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



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Capturing New Mexico and California
Not long after the war began, General Stephen Kearny (KAHR•nee)— a U.S. Army officer—and his men left Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, with orders to occupy New Mexico. Then they were to continue west to California.
Six weeks and 650 hot and rugged miles later, Kearny’s army entered New Mexico. Using persuasion instead of force, he convinced the Mexican troops that he meant to withdraw. This allowed him to take New Mexico without firing a shot. Then Kearny and a small force of soldiers marched on toward California, which had only 8,000 to 12,000 Mexican residents. The remaining force moved south toward Mexico.
In California, Americans led by the explorer John C. Frémont rebelled against Mexican rule in the Bear Flag Revolt. They arrested the Mexican commander of Northern California and raised a crude flag showing a grizzly bear sketched in blackberry juice. The rebels declared California independent of Mexico and named it the Republic of California. In the fall, U.S. troops reached California and joined forces with the rebels. Within weeks, Americans controlled all of California.
The Invasion of Mexico
The defeat of Mexico proved far more difficult. The Mexican army was much larger, but the U.S. troops were led by well‐trained officers. American forces invaded Mexico from two directions.
General Taylor battled his way south from Texas toward the city of Monterrey in northern Mexico. On February 22, 1847, his 4,800 troops met General Santa Anna’s 15,000 Mexican soldiers near a ranch called Buena Vista. After the first day of fighting, Santa Anna sent Taylor a note offering him a chance to surrender. Taylor declined.
At the end of the second bloody day of fighting, Santa Anna reported that “both armies have been cut to pieces.” However, it was Santa Anna who retreated after the Battle of Buena Vista. The war in the north of Mexico was over.
In southern Mexico, fighting continued. A second force led by General Winfield Scott landed at Veracruz on the Gulf of Mexico and battled nland toward Mexico City. Outside the capital, Scott met fierce resistance at the castle of Chapultepec (chuh•POOL•tuh•pek). About 1,000 soldiers and 100 young military cadets bravely defended the fortress. Despite their determined resistance, Mexico City fell to Scott in September 1847. As he watched, a Mexican officer sighed and said, “God is a Yankee.”
THEY SAID IT ... BUT WHAT DID THEY MEAN? UNDERSTANDING PRIMARY SOURCE
“Our manifest destiny [is] to overspread and possess the whole of the continent which Providence [God] has given us for the development of the great experiment of liberty and . . . self-government.”

John O’Sullivan, United States Magazine and Democratic Review

Rewrite O’Sullivan’s idea in your own words.





The determination of our slaveholding President to prosecute the war, and the probability of his success in wringing from the people men and money to carry it on, is made evident, . . . None seem willing to take their stand for peace at all risks; and all seem willing that the war should be carried on in some form or other.



Frederick Douglass in The North Star, January 21, 1848

What two reasons does Douglass give for why he believes the war is inevitable?




“Mexico has invaded our territory and shed American blood upon American soil.”



James Polk, President of the United States, Message to Congress

Based on what you know about history, why is this statement not entirely true?




“God is a Yankee.”

Mexican Officer, following the Battle of Mexico City, 1847

Why do you think this Mexican officer would make a statement like this?





MAIN IDEA 4: Detail the peace agreement with Mexico and territory gained by the United States.
The Mexican Cession
On February 2, 1848, the war officially ended with the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo (gwah•duh•LOOP•ay -hih•DAHL•go). In this treaty, Mexico recognized that Texas was part of the United States, and the Rio Grande was the border between the nations. Mexico also ceded, or gave up, a vast region known as the Mexican Cession.
Together with Texas, this land amounted to almost one‐half of Mexico. The loss was a bitter defeat for Mexico, particularly because many Mexicans felt that the United States had provoked the war in the hope of gaining Mexican territory.
In return, the United States agreed to pay Mexico $15 million. The United States would also pay the $3.25 million of claims U.S. citizens had against Mexico. Finally, it also promised to protect the approximately 80,000 Mexicans living in Texas and the Mexican Cession.

Based on what you have read, can you see their POINT OF VIEW? (Annotate your thoughts.)
Mexicans living in the United States saw the conquest of their land differently. Suddenly they were a minority in a nation with a strange language, culture, and legal system. At the same time, they would make important contributions to their new country. A rich new culture resulted from the blend of many cultures in the Mexican Cession.
From Sea to Shining Sea”
The last bit of territory added to the continental Unites States was a strip of land across what is now southern New Mexico and Arizona. The government wanted the land as a location for a southern transcontinental railroad. In 1853, Mexico sold the land—called the Gadsden Purchase—to the United States for $10 million.
On July 4, 1848, in Washington, President Polk laid the cornerstone of a monument to honor George Washington. In Washington’s day, the western border of the United States was the Mississippi River.
The United States in 1848 now stretched “from sea to shining sea.” In August, Polk learned that gold had been found in California.




Your Turn
Why were Mexicans “bitter over the defeat”?

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How many states or parts of states did America gain by way of the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo and how much did it cost?

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13.4 California Gold Rush


Essential Question:

What were some of the effects of the California Gold Rush?
MAIN IDEA 1: Describe California before the Gold Rush.

California Before the Rush
Before the forty‐niners came, California was populated by as many as 150,000 Native Americans and 8,000 to 12,000 Californios—settlers of Spanish or Mexican descent. Most Californios lived on huge cattle ranches. They had acquired their estates when the Mexican government took away the land that once belonged to the California missions.
One important Californio was Mariano Vallejo (mah•RYAH•noh vah•YEH•hoh). A member of one of the oldest Spanish families in America, he owned 250,000 acres of land. Proudly describing the key events that brought the territory into the United States Vallejo wrote, “We were the pioneers of the Pacific coast ... while General Washington was carrying on the war of the Revolution.” Vallejo himself had been the commander of Northern California when it belonged to Mexico.
When Mexico owned California, its government feared American immigration and rarely gave land to foreigners. But John Sutter, a Swiss immigrant, was one exception. Dressed in a secondhand French army uniform, Sutter had visited the Mexican governor in 1839. A charming man, Sutter persuaded the governor to grant him 50,000 acres in the unsettled Sacramento Valley. Sutter built a fort on his land and dreamed of creating his own personal empire based on agriculture.
In 1848, Sutter sent a carpenter named James Marshall to build a sawmill on the nearby American River. One day Marshall inspected the canal that brought water to Sutter’s Mill. He later said, “My eye was caught by a glimpse of something shining. . . . I reached my hand down and picked it up; it made my heart thump for I felt certain it was gold.”

Your Turn

Who inhabited California?

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What role did John Sutter and James Marshall play in the California gold rush?


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MAIN IDEA 2: Summarize the activities occurring during the gold rush.
Rush for Gold
News of Marshall’s thrilling discovery spread rapidly. From all over California, people raced to the American River—starting the California gold rush. A gold rush occurs when large numbers of people move to a site where gold has been found. Throughout history, people have valued gold because it is scarce, beautiful, easy to shape, and resistant to tarnish.
Miners soon found gold in other streams flowing out of the Sierra Nevada Mountains. Colonel R. B. Mason, the military governor of California, estimated that the region held enough gold to “pay the cost of the present war with Mexico a hundred times over.” He sent this news to Washington with a box of gold dust as proof.
Miners soon found gold in other streams flowing out of the Sierra Nevada Mountains. Colonel R. B. Mason, the military governor of California, estimated that the region held enough gold to “pay the cost of the present war with Mexico a hundred times over.” He sent this news to Washington with a box of gold dust as proof.
The following year thousands of gold seekers set out to make their fortunes. A forty‐niner who wished to reach California from the East had a choice of three routes, all of them dangerous:
1. Sail 18,000 miles around South America and up the Pacific coast—suffering from storms,

seasickness, and spoiled food.


2. Sail to the narrow Isthmus of Panama, cross overland (and risk catching a deadly tropical

disease), and then sail to California.


3. Travel the trails across North America— braving rivers, prairies, mountains, and all the hardships of the trail.
Because the adventure was so difficult, most gold seekers were young men. “A gray beard is almost as rare as a petticoat,” observed one miner. Luzena Wilson said that during the six months she lived in the mining city of Sacramento, she saw only two other women.
Your Turn
What is the significance of the American River and the Sierra Nevada Mountains to the gold rush?
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Which of the routes listed would you take to get to the California gold fields? Why? (PEE)

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MAIN IDEA 3: Describe life in a mining camp.
Life in the Mining Camps
The mining camps had colorful names like Mad Mule Gulch, Hangtown, and Coyote Diggings. They began as rows of tents along the streams flowing out of the Sierra Nevada. Gradually, the tents gave way to rough wooden buildings that housed stores and saloons. Mining camps could be dangerous.
The mining life was hard for other reasons. Camp gossip told of miners who grew rich overnight by finding eight‐pound nuggets, but in reality, such easy pickings were rare. Miners spent their days standing knee‐deep in icy streams, where they sifted through tons of mud and sand to find small amounts of gold.
Exhaustion, poor food, and disease all damaged the miners’ health. Not only was acquiring gold brutally difficult, but the miners had to pay outrageously high prices for basic supplies. In addition, gamblers and con artists swarmed into the camps to swindle the miners of their money. As a result, few miners grew rich.

Your Turn
Why do you think life in the mining camps was so full of crime, exhaustion, poor food and disease?

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Of all of the descriptions of negative things describing camp life, which do you feel was the worst?



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MAIN IDEA 4: Analyze the impact of the gold rush on California.
Miners from Around the World
About two‐thirds of the forty‐niners were Americans. Most of these were white men—many from New England. However, Native Americans, free blacks, and enslaved African Americans also worked the mines. Thousands of experienced miners came from Sonora in Mexico. Other foreign miners came from Europe, South America, Australia, and China. Most of the Chinese miners were peasant farmers who fled from a region that had suffered several crop failures. By the end of 1851, one of every ten immigrants was Chinese.
Used to backbreaking labor in their homeland, the Chinese proved to be patient miners. They would take over sites that American miners had abandoned because the easy gold was gone. Through steady, hard work, the Chinese made these “played‐out” sites yield profits. American miners resented the success of the Chinese and were suspicious of their different foods, dress, and customs. As the numbers of Chinese miners grew, American anger toward them also increased.
Conflicts Among Miners
A mixture of greed, anger, and prejudice caused some miners to cheat others. For example, I. B. Gilman promised to free an enslaved African American named Tom if he saved enough gold. For more than a year, Tom mined for himself after each day’s work was done. When he finally had $1,000, Gilman gave him a paper saying he was free. The next day, the paper suspiciously disappeared. Even though Tom was certain he had been robbed, he couldn’t prove it. He had to work for another year before Gilman would free him.
Once the easy‐to‐find gold was gone, American miners began to force Native Americans and foreigners such as Mexicans and Chinese out of the gold fields to reduce competition. This practice increased after California became a state in 1850. One of the first acts of the California state legislature was to pass the Foreign Miners Tax, which imposed a tax of $20 a month on miners from other countries. That was more than most could afford to pay. As the tax collectors arrived in the camps, most foreigners left.
Driven from the mines, the Chinese opened shops, restaurants, and laundries. So many Chinese owned businesses in San Francisco that their neighborhood was called Chinatown, a name it still goes by today.


CRITICAL THINKING SOAPS ACTIVITY
Document  1:  The Chinese Must Go!

https://lh5.googleusercontent.com/m6dyutiwqo5kxcap9f-z4anjjujq72l6qbprymcl-zsywkqjhnp3emyfernusiwobkk79fwjqfdkdc0mchhdvxr1m0qehclez1uxq7x0do_lbtzzcn4bsap9mb4idmfv9xy6wdq
Document  2:  “The Only One Barred Out”

https://lh6.googleusercontent.com/gn2hdsqeejpiugj9a7yhj-gdk6vkz-nmdhnpfyonvffcjavu4ireboqv2ugjqwb_ou3sfpos_0_sxwxghlibv2taalbdddysmqsng_rflprec585vyhhcfcm68h11eryqj4zpgs

Document 3:  The Magic Washer
https://lh6.googleusercontent.com/w4bibqkr4oouybh5b8xbthyleeddh8hwuien2kwxumq3vdhbuk2lrxqobbgqkyv8apxxs2shnj5gkloyiotjnpqdzl-pf_vnqopq7zk34co49w8-dt3lgzga41kgatof71wtpzq

The Impact of the Gold Rush
By 1852, the gold rush was over. While it lasted, about 250,000 people flooded into California. This huge migration caused economic growth that changed California permanently. The port city of San Francisco grew to become a center of banking, manufacturing, shipping, and trade. Its population exploded from around 400 in 1845 to 35,000 in 1850. Sacramento became the center of a productive farming region.
However, the gold rush ruined many Californios. The newcomers did not respect Californios, their customs, or their legal rights. In many cases, Americans seized their property. For example, Mariano Vallejo lost all but 300 acres of his huge estate. Even so, their Spanish heritage became an important part of California culture.
Native Americans suffered even more. Thousands of them died from diseases brought by the newcomers. The miners hunted down and killed thousands more. The reason was the Anglo‐American belief that Native Americans stood in the way of progress. By 1870, California’s Native American population had fallen from 150,000 to only about 58,000.
A final effect of the gold rush was that by 1849 California had enough people to apply for statehood. Skipping the territorial stage, California applied to Congress for admission to the Union and was admitted as a free state in 1850. Although its constitution outlawed slavery, it did not grant African Americans the vote.
For some people, California’s statehood proved to be the opportunity of a lifetime. The enslaved woman Nancy Gooch gained her freedom because of the law against slavery. She then worked as a cook and washerwoman until she saved enough money to buy the freedom of her son and daughter‐in‐law in Missouri. Nancy Gooch’s family moved to California to join her. Eventually, they became so prosperous that they bought Sutter’s sawmill, where the gold rush first started. Bridget “Biddy” Mason similarly gained her freedom in 1856 when her master moved to California. Mason moved her family to Los Angeles and became a wealthy landowner in the area.
On a national level, California’s statehood created turmoil. Before 1850, there were an equal number of free states and slave states. Southerners feared that because the statehood of California made free states outnumber slave states, Northerners might use their majority to abolish slavery.

Your Turn
Why did the Chinese face the prejudice described above?

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Why was the Foreign Miners’ Tax put in place?

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What were negative impacts of the gold rush?

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What were positive impacts of the gold rush?

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