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Manifest Destiny
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Manifest Destiny


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  • 1. Manifest Destiny
    US Westward Expansion
  • 2. Manifest Destiny
    Popularized by newspaper editor, John L. Sullivan
    Expression of Americans’ unique mission
    Belief in America as the vessel of the progress of civilization
  • 3. Manifest Destiny
    a combination of idealism and racism
    took hold in the U.S. during the mid-19th C.
    drove Americans to expand their nation across the North American continent
  • 4. James K. Polk
    “Young Hickory”
    Embodied the concept of Manifest Destiny
    US grew into a continental nation under JKP
  • 5. Results
    Territories Gained
    Texas (annexed 1845)
    Oregon Country (compromise of 1846)
    Mexican Territory (annexed 1848)
  • 6.  
    “Away, away with all these cobweb tissues of rights of discovery, exploration, settlement, contiguity….Our claim is by the right of our manifest destiny to overspread and to possess the whole of the continent which Providence has given us for the development of the great experiment of liberty and federative self government entrusted to us.  It is a right such as of the tree to space of air and earth suitable for the full expansion of its principle and growth….It is in our future more than our past, or in the past history of Spanish exploration or French colonial rights, that our True Title is to be found.  Oregon can never be to England anything but a mere hunting ground for furs and peltries…In our hands it must fast fill in with a population destined to establish a noble young empire…”
  • 7.
  • 8. Oregon Trail
  • 9. Oregon Trail
    More than a pathway to Oregon – the only practical corridor to entire western US
    Exceptionally difficult
    2,000 miles
    1 in 10 died
    Many walked entirety in bare feet
    Cholera, poor sanitation & accidental gunshots were top causes of death (NOT Native Americans)
  • 10. The Great Migration
    1843 – began massive move
    Westward wagon train
    Btwn. 1843-1869, over ½ million people migrated west
    Some to Oregon (farmland)
    Others to California (1849 Gold Rush)
    Died down in 1869 when transcontinental railroad was completed
  • 11.
  • 12. US – Mexican War
    May 13, 1846 - Polk signed a declaration of war against Mexico
    Hoped to:
    secure the border of Texas
    gain the commercially valuable territories of California and New Mexico
  • 13.
  • 14. US Mexican War
    Polk’s 3-Part Strategy
    Ordered Navy to blockade Mexico’s coastlines
    Zachary Taylor’s army was to push into Northeast Mexico
    A second army would march west to occupy New Mexico & California
    If Mexico would not sell, then Polk would take by force
  • 15. Kearny’s Army of the West
    U.S. Colonel Stephen Kearny
    30 years military experience in the western plains
    Mission: to conquer the western half of North America
  • 16. Army of the West
    1600+ soldiers headed west along Santa Fe Trail
    Marched 900 miles from Fort Leavenworth to Santa Fe
    Once NM was occupied, they were to march another 1,000 miles to San Diego
    Video clip
  • 17. Antiwar Factions
    Against territorial expansion – fear of expanding slavery
    Wilmot Proviso
    David Wilmot (PA)
    Attached to funding for war
    Required a “no slavery” agreement in any new territory
    Defeated (passed in HOR, defeated in Senate)
  • 18. Treaty of Guadalupe-Hidalgo
    Ended US-Mexican War (Mexico surrendered)
    Negotiated by (US reps only)
    Nicholas Trist, chief clerk – State Dept.
    Gen. Winfield Scott, representative of Polk
    Relinquished all claims to Texas
    Recognized Rio Grande as Southern boundary of US
    Mexico ceded to the US Upper California & New Mexico (known as the “Mexican Cession”)
    Includes present-day AZ, NM, parts of UT, NV & CO
  • 19.
  • 20. Consequences of War
    13,000 American lives
    Long-lasting tensions with Mexico
    Training ground for Civil War (incl. Robert E. Lee & Ulysses Grant)
  • 21. Simulation Activity
    Life on the Oregon Trail….