Chapter 11 Manifest Destiny Lesson 1



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Chapter 11

Manifest Destiny




Lesson 1

Westward to the Pacific

Rivalry in the Northwest

  • The Oregon country was the huge area between the Pacific Ocean and the Rocky Mountains north of California.

  • Four nations, Great Britain, Spain, Russia, and the United States, claimed the land.

  • The United States wanted to control the Oregon country, so Americans could have access to the Pacific Ocean to build trade.

  • The U.S. based its claim on Robert Gray’s exploration of the Columbia River in 1792 and on Lewis and Clark’s explorations.

  • Secretary of State John Quincy Adams negotiated a treaty with Spain’s foreign minister, Louis De Onis.

  • In the Adams-Onis Treaty, Spain agreed to set the limits of their territory at what is now California’s northern border and gave up their claim to Oregon.

  • In 1824, Russia gave up its claim.

  • Adams worked out a deal with Britain for joint occupation of the area, which meant that people from both Britain and the United States could settle in Oregon.

  • When Adams became president in 1825, he proposed that the two nations divide the area, but Britain refused.

Early Americans in Oregon

  • The first Americans to reach Oregon country were fur traders called mountain men.

  • They came to trap beaver, whose skins were in great demand.

  • Mountain men traveled in the mountains in the spring and summer, collecting beaver pelts, and they met for a rendezvous, or meeting, in the late summer.

  • John Jacob Astor established the American Fur Company, which became the largest fur company in America.

  • Jim Beckwourth, an African American mountain man, explored Wyoming’s Green River.

  • Robert Stuart and Jedediah Smith found the South Pass, a broad break through the Rockies that later became the main route to Oregon.

  • Mountain men had to be skillful and resourceful to survive in the wilderness.

  • In time the mountain men killed off most of the beaver.




Settling Oregon

  • Missionaries were among the first settlers in Oregon country.

  • They wanted to bring Christianity to the Native Americans.

  • Dr. Marcus Whitman and his wife, Narcissa, built a mission among the Cayuse people near the present site of Walla Walla, Washington.

  • New settlers unknowingly brought sickness to the Cayuse, and the Cayuse retaliated by attacking the mission.

  • The Whitmans and 11 others were killed.

  • In the early 1840s, a desire to go to Oregon swept across the people of the Mississippi Valley.

  • People banded together to make the trip to Oregon.

  • These pioneers, called emigrants because they left the United States to go to Oregon, traveled the 2,000 mile journey in covered wagons following the Oregon Trail.

  • Between 1840 and 1845, the American population in the fertile Willamette Valley rose from 500 to 5,000.

  • The British population remained about 700.

  • The United States began to question ownership of the area again.




Manifest Destiny

  • Many Americans believed their mission was to expand the boundaries of the United States to the Pacific Ocean.

  • This idea was called Manifest Destiny.

  • Pressure mounted for the United States to take ownership of the Oregon Country.

  • James K. Polk represented the Democratic Party in the presidential election of 1844.

  • He believed in the United States’ sole ownership of Oregon.

  • Henry Clay, the Whig Party candidate, did not take a strong position on the Oregon issue.

  • He lost the election to Polk.

  • In 1846, Britain and the United States compromised, settling the boundary of Oregon at latitude 49º North.

Lesson 2

Independence for Texas

A Clash of Cultures

  • In 1803, the United States claimed Texas, despite Spain’s protests.

  • The United States dropped its claim to Texas in 1819.

  • Most of Texas’s residents were Tejanos, or Mexicans who claimed Texas as their home.

  • Spain offered tracts of land to people who would settle in Texas.

  • The people who obtained grants and recruited settlers were called empresarios.

  • Moses Austin received the first land grant in 1821, but before he could set up his colony, Mexico declared independence from Spain.

  • Austin died soon afterward, and the land passed to his son, Stephen F. Austin.

  • He recruited 300 American families to settle in Texas.

  • By 1830, Americans far outnumbered Mexicans in Texas.

  • Mexico issued a decree, or official order, that stopped all immigration from the United States and taxed all American goods entering Texas.

  • These policies enraged Texans.

  • In 1833, Mexican president General Antonio Lopez de Santa Anna agreed to remove the ban on American settlers, but he refused to change Texas’s political status.

  • Santa Anna became a dictator and overthrew Mexico’s constitution.




The Struggle for Independence

  • During 1835, conflicts occurred between Texans and Mexican troops.

  • In October, Mexican troops tried to take a cannon held by Texans in the town of Gonzales, but they were driven back by the Texans.

  • Texans called on volunteers to join their fight against Mexico, offering free land to anyone who would help.

  • Davy Crockett was one who volunteered.

  • In December 1835, the Texans liberated the town of San Antonio from Mexican forces.

  • Many Texans left San Antonio after the liberation, thinking the war was won.

  • Santa Anna, furious over the loss of San Antonio, marched north, reaching San Antonio in February 1836.

  • A small force of Texans was barricaded inside the Alamo, a nearby mission.

  • For 13 days, the small group of Texans, including Davy Crockett, William B. Travis, and Jim Bowie, kept the Alamo from Mexican forces.

  • On March 6, 1836, Mexican forces broke through the Alamo and killed all the Texas forces.

  • Only a few women and children and some servants survived.

  • American settlers and Tejanos declared independence from Mexico on March 2, 1836, while defenders fought at the Alamo

  • The Texas Declaration of Independence was similar to the national Declaration.

  • Texas leaders set up a temporary government until elections could be held.

  • The government named Sam Houston commander in chief of Texas forces.

  • Houston ordered troops at Goliad to abandon their positions, but they intercepted Mexican forces after retreating.

  • Santa Anna ordered the Texans executed.

  • Houston gathered about 900 troops at San Jacinto, near present-day Houston.

  • Santa Anna was camped nearby with an army of about 1,300.

  • On April 21, 1836, Texans attacked the Mexican camp, capturing Santa Anna.

  • Santa Anna signed a treaty recognizing the independence of Texas on May 14, 1836.

  • Texans elected Sam Houston president in September 1836.

  • Houston asked the United States to annex - take control of - Texas.

  • Southerners favored the annexation, but Northerners objected.

  • Fighting continued between Texas and Mexico because the Mexican government refused to honor Santa Anna’s recognition of Texas independence.

  • John Tyler, who became president in 1841, supported the Texas annexation, but the Senate did not.

  • James K. Polk, elected President in 1844, supported the annexation of Texas and pressed Congress to agree.

  • In 1845, Texas was granted statehood.

Lesson 3

War With Mexico

The New Mexico Territory

  • New Mexico was the name of the vast region between the Texas and California territories.

  • New Mexico had been part of Spain’s colony of Mexico.

  • In 1610, Spain founded the settlement of Santa Fe.

  • Mexico inherited New Mexico when it won independence from Spain in 1821.

  • William Becknell traveled to New Mexico and was the first American trader to reach Santa Fe.

  • The route he traveled became known as the Santa Fe Trail.

  • Other traders followed Becknell, and the trail became a busy trade route.

  • As trade increased with Mexico, more Americans began settling in the region.

  • As the idea of Manifest Destiny became popular, Americans began thinking that New Mexico should belong to the United States.

California’s Spanish Culture

  • The first Europeans to settle in California were Spanish explorers and Mexican missionaries.

  • The first settlement at San Francisco was founded in 1776, and seven years later a mission system was build along a route known as El Camino Real.

  • Jedediah Smith was an American mountain man who visited the San Gabriel mission and reported on life there.

  • California became a state of Mexico after Mexico won its independence from Spain in 1821.

  • People from Mexico began settling in California.

  • In 1833, the Mexican government passed a law abolishing the Spanish missions in California.

  • The government gave some of the mission land to Native Americans.

  • Rancheros - ranch owners - bought the remainder of the land and built huge properties called ranchos.

  • Mexico granted land to John Sutter in 1839, and he built a trading post that became one of the first stopping points for Americans traveling to California.

  • In the 1840s, American families began to arrive in California, making the journey on the Oregon Trail.

  • John C. Fremont traveled several times through California and wrote about the region.

  • Americans began to talk about making California a state of the United States.

  • President James Polk twice offered to buy California and New Mexico, but Mexico refused.




War With Mexico

  • After the annexation of Texas, relations between Mexico and the United States were strained.

  • The two countries also disagreed on the Texas-Mexico border.

  • The United States insisted the Rio Grande formed the border; Mexico claimed that the border lay along the Nueces River, about 150 miles farther north.

  • President James K. Polk was determined to annex California and New Mexico.

  • After Mexico refused to sell the territories, Polk plotted to provoke war with Mexico.

  • Polk ordered General Zachary Taylor to march his soldiers across the Nueces River into the disputed territory.

  • Taylor followed orders and built a fort there.

  • Mexican soldiers attacked Taylor’s soldiers, and Congress passed a declaration of war.

  • Democrats backed the war, but Whigs believed the war was unjust.

  • Abraham Lincoln, an Illinois congressman, claimed that Polk had no reason for blaming Mexico for the attack.

  • President Polk planned for U.S. forces to drive Mexico out of the disputed area in Texas, then move forces into California and New Mexico before taking Mexico City.

  • Taylor succeeded in defeating the Mexicans to secure the Texas border.

  • General Stephen Kearney led troops to California and New Mexico.

  • In 1846, a small group of Americans had seized the town of Sonoma and proclaimed California independent.

  • The called the new country the Bear Flag Republic.

  • John C. Fremont declared he would seize California, which enraged the Californios, the Mexicans who lived in California.

  • U.S. naval forces captured San Francisco and Monterey in July 1846, and Commodore John Sloat declared California annexed.

  • The Americans then captured San Diego and Los Angeles.

  • By 1847, California was under U.S. control.

  • American forces then marched to take Mexico City, succeeding in September 1847.

  • In the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo, Mexico gave up all claims to Texas and agreed to the Rio Grande as the border between Texas and Mexico.

  • Mexico also ceded - gave - California and New Mexico to the United States.




Lesson 4

New Settlers in California and Utah

California Gold Rush

  • James Marshall discovered gold while building a sawmill on the South Fork of the American River in California.

  • The prospect of gold brought thousands of people from all over the world to California in 1848 and 1849.

  • Those who arrived in 1849 were called forty-niners.

  • Some gold seekers sailed to California.

  • Most who came by sea traveled around the tip of South America.

  • The greatest number of people came overland on the Oregon Trail or Santa Fe Trail.

  • The Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo that ended the war with Mexico made Californios citizens of the United States and guaranteed them the right to their lands.

  • However, the Land Law of 1851 established a group of people to review the Californios’ land claims.

  • The Californios were unable to prove what land they owned, and many lost their land.

  • As people rushed to California, boomtowns, new communities, sprang up almost overnight.

  • Cities in California also flourished.

  • Most forty-niners had no experience in mining, and very few of them achieved lasting wealth.

  • Merchants made large profits since they could charge whatever they liked for goods because miners had nowhere else to buy them.

  • Very few women lived in mining towns, and men spent their free time drinking, gambling, and fighting.

  • Crime was a problem, and vigilantes took the law into their own hands, acting as police, judge, and jury.

  • The Gold Rush had lasting effects on California’s economy.

  • Many people who came looking for gold settled in California.

  • California became a state in 1850.




A Religious Refuge in Utah

  • Joseph Smith had visions that led him to found the Mormon church.

  • Smith founded a community in New York, but neighbors who disapproved of the religion drove them out.

  • The Mormons traveled to Ohio, Missouri, then Illinois.

  • In 1844, a mob in Illinois killed Smith, and Brigham Young took over as leader of the Mormons.

  • About 12,000 Mormons settled in Utah near the Great Salt Lake to live a godly life.

  • In 1848, the United States acquired the Great Salt Lake area from Mexico.

  • Two years later, Congress set up the Utah Territory, and Brigham Young became governor.

  • Utah became a state in 1896.



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