Manifest Destiny Pages 345-367

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, and Idaho.
  • Parts of Montana and Wyoming was also included.
  • In the early 1800's, four nations claimed the rugged land that is known as Oregon Country.
  • The United States base their claim off of Robert Gray's discovery of the Columbia River.

Adams-Onis Treaty

  • Many Americans wanted control of Oregon in order to gain access to the Pacific Ocean.
  • John Quincy Adams, Secretary of State during 1819, got Spain to approve the Adams-Onis Treaty.
  • The Spanish agreed to set the limits of their territory at the northern border of California and they gave up all claims to Oregon.
  • Trying to get Great Britain to approve was tougher.
  • Adams worked out an agreement with Great Britain in 1818 for joint occupation.
  • This agreement meant that people from both Great Britain and the United States could settle there.
  • Adams became president in 1825 and proposed that the two nations divide Oregon along the 49 degree N line of Latitude.
  • Great Britain refused his proposal and they continued with the joint occupation agreement.

Mountain Men in Oregon

  • Fur traders had been the first Americans to take up the challenge of living in the Oregon Country.
  • The trappers came to trap beaver, whose skin was in high demand in Europe.
  • Trading post in the region was established by the British.
  • Merchant John Jacob Astor of New York also established trading posts in the region.
  • At first the fur merchants traded with the Native Americans.
  • Gradually others joined the trade.
  • These tough and independent men spent most of their time in the Rocky Mountains. and were known as mountain men.
  • Over time, the mountain men could no longer make a living by trapping.
  • With their knowledge of the western lands, several mountain men, such as Jim Bridger and Kit Carson, found work as guides.
  • The mountain men carved out several east-to-west passages.
  • These passages played vital roles in the western settlement.
  1. What did American gain from the Adams-Onis Treaty?
  2. They gained an agreement with the Spanish to set the limits of their territory at the northern border of California and they gave up all claims to Oregon. They then gained a joint occupation agreement with Great Britain. This meant that people from both Great Britain and the United States could settle there. They gained control of Oregon Country.

Oregon and Manifest Destiny-Marcus and Narcissa Whitman

  • In the 1830's, Americans began traveling to the Oregon Country so they could settle there.
  • Among the first settlers were Dr. Marcus Whitman and his wife Narcissa.
  • They were missionaries who went to Oregon in 1836 and built a mission among the Cayuse people near the present site of Walla Walla, Washington.
  • The new settlers unknowingly brought measles to the mission.
  • Native Americans had never been exposed to this disease.
  • An epidemic killed many Cayuse Children.
  • Because of this, Cayuse attacked the Whitman and 11 others in November 1847.

Along the Oregon Trail

  • The Whitman massacre was a very shocking event, but it did little to stop the flood of pioneers on their way to Oregon.
  • Drawn by the fertile land of Oregon land, and driven by the economic hard times in the East, many Americans took the trail.
  • These pioneers were called emigrates.
  • Emigrates were people who leave their country, and in that case they left the United States to go to Oregon.
  • In 1843 about a thousand emigrants made the journey.
  • Tens of thousands more would follow in later years.
  • Wagons carried supplies. The wagons were called prairie schooners because they look like ships at sea in the flood of people.
  • The pioneers followed the Oregon Trail across the Great Plains, along the Platte River, through the South Pass of the Rocky Mountains.
  • They then turned north and west along the Snake and Columbia Rivers, which lead into the Oregon Country.

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.
  • This vision changed in the 1800's.
  • In 1819, John Quincy Adams expressed what many Americans were thinking when he said expansion to the Pacific was as certain as the Mississippi River flowing to the sea.
  • In the 1840's, John O'Sullivan, newspaper editor in New York, had expressed in more specific words the idea of a national mission.
  • He declared it was America's "Manifest Destiny to overspread and to possess the whole of the continent which Providence has given us."
  • O'Sullivan meant that the United States was destined by God to extend its boundaries all the way to the Pacific Ocean.

Fifty-Four Forty or Fight

  • Many Americans wanted the United States to take over all of Oregon.
  • In 1844, during the presidential election, James K. Polk, the Democratic nominee, supported this desire from all Americans.
  • Democrats used the slogan "Fifty-Four or Fight," referring to the line of latitude they believed should be the nation's northern border in Oregon.
  • A Whig opponent of Polk, Henry Clay, did not act on the Oregon on position as Polk did.
  • Polk won the election because Clay did not have any united Whig support behind him.
  • Being a firm believer of the Manifest Destiny, Polk focused on acquiring Oregon.
  • Britain refused to accept a border at which Polk wanted, 54 degrees, and 40 degrees North latitude.
  • In 1846, United States and Britain compromised.
  • They agreed to set the border at 49 degrees latitude.
  • This was the same boundary the British had rejected 21 years before.
  1. How did Polk's views differ from Clay's in the 1844 election?
  2. Polk was a strong believer of the Manifest Destiny. Henry Clay did not take a strong position on the Oregon issue.

Lesson 2 Statehood for Florida and Texas

  1. How did Florida become a state?
  2. When Spanish transferred Florida to the United States on July 17,1821, Florida became an American territory. Florida had an appointed territorial legislature, and nonvoting delegate to the United States Congress. This was under the terms of the Northwest Ordinance of 1787.


  • When Spain transferred Florida to the United States on July 17, 1821, Florida become an American territory.
  • Tallahassee became the territorial capital in 1824.
  • 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.
  • Florida voters chose 56 people attend the constitutional convention in St.Joseph, a small port city on the Gulf Coast.
  • The constitution provided for a governor elected for four years and an elected elected General Assembly or legislature.
  • Florida's desire to enter the Union as a slave state caused some difficulty.

Statehood for Florida

  • With the question of slavery removed, President John Tyler signed the Florida statehood bill.
  • Florida became the twenty-seventh state in the United States on March 3, 1845.
  1. What caused the population of Florida to grow?
  2. Florida removed slavery and became a state.


  • Mexico controlled the land that is now Texas.
  • Most of Texas' non-Native American population were Tejanos or mexicans who claimed Texas as their home.
  • At first,Mexico encouraged Americans to settle in Texas,however tensions rose when Americans refused to follow Mexican rules.
  • A ban was threatened, and finally, a decree closed Mexico's border to further immigration.
  • The conflict grew violent and and Mexican General Antonio Lo'pez de took an army to Texas into to Texas to punish the rebels.

The Alamo

  • The Alamo was a small Texan force that barricaded inside a mission building called the Alamo.
  • The Texans had only about 180 soldiers to take on Santa Anna's army of a several thousand.
  • For 13 days, through several attacks, the defenders of the Alamo kept his army at bay with rifles.
  • On March 6, 1836, cannon fire from the Mexicans smashed the Alamo wall.
  • The army was too large to hold back and the defenders were defeated.

Texas Declares Its Independence

  • Texan leaders met at the town of Washington-on-the-Brazos during the fight at the Alamo.
  • On March 2, 1836-four days before the fall of the Alamo-the Texans declared independence from Mexico.

The Lone Star Republic

  • In September 1836, Texans elected Sam Houston as their president.
  • Houston sent a delegation to Washington, D.C., to ask the United States to annex, or take control of Texas.
  • Texas would remain an independent country for the time being.

Texas Becomes a State

  • Many Texans wanted to join the United States.
  • Due to James K. Polk winning the 1844 presidential election, congress passed a resolution to annex Texas.
  • Texas joined the Union in 1845.
  1. Why did it take a long time for the United States to annex Texas?
  2. The addition of another slave state would upset the balance of slave and free states in Congress.

War With Mexico

  1. How did the Santa Fe Trail benefit the New Mexico Territory?
  2. The Santa Fe Trail became a busy trade route. As trade with New Mexico increased, Americans began settling in the area. Some began to believe that acquiring New Mexico was part of American Manifest Destiny.

Lesson 3 The New Mexico Territory

  • In the early 1800s, the land called New Mexico was a vast region between the Texas and California territories.
  • It included land that is now the states of New Mexico, Arizona, Nevada, and Utah and parts of Colorado and Wyoming.
  • Mexico,including New Mexico, won its independence from Spain in 1821.
  • William Becknell, the first American trader to reach Santa Fe, arrived in 1821. His route came to be known as the Santa Fe Trail.
  1. How did William Becknell influence the American settlement of Mexico?
  2. The Santa Fe trail opened up a trade route with New Mexico and many Americans began to settle there.

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 way of life.
  • After Mexico won independence from Spain in 1821, California became a Mexican State.
  • In the 1840's, more Americans reached California and they began talking about adding California do the Union.

Conflict Begins

  • After Mexico refused to sell the lands of New Mexico and California, President James K. Polk planned to gain them through war.
  • Relation between the two countries were not friendly. The two nations disagreed about where the Texas-Mexico border was.
  • On April 25, 1846, Mexican troops attacked General Zachary Taylor's forces. On may 13, Congress passed a declaration of war against Mexico.

A War Plan

  • Polk planned to defeat Mexico by accomplishing three goals.
  • They would drive Mexican forces out of Texas. They then would seize New Mexico and California. Finally, American forces would advance into Mexico and capture the capital, Mexico City.
  • By 1847, Taylor and his forces had captured all the important towns in the border area between Mexico and Texas. General Stephen Kearney then captured New Mexico's capital, Santa Fe in 1846.

California Uprising

  • Even before war with Mexico began, American settlers in northern California had begun an uprising.
  • The settlers had no problem overcoming the weak official Mexican presence in the territory.
  • On June 14, 1846, the Americans declared California independent.
  • Mexico still refused to surrender, even tho it had lost.
  • Finally, in September 1847, Polk's plan for the war succeeded.

Peace Terms

  • Defeated on February 2, 1848, Mexico's leaders signed the treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo.
  • With Oregon and the former Mexican territories under the American flag, the dream of Manifest Destiny had been realized.
  1. What did America gain from the Mexican War?
  2. They gained 500,000 square miles of territory- what are now the states of California, Nevada, and Utah, as well as most of Arizona and New Mexico and parts of Colorado and Wyoming.

Lesson 4 California and Utah

  1. How did the discovery of gold help California?
  2. Many people from around the world traveled to California in search of riches.

California Gold Rush

  • When gold was discovered at Sutter's Mill in 1848, people from all over the world traveled to California in search of riches.
  • Americans made up 80 percent of the forty-niners who were people who arrived in 1849.

The Californios

  • The Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo ended the war with Mexico and made Californios-Mexicans living in California-citizens of the United States.
  • Californios had to prove his or her ownership of their land. Some were able to prove their claims, however many did not and lost their cases and their land.

The Life of a Forty-Niner

  • As people rushed to a new area to look for gold, they built new communities.
  • Most forty-niners had no experience in mining. They spent hours bent over streambeds panning for gold dust and nuggets. Most found little to no gold. Many of those who did find gold lost their riches by gambling and wild spending.

Gold Rush Society

  • Mining towns had no police or prisons, so as a result citizens known as vigilantes formed committees to protect themselves.

Economic and Political Progress

  • Rapid growth brought the need for better government. In 1849, Californians applied for statehood and wrote a constitution.
  • Through some conflict, Congress eventually worked out a compromise which California became a free state in 1850.
  1. How did the California Gold Rush lead to the expansion of cities?
  2. It more the doubled the world's supply of gold. So, many cities grew quickly as people searched to find gold. Ships brought gold seekers to cities like San Francisco, which became a boomtown.

A Religious Refuge in Utah

  • In Utah, Mormons, or members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, were building a new community and fulfilling their vision of a godly life.

The Mormons Move On

  • The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints was among a number of religious movements that sprang up during the religious awakenings of he 1830's and 1840's.
  • The founder of the Mormons, Joseph Smith, published The Book of Mormon in 1830. Smith hoped to use his visions to build an ideal society.
  • Smith formed a community in New York, but neighbors disapproved of the Mormons' religions and forced them to leave.
  • The Mormons bought the town of Commerce,Illinois and renamed it Nauvoo.
  • The Mormons were still persecuted and mistreated because of their beliefs.

A Haven in the Desert

  • The Mormon migration began in 1846. About 12,000 Mormons made the trek in the largest single migration in American history.
  • In 1847, the Mormons finally reached the Great Salt Lake. At first, life was difficult for the settlers. The Mormons, however, made their new settlement, which was called Deseret, flourish through hard work and determination.
  • In 1848, the United States acquired the Salt Lake area from Mexico after the Mexican War.
  • By 1860 there were many Mormon communities, but Utah was not easily incorporated into the United States.In 1857, and 1858, war almost broke out between in the Mormons and the United States Army. Utah did not become a state until 1896, after the Mormons officially gave up the practice of polygamy.
  1. Why did the Mormons have to keep moving from one place to another?
  2. They were persecuted and mistreated for their beliefs. They were forced to leave places because of their religion.

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