Manifest Destiny Pages 347-367

Lesson 1

Rivalry in the Northwest

  • The Oregon Country was a huge area located north of California, between the Pacific Ocean and the Rocky Mountains, it included all of what are now Oregon, Washington, parts of Montana, Wyoming, and Canadian province of British Columbia
  • The United States based its claim on Robert Gray's discovery of the Columbia River in 1792 and the Lewis and Clark expedition.

Adams-Onis Treaty

  • Many Americans wanted control of Oregon in order to gain access to the Pacific Ocean
  • The Spanish agreed to set the limits of their territory at what is now California's northern border and to give up all claims to Oregon.

Mountain Men in Oregon

  • The British established trading posts in the region, as did merchant John Jacob Astor of New York
  • At first the fur merchants traded with the Native Americans
  • Over time, mountain men could no longer make a living by trapping
  • Over trapping limited the amount of pelts available, and changes in fashing reduced demand for pelts.

What did America gain from the Adams-Onis Treaty?

They gained access to the pacific ocean, and got rid of the Spanish and Russian presence in Oregon.

Oregon and Manifest Destiny - Marcus and Narcissa Whitman

  • Economic troubles in the East and reports of Oregon's fertile land drew many people
  • The new settlers unknowingly brought measles to the mission, and Native Americans had never been exposed to this disease

Along the Oregon Trail

  • The Whitman massacre was a shocking event, but it did little to stop the flood of pioneers on their way to Oregon
  • In 1843 about a thousand emigrants made the journey, tens of thousands more would follow in the years ahead
  • Gathering in Independence or other towns in the Missouri, the pioneers followed the Oregon Trail across the Great Plains along the Platte River, and through the South Pass of the Rocky Mountains

America Seeks Its Manifest Destiny

  • Since colonial times, many Americans had believed their nation's mission should be to serve as a model of freedom and democracy.
  • Many believed that the nation's mission was to spread freedom by settling the entire continent
  • In the 1840's New York newspaper editor John O'Sullivan expressed in more specific words words the idea of a national mission

Fifty-Four Forty or Fight

  • Many Americans wanted the United States to take over all of Oregon
  • Polk's Whig opponent, Henry Clay, did not take a strong position on the Oregon issue
  • A firm believer in Manifest Destiny, Polk was focused on acquiring Oregon

How did Polk’s views differ from Clay’s in the 1844 election?

James K. Polk supported taking over all of Oregon, while Henry Clay did not.

Lesson 2

How did Florida become a state?

President John Tyler signed the Florida statehood bill. Florida became the twenty-seventh state in the United States on March 3, 1845.


  • When Spain transferred Florida to the United States on July 17, 1821, Florida became an American territory
  • The capital was located about midway between St. Augustine and Pensacola, Florida's major cities at that time
  • Many planters from Virginia, Georgia, and the Carolinas had worn out their soil with years of heavy use, they left their old plantations for new land in Florida

The Territory Grows

  • In 1837 the census for the territory of Florida reported that 48,000 people lived there, and enslaved people made up about one-half of Florida's population
  • Florida's desire to enter the Union as a slave state cause some difficulty

Statehood for Florida

  • With the question of slavery removed, President John Tyler signed the Florida statehood bill

What caused the population of Florida to grow?

Many planters from Virginia, Georgia, and the Carolinas had worn out their soil with years of heavy use, they left their old plantations for new land in Florida where they established cotton and tobacco plantations.


  • In 18221 Mexico won independence from Spain, and Mexico controlled the land that is now Texas
  • At first Mexico encouraged Americans to settle in Texas.
  • In 1835 the conflict grew violent, Mexican General Antonio Lopez de Santa Anna took an army into Texas to punish the rebels

The alamo

  • The Texans had only about 180 soldiers to take on Santa Anna's army of several thousand
  • For 13 long days, through several attacks, the defenders of the Alamo kept Santa Anna's army at bay with rifle fire
  • The Alamo defenders had been defeated, but they had bought the Texans time to gather troops and supplies

Texas declares its independence

  • During the siege at the Alamo, Texan leaders met at the town of Washington-on-the-Brazos
  • Texan leaders set up a temporary government, this government named Houston commander in chief of the Texan forces
  • On April 21, the Texans launched a surprise attack, shouting, "Remember the Alamo!" They killed more than 600 soldiers and captured about 700 more including Santa Anna

The lone star republic

  • In September 1836, Texans elected Sam Houston as their president
  • The addition of another slave state would upset the balance of slave and free states in Congress

texas becomes a state

  • Many Texans wanted to join the United States, Southerners favored Texans annexation, but Northerners opposed admitting another slave state

Why did it take a long time for the United States to annex Texas?

Tensions with Mexico developed when Americans refused to follow Mexico's rules, including learning Spanish and becoming Catholic... Many Americans also had enslaved African Americans, which Mexico threatened to ban.

Lesson 3

How did the Santa Fe Trail benefit the New Mexico Territory?

William Becknell, the first American trader to reach Santa Fe, arrived in 1821. Becknell's route came to be known as the Santa Fe Trail, it was a big improvement over the trails that existed in the dry and rugged area at the time.

The new mexico territory

  • In the early 1800's the land called New Mexico was a vast region between the Texas and California territories
  • Mexico - including New Mexico - won its independence from Spain in 1821
  • Also in 1821 William Becknell, the first American trader to reach Santa Fe arrived

How did William Becknell influence the American settlement of New Mexico?

Other Americans soon followed Becknell, the Santa Fe Trail became a busy trade route, and trade with New Mexico increased

California’s Spanish Culture

  • Spanish explorers and missionaries from Mexico settled California in the 1700s
  • The missions aimed to convert Native Americans to Christianity and the Spanish was of life

Conflict Begins

  • President James K. Polk was determined to get the California and New Mexico territories from Mexico
  • Polk sent a representative, John Slidell, to Mexico to propose a deal
  • To bring pressure, Polk ordered General Zachary Taylor to lead U.S. forces into the disputed area on the Rio Grande

A War plan

  • Polk planned to defeat Mexico by accomplishing three goals (1) United States would drive Mexican forces out of Texas (2) It would seize New Mexico and California (3) American forces would advance into Mexico and capture the capital, Mexico City
  • By 1847, Zachary Taylor had accomplished the first goal, his army captured all the important towns in the border area between Mexico and Texas, they captured New Mexico's capital Santa Fe, in 1846

California uprising

  • Before war with Mexico officially began, American settlers in northern California had begun an uprising
  • The Bear Flag Republic did not exist for long, within a month, American warships arrived at the ports of San Francisco and San Diego to claim the republic for the United States

Peace Terms

  • Defeated on February 2, 1848, Mexico's leaders signed the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo duhloop
  • With Oregon and he former Mexican territories under the American flag, the dream of Manifest Destiny had been realized

What did America gain from the Mexican War?

Mexico gave the United States more than 500,000 square miles of territory

Lesson 4

How did the discovery of gold help California?

When gold was discovered at Sutter's Mill in 1848, people from all over the world traveled to California in search of riches

California Gold Rush

  • Many people all over the world came to California to find gold
  • Although some eventually returned to China, other remained and established California's Chinese American community

The californios

  • The treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo ended the war with Mexico and made Californios - Mexicans living in California - citizens of the United States

THe life of a forty-niner

  • Most forty-niners had no experience in mining
  • Panning involved gently swirling water and gravel in a pan in order to remove dirt and, perhaps, reveal a small speck of gold

gold rush society

  • Mining camps contained men of all backgrounds but few women, the men were lonely and suffering hardships, and they spent their free hours drinking, gambling and fighting

economic and political progress

  • The Gold Rush had lasting effects on California, and rapid growth brought the need for better government

How did the California Gold Rush lead to the expansion of cities?

The Gold Rush had lasting effects on California, with agriculture, shipping, and trade grew to meet the demand for food and other goods. Many people who had arrived looking for gold stayed to farm or run a business.

a religious refuge in utah

  • While the Gold Rush was transforming California, change was also taking place in nearby Utah

the mormons move on

  • Smith published The Book of Mormon in 1830 announcing that it was a translation of words written on golden plates that he had received from an angle
  • Smith formed a community in New York, but neighbors disapproved of the Mormons' religion and forced them to leave
  • Still, the Mormons continued to suffer persecution, or mistreatment because of their beliefs

a haven in the desert

  • In 1847 the Mormons finally reached the Great Salt Lake where Young declared that the Mormons would build a new settlement
  • At first life was difficult for the settlers
  • In 1848 the United States acquired the Salt Lake area from Mexico after the Mexican War
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