice to purchase it)• The Plan – Get enough US citizens to populate Texas, turn them loyal to Mexico so that they would aid the native Tejanos in a war with the US – Recruit people from several countries to come live
Still more on Texas• New immigrants were required to become Catholic, but made no other effort to become Mexican• Mexico forbid slavery• Non-Mex soon outnumbered the Tejanos and Mexico closed the border to new immigrants• This accomplished little – immigrants still poured over the border
Trouble Brews• Texans redefined slavery as indentured servitude to get around laws• A new elected president established dictatorial control over the gov’t• Texan Stephen Austin was arrested in Mexico City while trying to settle issues.
Texas Revolution• The Alamo- – A mission in San Antonio, TX turned into a fort. It was captured by white Texan rebels where they were joined by volunteers – Mex gov’t sends in troops by Feb. (Santa Anna’s Army) – Texans are led by Travis and Bowie. – By March Mex troops overrun the fort and kill all Texan fighters – 600 Mex casualties
TX Rev• Santa Anna’s troops take civ. Prisoners – they do release a few (survivors told their own version of the story – TX did no wrong)• Spurred anti-Mex feelings – led to Goliad. Another battle the Mex wins, TX rebels surrender – Santa Anna had most of them executed.• By Mar. 2 rebels declared independence• Sam Houston and his army ambush the Mex soldiers while they were napping at San Jacinto – cut off Mex supplies and weakened them• TX Rebels win independence.
Republic of TX• Texas wanted to be annexed by US – but the US was not so sure about a new slave state and the whole involvement with Mex.• TX briefly existed as its own country.• TX began recruiting French and German settlers to increase population• Tejanos, who had served with the white rebels for independence from Mex, became victims of violence and discrimination
Lone Star Republic –Economy and Defense• Because it was farm based, few cities and towns developed• Travel and Communication difficult• Since they had little money, tax revenue was small – they were deeply in debt.• Created the Texas Rangers to defend their country from Mex and Native Am tribes
Texas Annexation• Some Americans wanted to annex TX just to prevent them from becoming allies with Gr.Br.• Others did not want annexation because it would give more power in Congress to slave states.• This dispute dominated the 1844 election – Henry Clay (Whig) vs James K Polk (Democrat) – Polk advocated annexation in his campaign, Clay avoided it all together.• Polk won (barely) & took it as a cry for annexation
Conflict with Mexico• Mexico stated the annexation of TX would be like declaring war – Congress ignored them & voted for annexation• Polk stoked the fire by demanding Mex recognize the Rio Grande as its N border• Mex wanted the Nueces R to be the border (100 mi north)• Polk sent in Gen. Zachary Taylor to this disputed territory
Conflict turns to War• Polk sends someone to Mex City to negotiate, things fall apart, Mex troops crossed the Rio Grande and killed some Am troops• Polk asks Congress to declare war- they do!• Whigs and northerners did not agree with war – Some saw it as Polk’s way of increasing slavery – Young Abe Lincoln of IL wanted more proof of this American bloodshed.
America Expands?• American troops seized New Mexico (then part of Mex) and moved into California• Gen Taylor proceeded into central Mex• Gen. Fremont who led the Am forces into CA rallied the locals and they declared themselves independent• Taylor and his troops defeated Santa Anna and his troops in a devastating battle at Buena Vista• Soon after Am troops took Mex City.
Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo• Ended the Mexican War• Mex surrendered TX and other territory collectively called the Mexican Cession – Includes present day: Utah, Nevada, California, parts of Arizona, Colorado, Wyoming and New Mexico.• US agreed to pay $15 million and damages Am were going after Mex for.
Gadsden Purchase• 1853, Gadsden went to Mex to negotiate the purchase of a strip of land that was added to NM and AZ.• As a result of all of this expansion, Am gained >80,000 Spanish speaking Mex who struggled to keep their lands – Victims of discrimination , led to rebellions throughout the SW
Trade• New England mariners had been trading with the far west since 1790, they sailed from New England around S. America and back up to CA, WA, & OR.• Mex had once forbidden foreign trade, but since its Spanish independence, encouraged it!• This led to trade routes.
Trade• 1st trade route was from MO to NM called the Santa Fe Trail• Fur trappers moved further west, into the mountains• Led to exploration & new ways of doing business.• Oregon Trail originally used as fur trade route became a route for new settlers.
Oregon• Farmers and Missionaries began settling – Farmers saw the fertile ground near the rivers – Missionaries saw the Native AM and “needed” to convert them• Gr.Br and US both occupied Oregon, but as more US settlers moved, it was a hot issue!• US originally suggested they split it, Gr.Br. Refused. Polk wanted all of it – angered the Brits. Settled on the 49th parallel as the US border.
Oregon Trail• Very difficult journey, many children were orphaned and left at missionary posts along the way• Traveled in large groups to pool their resources• Weather was bad, terrain rugged, many rivers, slow travel• Many Nat. Am were helpful – led to Treaty of Ft. Laramie.
Oregon Conflict• White settlers spread new diseases to the Nat. Am in the region.• Farming techniques used by white settlers destroyed Nat. Am habitats• Some Nat. Am tribes fought back –some Nat. Am were executed.
Mormons in Utah• Brigham Young moved west to est. a religious community• Known as the Mormons• Constructed systems of canals for irrigation and established farms, schools, meetinghouses – very successful• US gov’t didn’t like it. Mormon men were allowed to have more than one wife, Mormons were apptd to high territorial offices, too independent.
Early Settlers• Early settlers to CA were of Spanish descent, mostly male, who married local Native Am women.• Most of these men worked as Sp soldiers or worked for the Catholic missions• Spain began granting land grants forcing Nat. Ams further inland
GOLD!• Few merchants lived in CA, mostly it was farmers seeking cheap farmland by the 1840s.• Jan, 1848, gold was discovered near the California Trail (fork of the Oregon Trail)• Word spread over the next year and by 1849, farms and shops were abandoned by people in search of gold• Brought people from Asia, Australia & Europe• These settlers were known as the 49ers (1849)
MINING TOWNS• Most gold-seekers were unmarried men• Mining towns drew few women, they were very rough – High crime: gambling, fighting, drinking, prostitution, murder, theft etc!• While a few got rich, most remained poor.• Created diversity in this land.• Others came w/ other ideas – get rich off the miners by selling supplies.• Levi Strauss (the inventor of Levi’s Jeans) did just that!
Conflict in the Mines• White Am miners got greedy and forbid “foreigners” from being in the mines – Problem: this included the Californios (people of native am and sp descent) who were actually Am citizens. – Some were beaten and killed
Conflicts, cont’d• Chinese miners who were forced out of mines became field or RR workers, formed towns, opened groceries or went back to China• African American miners faced similar difficulties, although a few became rich• Miners often accused Nat. Am of ransacking their camps and Nat. Am often attacked miners for taking their land.