Main idea 1: Explain the role of mountain men in the exploration and expansion of the West



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13.1 Trails West
Essential Question:

How did Westward Expansion transform the Nation?

http://www.slideshare.net/echoroom20/westward-expansion-409372
MAIN IDEA 1: Explain the role of mountain men in the exploration and expansion of the West.
Mountain Men and the Rendezvous
Mountain men spent most of the year alone, trapping small animals such as beavers. Easterners wanted beaver furs to make the men’s hats that were in fashion at the time. To obtain furs, mountain men roamed the Great Plains and the Far West, the regions between the Mississippi River and the Pacific Ocean, and set traps in icy mountain streams.
Because of their adventures, mountain men such as Jedediah Smith and Jim Beckwourth became famous as rugged loners. However, they were not as independent as the legends have portrayed them. Instead, they were connected economically to the businessmen who bought their furs.
One businessman, William Henry Ashley, created a trading arrangement called the rendezvous system. Under this system, individual trappers came to a pre‐arranged site for a rendezvous with traders from the east. The trappers bought supplies from those traders and paid them in furs. The rendezvous took place every summer from 1825 to 1840. In that year, silk hats replaced beaver hats as the fashion, and the fur trade died out.
Mountain Men Open the West
During the height of the fur trade, mountain men worked some streams so heavily that they killed off the animals. This forced the trappers to search for new streams where beaver lived. The mountain men’s explorations provided Americans with some of the earliest firsthand knowledge of the Far West. This knowledge, and the trails the mountain men blazed, made it possible for later pioneers to move west. For example, thousands of pioneers used South Pass, the wide valley through the Rockies that Jedediah Smith had publicized. Smith learned of this pass, in present‐day Wyoming, from Native Americans.
Unlike the high northern passes used by Lewis and Clark, South Pass was low, so snow did not block it as often as it blocked higher passes. Also, because South Pass was wide and less steep, wagon trails could run through it.
Smith wrote to his brother that he wanted to help people in need: “It is for this that I go for days without eating, and am pretty well satisfied if I can gather a few roots, a few snails, . . . a piece of horseflesh, or a fine roasted dog.”


Your Turn
Explain the role of mountain men in the exploration and expansion of the West.

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MAIN IDEA 2: Identify reasons people went west.
The Lure of the West
Few of the people who went west shared Smith’s noble motive. To many, the West with its vast stretches of land offered a golden chance to make money. The Louisiana Purchase had doubled the size of the United States, and some Americans wanted to take the land away from Native Americans who inhabited this territory.
People called land speculators bought huge areas of land. To speculate means to buy something in the hope that it will increase in value. If land value did go up, speculators divided their land holdings into smaller sections. They made great profits by selling those sections to the thousands of settlers who dreamed of owning their own farms.
Manufacturers and merchants soon followed the settlers west. They hoped to earn money by making and selling items that farmers needed. Other people made the trip to find jobs or to escape people to whom they owed money.
Your Turn
Identify reasons people went west.
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MAIN IDEA 3: Describe the opening of the Santa Fe Trail
The Trail to Santa Fe
Traders also traveled west in search of markets. After Mexico gained independence from Spain in 1821, it opened its borders to American traders, whom Spain had kept out. In response, the Missouri trader William Becknell set out with hardware, cloth, and china for Santa Fe, capital of the Mexican province of New Mexico. By doing so, he opened the Santa Fe Trail, which led from Missouri to Santa Fe. Once in Santa Fe, he made a large profit because the New Mexicans were eager for new merchandise.
When Becknell returned to Missouri weeks later, a curious crowd met him. One man picked up one of Becknell’s bags and slit it open with a knife. As gold and silver coins spilled onto the street, the onlookers gasped. The news spread that New Mexico was a place where traders could become rich.
The following spring, Becknell headed to Santa Fe again. This time he loaded his trade goods into covered wagons, which Westerners called prairie schooners. Their billowing white canvas tops made them look like schooners, or sailing ships. Becknell could not haul wagons over the mountain pass he had used on his first trip to Santa Fe. Instead, he found a cutoff, a shortcut that avoided steep slopes but passed through a deadly desert to the south.
As his traders crossed the burning sands, they ran out of water. Crazed by thirst, they lopped off mules’ ears and killed their dogs to drink the animals’ blood. Finally, the men found a stream. The water saved them from death, and they reached Santa Fe. Becknell returned home with another huge profit. Before long, hundreds of traders and prairie schooners braved the cutoff to make the 800‐mile journey from Missouri to New Mexico each year.
Your Turn
Describe the opening of the Santa Fe Trail

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MAIN IDEA 4: Describe the impact of "Oregon Fever" on westward expansion
Hundreds of settlers also began migrating west on the Oregon Trail, which ran from Independence, Missouri, to the Oregon Territory. The first whites to cross the continent to Oregon were missionaries, such as Marcus and Narcissa Whitman in 1836. At that time, the United States and Britain were locked in an argument about which country owned Oregon. To the Whitmans’ great disappointment, they made few converts among the Native Americans. However, their glowing reports of Oregon’s rich land began to attract other American settlers.
OREGON TRAIL CHARTS:



Document #1:  Population Graph:  Oregon 1805 - 1900




https://lh5.googleusercontent.com/fzq9gu-kmxkryuhj97hrj81vrghvy-hfmcxzzxpow48ljddxm9ykbklrw1vje9hqshjx-kyzeddlrx7tpksyldxol-ty1pvgjevraqefqwhz8fyojm1knh-gpjhovmhiwpafgg8

What information can you infer from this population graph, about the relationship of Non-Indians and Native Americans in Oregon between 1805 and 1900?


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Amazing stories spread about Oregon. The sun always shone there. Wheat grew as tall as a man. One tale claimed that pigs were “running about...round and fat, and already cooked, with knives and forks sticking in them so you can cut off a slice whenever you are hungry.”
Such stories tempted many people to make the 2,000‐mile journey to Oregon. In 1843, nearly 1,000 people traveled from Missouri to Oregon. The next year, twice as many came. “The Oregon Fever has broken out,” observed a Boston newspaper, “and is now raging.”
The Oregon Trail was dangerous, so pioneers joined wagon trains. They knew their survival would depend on cooperation. Before setting out, the wagon train members agreed on rules and elected leaders to enforce them.
Even so, life on the trail was full of hardship. The Sagers had barely begun the trip when Mrs. Sager gave birth to her seventh child. Two months later, nine‐year‐old Catherine fell under a moving wagon, which crushed her left leg. Later, “camp fever” killed both of the Sager parents.Even though the Sager parents had died, the other families in the train cooperated to help the Sager orphans make it to Oregon. There, the Whitmans agreed to adopt them. When Narcissa met them, Catherine recalled, “We thought as we shyly looked at her that she was the prettiest woman we had ever seen.”
Your Turn
Describe the impact of "Oregon Fever" on westward expansion.

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MAIN IDEA 5: Profile the Mormons' westward journey
The Mormon Trail
While most pioneers went west in search of wealth, one group migrated for religious reasons. The Mormons, who settled Utah, were members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter‐Day Saints. Joseph Smith had founded this church in upstate New York in 1830. The Mormons lived in close communities, worked hard, shared their goods, and prospered.
The Mormons, though, also made enemies. Some people reacted angrily to the Mormons’ teachings. They saw the Mormon practice of polygamy—allowing a man to have more than one wife at a time—as immoral. Others objected to their holding property in common.
In 1844, an anti‐Mormon mob in Illinois killed Smith. Brigham Young, the next Mormon leader, moved his people out of the United States. His destination was Utah, then part of Mexico. In this desolate region, he hoped his people would be left to follow their faith in peace.
In 1847, about 1,600 Mormons followed part of the Oregon Trail to Utah. There they built a new settlement by the Great Salt Lake. Because Utah has little rainfall, the Mormons had to work together to build dams and canals. These structures captured water in the hills and carried it to the farms in the valleys below. Through teamwork, they made their desert homeland bloom.

Your Turn

Profile the Mormons' westward journey.


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13.1 Summary (Answer to the Essential Question)

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13.2 Texas Revolution
Essential Question:

What events led to Texas’s Independence from Mexico?
MAIN IDEA 1: Profile Texas under Spanish rule.

Spanish Texas

The Spanish land called Tejas (Tay•HAHS) bordered the United States territory called Louisiana. The land was rich and desirable. It had forests in the east, rich soil for growing corn and cotton, and great grassy plains for grazing animals. It also had rivers leading to natural ports on the Gulf of Mexico.It was home to Plains and Pueblo Native Americans.


Even though Tejas was a state in the Spanish colony of New Spain, it had few Spanish settlers. The Spanish mission system was still common. Missions raised crops and livestock, traded with other missions, and were largely self‐sufficient. Around 1819, Spanish soldiers drove off Americans trying to claim those lands as a part of the Louisiana Purchase.
In 1821, only about 4,000 Tejanos (Tay•HAH•nohs) lived in Texas. Tejanos are people of Spanish heritage who consider Texas their home. The Comanche, Apache, and other tribes fought fiercely against Spanish settlement of Texas. Also, the mission system began to decline. The Spanish officials wanted many more settlers to move to Texas. They hoped that new colonists would help to defend against Native Americans and Americans who illegally sneaked into Texas.
To attract more people to Texas, the Spanish government offered huge tracts of land to empresarios. (An empresario was a person who had been granted the right to settle on land in exchange for recruiting and taking responsibility for new settlers. The word is Spanish for entrepreneur.) But they were unable to attract Spanish settlers. So, when Moses Austin asked for permission to start a colony in Texas, Spain agreed. Austin was promised a large section of land. He had to agree that settlers on his land had to follow Spanish laws.
Your Turn

Profile Texas under Spanish rule.

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MAIN IDEA 2: Explain the tension between Texans and Tejanos.

Mexican Independence Changes Texas

Shortly after Stephen Austin arrived in Texas in 1821, Mexico successfully gained its independence from Spain. Tejas was now a part of Mexico. With the change in government, the Spanish land grant given to Austin’s father was worthless. Stephen Austin traveled to Mexico City to persuade the new Mexican government to let him start his colony. It took him almost a year to get permission. And the Mexican government would consent only if the new settlers agreed to become Mexican citizens and members of the Roman Catholic Church.


Between 1821 and 1827, Austin attracted 297 families to his new settlement. These original Texas settler families are known as the “Old Three Hundred.” He demanded evidence that each family head was moral, worked hard, and did not drink. So law‐abiding were his colonists that Austin could write to a new settler, “You will be astonished to see all our houses with no other fastening than a wooden pin or door latch.”
The success of Austin’s colony attracted more land speculators and settlers to Texas from the United States. Some were looking for a new life, some were escaping from the law, and others were looking for a chance to grow rich. By 1830, the population had swelled to about 30,000, with Americans outnumbering the Tejanos six to one.
Rising Tensions in Texas
As more and more Americans settled in Texas, tensions between them and the Tejanos increased. Used to governing themselves, Americans resented following Mexican laws. Since few Americans spoke Spanish, they were unhappy that all official documents had to be in that language. Slave owners were especially upset when Mexico outlawed slavery in 1829. They wanted to maintain slavery so they could grow cotton. Austin persuaded the government to allow slave owners to keep their slaves.
On the other hand, the Tejanos found the Americans difficult to live with, too. Tejanos thought that the Americans believed they were superior and deserved special privileges. The Americans seemed unwilling to adapt to Mexican laws, and few converted to Catholicism.
The Mexican government sent an official to Texas to investigate the tensions. He was not happy with what he found. In 1829, he reported to his government, “I am warning you to take timely measures . . . Texas could throw this whole nation into revolution.” His advice turned out to be right.
Responding to the warnings, the Mexican government cracked down on Texas. First, it closed the state o further American immigration. Next, it required Texans to pay taxes for the first time. Finally, to enforce these new laws, the government sent more Mexican troops to Texas.

Your Turn

Explain the tension between Texans and Tejanos.

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MAIN IDEA 3: Summarize the war between Texas and Mexico.
These actions caused angry protests. Some Texans even talked of breaking away from Mexico. Most, however, listened to Austin, who remained loyal to Mexico. In 1833, Austin set off for Mexico City with a petition. This document listed reforms supported by both Americans and Tejanos. The most important request was that Texas become a self‐governing state within Mexico.
In Mexico City, Austin met General Antonio López de Santa Anna, the Mexican president. At first, the general agreed to most of the reforms in Austin’s petition. But then Santa Anna learned of a letter Austin had written. The letter said that if the changes weren’t approved Austin would support breaking away from Mexican rule. This was rebellion! The general had Austin jailed for an entire year. The Texans were furious and ready to rebel.
Santa Anna’s answer to talk of rebellion was to send more troops to Texas. In late September 1835, Mexican soldiers marched to the town of Gonzales. They had orders to seize a cannon used by the Texans for protection against Native Americans. Texas volunteers had hung a flag on the big gun

hat said, “Come and Take It.”


The Mexican troops failed to capture the cannon. Two months later, Texans drove Mexican troops out of an old mission in San Antonio that was used as a fortress. It was called the Alamo. Among the Texas volunteers were free African Americans such as Hendrick Arnold and Greenbury Logan. Angered by these insults, Santa Anna and 6,000 troops headed for Texas.
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