Manifest Destiny - Van Independent School District

Chapter 12
The New Territories and War
with Mexico
Rivalry in the Northwest
• In the early 1800’s, four nations claimed the
Oregon country- the huge area that lay between
the pacific ocean and the Rocky Mountains north
of California.
• Those nations were the United States, Britain,
Spain and Russia.
• The United States wanted to annex the Oregon
country in order to gain access to the Pacific ,
but this required getting the other three nations
to give up their claims.
Oregon Country
• Spain's claim was extinguished in 1819
with the signing of the Adams-Onis treaty,
in which Spain agreed to limit its coast
claims to the area south of California's
northern border.
• In 1824 Russia surrendered its claim to
any land south of Alaska.
• Britain refused to give up its claim to Oregon
when President John Quincy Adams proposed
dividing Oregon at the 49th parallel in 1825.
• As a result, the United States and Britain agreed
to extend an 1818 agreement for joint
occupation of the area.
• The first Americans to Oregon country were
trappers and traders looking for beaver furs.
Because they spent much of their time hunting
and fishing in the mountains, they were often
called mountain men .
Mountain Men
Beaver Pelts
• Their wanderings and living in the
wilderness made them very familiar with
the land. Some mountain men even
opened up new trails through the
• After most of the beavers were gone due
to extensive hunting, mountain men found
new work leading groups of settlers to the
Settling Oregon
• American settlers began traveling to the
Oregon country in the 1830’s, lured by
reports of abundant, fertile land.
• The first large-scale trip west took place in
1843 when more than 1000 pioneers left
Independence, Missouri, for Oregon. In
the years that followed, tens of thousands
of Americans made the trip.
• Among the earliest settlers in Oregon were Dr.
Marcus Whitman and his wife Narcissa. They
built a Christian mission among the Cayuse
• Some settlers at the mission unknowingly
infected the Cayuse with measles, which killed
many of their children.
• Angered, the Cayuse attacked the mission in
November 1847, killing the Whitman's and
several others. But this tragedy did not stop the
flow of settlers to Oregon.
• Pioneers headed for Oregon began their
trip in Missouri and traveled for 2000 miles
along the Oregon Trail .
• The trail crossed the Great Plains, wound
its way through the Rocky Mountains
following the South Pass, then followed
the Snake and Columbia Rivers into the
Oregon country.
• Most Oregon-bound settlers traveled in
canvas wagons called prairie schooners.
Oregon Trail
Prairie Schooner
The Division of Oregon
• Most Oregon settlers headed for the fertile
Willamete Valley, south of the Columbia
• Between 1840 and 1845, the population of
American settlers in the area rose from
500 to 5000. The British population
remained at about 700.
• While settlers were streaming into Oregon in the
1840’s, the idea of Manifest Destiny was taking
hold in the United States.
• It held that the United States was blessed by
God and destined to overspread the North
American continent and expand its boundaries
to the Pacific.
• The Idea of Manifest Destiny made Americans,
including those who emigrated to Oregon, more
determined than ever to annex the Oregon
country and remove Britain’s claim.
Manifest Destiny
• Oregon became an issue in the
presidential election of 1844. James K.
Polk, the Democratic candidate, ran using
the slogan “fifty-four Forty or Fight.”
• The slogan referred to the line of latitude
at 54’40”N, which Democrats thought
should be the nations northern border in
• Polk’s opponent, Henry Clay (a Whig), did
not take as strong a stand as Polk on
annexing Oregon, and lost the election.
James K. Polk
• Determined to make Oregon part of the
United States, but unable to get Britain to
agree to a boundary at 54’40”N- which
would have turned over almost the whole
territory to the United States- Polk decided
to compromise .
• Polk concluded an agreement with Britain
in June 1846 that split Oregon at 49’N,
with the area south of that line becoming
a territory of the United States.
Mexican Territory
• In the early 1800’s, to encourage
settlement in the northern frontier,
Spanish offered huge tracts of land to
people willing to live there.
• The first grant went to Moses Austin in
1821. When he died in his son Stephen
F. Austin brought 300 settlers to live on
land along the Brazos and Colorado rivers.
Stephen F. Austin
New Mexico Territory
• In the early 1800’s, New Mexico was the name
of a vast region between California and Texas.
The Spanish started exploration of the area in
the 1500’s and made it part of the Spanish
colony of Mexico.
• When Mexico won its Independence in 1821,
New Mexico became part of an independent
Mexico. But Mexico maintained very loose
control over the area, allowing New Mexico a
large degree of self-government.
New Mexico
• To boost its economy, Mexico welcomed
American traders. As word spread of higher
selling prices in Santa Fe, more traders began
to sell their goods there.
• The trail to New Mexico and Santa Fe became
known as the Santa Fe Trail. The trail was used
until the arrival of the railroad in 1880.
• As trade with Mexico increased, so did the
number of Americans who went there to settle.
As the idea of Manifest Destiny took hold, many
Americans thought the United States should
acquire New Mexico.
Santa Fe Trail
California Spanish Culture
• Spanish explorers and missionaries were
the first Europeans settlers in California.
• Starting in the 1760’s, the Spanish set up
a chain of missions, settlement run by
priests, near the California coast between
San Diego and Sonoma. There were 21
missions by 1820
• When Mexico became independent,
California became a state.
• In 1833 the government of Mexico abolished
the missions. Mexico sold huge tracts of
mission land to settlers, who set up large farms
and cattle ranches called ranchos. The owners
of the ranchos, called rancheros, used Native
Americans to tend their farms and cattle.
• By the early 1800’s, Americans had been
arriving in California for many years on trading
or whaling ships that stopped along the coast,
or as travelers (such as mountain men) who had
come overland from the east.
• In the 1840’s American families began to settle
in California. But by 1845 the number of
Americans in California was still only about 700.
• As more and more people who had seen
California sent glowing reports about its mild
climate, natural resources, and beauty to friends
and families in the eastern U.S., an increasing
number of Americans became interested in
settling California and adding it to the United
• President Polk twice offered to buy California
and New Mexico from Mexico during the mid1840’s, but was turned down.
War with Mexico
• The annexation of Texas by the United States in
1845 worsened relations between Mexico and
the united States, which had already been bad
for years.
• The two countries also could not agree on the
border between Mexico and Texas. Mexico said
the border was at the Nueces River, the United
States placed the border at the Rio Grande.
• Mexico’s claims placed the border about 150
miles North of the United States claims.
Texas Border Dispute
• The United States offered Mexico $30
million for California and New Mexico if
Mexico would accept the Rio Grande as
the boundary of Texas.
• Mexico refused the offer and announced
its intention to retake Texas.
• In response the U.S. sent General
Zachary Taylor across the disputed
territory between the Nueces and the Rio
General Zachary Taylor
• Mexican soldiers attacked some of Taylor's
troops in this disputed area on April 24, 1846.
• American’s who wanted war with Mexico
claimed that Mexico had shed American blood
on American soil. Many Americans turned their
anger on Mexico, and on May 11, Congress
declared war on Mexico.
• Some Americans opposed war with Mexico.
Abraham Lincoln, a member of congress,
thought Tailors troops had been attacked in
Mexican territory, meaning there were no
grounds for retaliation or war.
Some people, such as antislavery activist
Fredrick Douglass, feared that
expansion into the West would carry
slavery with it.
• Polk had a three part plan to win the war
with Mexico:
1. Drive Mexican troops out of the disputed
territory of Texas.
2. Seize New Mexico and California.
3. Capture Mexico’s capital, Mexico City.
• General Zachary Taylor accomplished the
first goal by the first part of 1847.
• American forces under General Stephen
Watts Kearney captured Santa Fe, the
capital of New Mexico, without a fight on
August 18, 1846. Kearney then led his
troops overland toward California.
• In June 1846 a small group of Americans
seized the town of Sonoma, north of San
Francisco, and proclaimed the
independent Republic of California.
• It was also called the Bear Flag Republic after
the illustration of a bear on its flag.
• In July 1846 an American naval squadron
captured the ports of Monterey and San
Francisco. The commander of the squadron,
Commodore John Sloat, declared California a
part of the United States.
• Sloat then went on to capture San Diego and
Los Angles.
• By January 1847 California was fully under the
control of the united States.
Bear Flag Republic
• In September 1847 American forces under
the command of General Winfield Scott
captured Mexico City, completing the last
part of President’s Polk’s plan to win the
war with Mexico.
• The treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo ended
the war with Mexico. It was signed in
February 1848. In the treaty, Mexico gave
up all claims to Texas and fixed the border
at the Rio Grande.
• In what was called the Mexican Cession,
Mexico also gave California and New
Mexico to the United States in return for
$15 million.
• In 1853 the United States paid Mexico an
additional $10 million for a strip of land
along the southern edge of present-day
Arizona and New Mexico, called the
Gadsden Purchase.
• With the purchase the adjoining 48 states
of the mainland reached its present day.
Gadsden Purchase
United States after the War
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