UNIT 7
Manifest Destiny in the 1840s
THEME
Emboldened with a spirit of
“Manifest Destiny” the United
States acquired vast territories
in the 1840s. The acquisition of
Texas and half of the Oregon
Territory was followed by the
Mexican War that yielded the
U.S. the vast Mexican Cession
and reignited the slavery
issue.
MANIFEST DESTINY IN THE 1840s
I. President John Tyler
A. Death of President Harrison, 1841
-- Vice President Tyler ascended to
the presidency
President William Henry
Harrison had only been in office
one month when he died of
pneumonia.
President John Tyler
1841-1845
Whig
B. Tyler had Jacksonian views
-- Thwarted Webster & Clay
C. Signed bill to end Independent
Treasury System
D. Vetoed Clay’s attempt at a new
BUS
E. Tyler was expelled from his party
and his entire cabinet resigned
II. Manifest Destiny
A. Many Americans believed they
were destined to conquer the
continent
1. Really began with Jackson’s
Indian removal policies in 1830s
2. Definition coined by John L.
O’Sullivan
B. Election of 1844
1. Democrats nominated James K.
Polk
-- Sought to annex Texas and
take control of the Oregon
Territory
2. Whigs nominated Henry Clay
-- Clay’s mistaken strategy
3. Liberty Party
4. James K. Polk d. Henry Clay
Manifest Destiny = “TOM”
T exas, 1845
O regon, 1846
M exican Cession (CA, UT
territory, NM territory), 1848
President James K. Polk
1845-1849
Democrat
III. Texas joins the Union
A. Republic of Texas lasted 9 years
B. Texas was the leading issue of the
1844 presidential campaign
C. Tyler pushed for annexation and
got a joint resolution from
Congress (during his lame-duck
period)
D. Mexico refused to recognize the
annexation
IV. President James K. Polk
A. One of the most successful oneterm presidents in U.S. history
B. Polk’s 4-point program
1. Walker Tariff of 1846: Lowered
rate from 32% to 25%
2. Restoration of Independent
Treasury System (1846)
3. Acquisition of California
4. Settlement of the Oregon
dispute with Britain
Polk’s Presidency: “COIL”
C alifornia
O regon
I
ndependent Treasury System
L ower Tariff (Walker Tariff, 1846)
C. Oregon
1. British and U.S. claims
-- John Jacob Astor: American
Fur Company
2. Americans migrated
by the thousands into
Oregon south of the
Columbia River
a. Oregon Trail
b. British concerns
c. Polk abandoned the 54˚40’
campaign pledge