Political ReasonsExpanding U.S. libertyOcean-to-ocean border securityEconomic ReasonsBoundless tracts of land to explore and settlePossible trade routes with far east would expand profitsReligious ReasonsBelief that it was God’s will thatthe Americans expand westward.
Westward expansion aka the “Manifest Destiny” began in the 1790’s and went until the 1850’s
In 1803 Thomas Jefferson signed a treaty with France known as the Louisiana Purchase. With it, he acquired all the land east of the Mississippi River, more than doubling the size of the U.S. He purchased the land for 15 million dollars, or 287 million dollars today. Back then, the purchase cost less than 5 cents per acre.
When immigrants from the United States settled in the area of Mexico then known as Tejas, the mexicans welcomed the American immigrants. However’ the immigrants were expected to become Mexicans: learn their language, follow their religion, and to not practice slavery. None of these terms were met by the settles, which raised tensions between the settlers and Mexico. In 1935, war broke out between the settles and the Mexicans. This went on for a year, until the settles officially declared their independence. This led to an imfamous siege by Mexico’s ruler Santa Anna called the Alamo siege. When the Americans showed fierce retaliation, Mexico recognized Texas’ independence. Texas remained independent from the U.S. for nine years, known as the Lone Star Republic.
The Oregon Territory was another area that was explored by American settlers which fell under dispute. The territory spanned modern-day Washington, Oregon, Idaho, and part of British Columbia. At the time, both America and Britain held claims to the land. In 1818, a treaty was proposed, however, this solution was only temporary. By the 1830’s Americans greatly outnumbered the British settlers. By the 1840’s more and more people headed west on the Oregon trail, lured by the Willamette Valley. In 1944, James K. Polk was elected President of the United States, pledging to end the British claims on the Oregon Territory. In 1946, the two countries came to a compromise, dividing the land on the 49th parallel.
Days before Polk was inaugurated, Texas was declared a U.S. state of the Union.Mexicans were outraged, as they now had no chance or re-acquiring their lost land.Border disputes ensued. Mexico claimed the border was on the Nueces River, but America claimed it to be on the Rio Grande River.The territory between the two rivers became an area of dispute between the two countries. In July of 1845, 4,000 American soldiers crossed the Nuances River to the Rio Grande River. In May of 1846, Polk learned that Mexicans had fired upon the American soldiers. Polk was outraged, and went before Congress to propose a declaration of War against Mexico. The vote was passed, and the Mexican-American war beganPolk was very intent on acquiring the Oregon Territory and the area of California during his presidency. His expansionist ideals were what gained him the favor of the American people. Evidence exists that would suggest that sending American soldiers south of the Nuances was done so to intentionally provoke war between the two nations: Before the war began, Polk made an offer to buy the land from Mexico. However, the Mexican leaders would not have it and refused to even grant him an audience.
When the war began in 1846, the American army totaled a mere 6,000 troops. However, 60,000 recruits soon flocked to join their ranks.Throughout the war, America won every single conflict, albeit at the loss of 13,00 soldiers. President Polk directed the war from his seat in DC. He launched a four-pronged attack against Mexico, with attacks from all angles.The first attack was against the states known today and New Mexico and California, succeeding so much that they were able to lead a group of rebellious Californians against their leaders.At the same time, another army was sent to Santa Fe, causing the New Mexico governor to flee. Finally, an attack was carried out against Mexico proper. The Americans bested the Mexican army, and were able to march into the heart of Mexico: Mexico City. The war officially ended with the Treaty of Guadalupe-Hidalgo which was signed on February 2nd, 1848.
The California Gold Rush began in January of 1848 when James Marshall discovered flecks of gold in a riverbank at Sutter’s Mill in California. Word soon spread of the gold, and people from all over California flocked the area to earn their fortune. By fall of that year, word had spread to the East and many more came to the area.The population of California during this time was very diverse, Caucasians, african-americans, Mexicans, and Asians came from all over to seek out their fortune.Within only a year, 80,000 forty-niners came to California to seek out gold. Some got rich, but many did not. The California Gold Rush lead to the construction of many mining towns in the state. It was these towns that created the stereotypical “Old American West” shown in media today. When the gold ran out, there was no longer any purpose of the town, and the settlement was abandoned. Soon, many “Ghost Towns” dotted the area too.Many people panned for gold so seek their riches. This was back-breaking work that involved using a strainer to scoop up sediment from the river. Fine minerals would escape the pan, leaving gold behind.It was during this time that Levi Strauss invented trousers for the miners- Jeans. They were a huge hit.
World_Themes: Manifest Destiny
Manifest DestinyDevon Johnson
Main Idea• Manifest Destiny was coined by American journalist John Louis OSullivan in July 1845.• Term was used to describe the ideology that Americans had a divine obligation to expand westwards.
Why did Americans Expand?Political Reasons Economic Reasons Religious Reasons
Louisiana Purchase• Treaty known as the Louisiana Purchase was made with France in 1803• It more than doubled the size of the U.S.• Territory was purchased for $15 million
Lone Star Republic• By 1821 when Mexico was granted independence from Spain, the land in modern-day Texas was sparsely populated.• Mexicans welcomed American immigrants, but compromises had to be made.• In 1935, war broke out between the settlers and the Mexicans• In 1936, the Texans declared independence.
Oregon Territory• The Oregon Territory was another area that was under dispute. It spanned modern-day Washington, Oregon, Idaho, and part of British Columbia.• The Oregon Territory was claimed by both America and Britain. The Treaty of 1818 was only a temporary solution.• In 1844, James K. Polk was elected President, and pledged to end the British claims on the territory.
Mexican-American War• Border disputes provoked violence between Mexico and the U.S.• In May of 1846, the Mexican-American war began after Mexicans fired on American soldiers on the Rio Grande River.• Evidence suggests that sending Americans across the “border” was a way to provoke war.
Mexican-American War• At the beginning of the war, the American Army numbered 8,000. Soon, 60,000 recruits joined them.• America won every conflict in the war, despite the loss of 13,000 soldiers.
California Gold Rush• The gold rush began in 1848• When James Marshall discovered gold, people from all over the state flocked the area.• Mining towns were constructed as many came to seek out riches. Few found gold, but some struck rich.
SourcesManifest Destiny, 1790-1850 (Overview). (2013). In American History. Retrieved March 12, 2013, from http://americanhistory.abc-clio.com/U.S. History. (2008, April 12). U.s. history online textbook. Retrieved from http://www.ushistory.org/us/29.aspBrinkley, A. (1995). american history . mcGraw hill Retrieved from http://www.let.rug.nl/usa/essays/1801- 1900/manifest-destiny/manifest-destiny---the- philosophy-that-created-a-nation.phpOSullivan, J. L. (n.d.). Pbs. Retrieved from http://www.pbs.org/kera/usmexicanwar/resources/ma nifest_destiny_sullivan.html