9 The Oregon Territory 10 Texas Finally Becomes a State



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9 The Oregon Territory


10 Texas Finally

Becomes a State

Even though Polk’s campaign promise was “Fifty-four Forty or Fight!”, when it came down to whether or not to fight with Britain over the land, President Polk and America compromised and settled on 49°N latitude as the northern border of the United States and the southern border of Canada. This prevented war with Britain and still gave America a lot of new land. This new land was called the Oregon Territory and later became the states of Oregon, Washington, and Idaho.

Again in 1844, Texas (the Lone Star Republic) wanted to become part of America. Sam Houston signed a treaty with President Tyler to annex Texas, but the Senate refused to approve the treaty because they were afraid it would cause war with Mexico. The clever Houston pretended that Texas might ally itself with Britain and become a colony of Britain instead of America. Since America did not want Britain to control any more territory in North America, the U.S. decided to annex Texas.


11 Mexico Angry About

Texas Annexation


12 Dispute Over the

Texas Border

America annexing Texas made Mexico angry. This was because Mexico never really accepted Texas independence and also didn't agree on the border with the Republic of Texas. Mexico also worried that revolution may spread to its territories in California, New Mexico, and the rest of the Southwest where there were already many Americans settled. America was also upset with Mexico because we had tried to buy the lands of the Southwest and California for $30 million, but Mexico would not sell them.

Both the Mexicans and the Americans were struggling for control of the land between the Rio Grande and the Nueces rivers. The Americans say the Texas border is at the Rio Grande. The Mexicans say the Texas border is at the Nueces River. In April 1846, after President Polk sent General Zachary Taylor and the U.s. Army to set up posts along the river, the Mexican Army crossed the Rio Grande river into the land occupied by the Americans, a fight broke out, and the Mexican-American War began.


13 Polk Asks Congress

to Declare War


14 Americans Divided Over War

(Sectionalism)

When President Polk heard of the battle at the Rio Grande, he told Congress “Mexico has passed the boundary of the United States, has invaded our territory, and shed American blood upon American soil.” He then asked Congress to declare war on Mexico and they did.



Americans were divided over the war. Most people in the South and West supported the war but some northerners did not. Southerners and Westerners were eager for more land for farming. Northerners were afraid that the new land would become slave states like in the south and shift the power in Congress. Northerners were focused on trade, manufacturing, and continuing to develop new machines from the Industrial Revolution.


15 Mexican-American War

Three Part Battle Plan


16 Invade Northern Mexico

President Polk and his military advisors came up with a plan to attack the Mexicans on 3

different fronts with 3 armies:

 Invade Northern Mexico (Gen. Taylor)

 Capture the port of Vera Cruz and

Mexico City (Gen. Scott)

 Capture Santa Fe and the port of San

Diego and control the New Mexico and

California Territories. (Gen. Kearny)



General Zachary Taylor crossed the Rio Grande River and attacked General Santa Anna in northern Mexico at the Battle of Buena Vista. Using good strategy at the mountain pass, General Taylor and the Americans forced an army twice its size to retreat. Santa Anna and the Mexican Army retreated to Monterrey, Mexico. General Zachary Taylor and the Americans followed them there and defeated Santa Anna's army in Monterrey forcing many soldiers to surrender.


17  Capture the port

of Vera Cruz


18 Control the New Mexico

and California Territories


General Winfield Scott brought his army to the port at Veracruz in Mexico. Before he could land his troops, the ships bombarded the fort city of Veracruz. Once on land, the Americans partially surrounded and made a siege on the city. The Americans fought hard and eventually captured the city of Vera Cruz. Then, General Scott and his troops were free to head towards the capital city, Mexico City.


General Stephen Kearny took Sante Fe by surprise and captured the city without firing a single shot. There was no large Mexican Army there to fight at all. Next, he marched towards San Diego to grain control of southern California. After a fierce battle at San Diego and a few smaller battles, General Kearny was in control of the southern border of the California Territory and most of the New Mexico Territory.



19 Revolt in California

The Bear Flag Republic


20 The Final Battle -

The Battle of Chapultepec

Just like in Texas, Americans that were living in the California Territory did not want to follow the laws of Mexico and rebelled to create their own independent republic called the Bear Flag Republic. The Californians were led by John C. Frémont. After defeating the Mexican forts (Remember: A String of Missions & Forts) in northern California, they joined up with General Kearny and the Americans in southern California. The Americans then had control of all of California.

Eventually General Winfield Scott’s army reached and surrounded Mexico City. A fierce battle was fought at the fort / castle of Chapultepec where heroic young Mexican soldiers fought hard against the Americans. However, the Americans eventually captured the fort and moved on to capture the capital of Mexico, which is Mexico City. The remaining Mexican Army and the government of Mexico were forced to surrender in the central square in downtown Mexico City.


21 The Treaty of Guadalupe-Hidalgo & the Mexican Cession


22 The Gadsden Purchase

After the capital was surrounded, the Mexican government was forced to make peace. The Treaty of Guadalupe-Hidalgo ended the Mexican War. Mexico had to give up (cede) all of California and Mexico to the United States. The lands given up were called the Mexican Cession. America gave Mexico $15 million for the land which was just ½ of what we had originally offered to pay for the land.



To finish obtaining the remainder of the land that belongs to the United States today, the U.S. paid Mexico an additional $10 million to buy a strip of land in Arizona and New Mexico. They needed this strip of land to build a railroad on to go around the mountains instead of over them. This was called the Gadsden Purchase. With this purchase, Americans felt like they had finally accomplished their Manifest Destiny.






21 The Treaty of Guadalupe-Hidalgo & the Mexican Cession


22 The Gadsden Purchase

After the capital was surrounded, the Mexican government was forced to make peace. The Treaty of Guadalupe-Hidalgo ended the Mexican War. Mexico had to give up (cede) all of California and Mexico to the United States. The lands given up were called the Mexican Cession. America gave Mexico $15 million for the land which was just ½ of what we had originally offered to pay for the land.



To finish obtaining the remainder of the land that belongs to the United States today, the U.S. paid Mexico an additional $10 million to buy a strip of land in Arizona and New Mexico. They needed this strip of land to build a railroad on to go around the mountains instead of over them. This was called the Gadsden Purchase. With this purchase, Americans felt like they had finally accomplished their Manifest Destiny.




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