Westward Expansion



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Westward Expansion

During the 1800s, the United States expanded westward as it gained new territories. Many Americans felt that it was the nation's destiny to expand west across the continent, a belief known as Manifest Destiny. These people, known as expansionists, believed that acquiring new territories was justified since the United States was spreading democracy into new areas. From the early 1800s to the 1850s, the United States nearly tripled in size as the new country gained land west of the Mississippi River.

Important Events in U.S. Expansion

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Land Ordinance of 1785 & the Northwest Ordinance of 1787

Following the American Revolution, the United States gained a large amount of land west of the Appalachian Mountains and east of the Mississippi River. The Land Ordinance of 1785 and the Northwest Ordinance of 1787 were passed by the Confederation Congress in order to organize this new land.

The Land Ordinance of 1785 provided for the land in the Northwest Territory to be surveyed and divided into 36-square mile townships. Each township was divided into 36 sections of 640-acre (or one square mile) tracts. Each section was to be sold for at least $1 per acre. Because the government established by the Articles of Confederation did not give the central government the power to tax, the sale of land in the Northwest Territory was one way in which the government was able to raise much needed revenue.

The Northwest Ordinance was passed in 1787 and organized the area north of the Ohio River and east of the Mississippi River. The ordinance banned slavery in this area and established procedures for how new states could be admitted to the Union. At first, a territory would be governed by a governor, a secretary, and judges who were appointed by Congress. When 5,000 adult males lived in a territory, the territory could elect representatives to form a legislature. When there were 60,000 people living in the territory, it could apply for statehood. These procedures were used as the U.S. expanded westward. Ohio, Indiana, Michigan, Illinois, and Wisconsin are the five states that were created as a result of the Northwest Ordinance.



Louisiana Purchase

In 1803, President Thomas Jefferson sent James Monroe and Robert Livingston to France to purchase the port of New Orleans for $10 million. France offered the entire Louisiana Territory, stretching from the Mississippi River to the Rocky Mountains, for $15 million. The Louisiana Purchase doubled the size of the United States.



Lewis & Clark Expedition

Soon after purchasing the Louisiana Territory, President Jefferson appointed Meriwether Lewis and William Clark to explore the land the U.S. had acquired. Jefferson wanted the men to find a water route to the Pacific Ocean and strengthen U.S. claims in the area. Jefferson also wanted them to gather information about Native Americans living in these areas. In 1803, Lewis and Clark started near St. Louis, Missouri, and traveled along the Missouri River. They made a survey of the West, taking notes about people, plants, and animals living in the new U.S. territory. They were helped by Sacajawea, a member of the Shoshone tribe who served as their translator. It took them almost three years to complete their survey and return.



Adams-Onís Treaty

The Adams-Onís Treaty was signed by the United States and Spain in 1819. In this treaty, Spain ceded Florida to the U.S., the border between Texas and Louisiana was set, and Spain withdrew all claims of land in the West north of the 42nd parallel. In return, the U.S. assumed $5 million in damages claimed by U.S. citizens against Spain.



"54-40 or Fight!"

A boundary dispute over the Oregon Territory of the Pacific Northwest arose because of competing U.S. and British claims to the area in the first half of the 19th century. From 1818 to 1846, the United States and Great Britain administered the Oregon Territory jointly until both countries could agree on how to divide the land between them. Many American expansionists wanted the U.S. to control all of the land in the Oregon Territory that was south of the 54°40' parallel and believed that the U.S. should go to war with Great Britain if need be in order to obtain the land. This issue became prominent in the 1844 presidential election, and "54-40 of Fight!" was a major campaign slogan for Democratic Party candidate James K. Polk. Polk won the election, but upon assuming the presidency decided to settle for a compromise in order to avoid war. In 1846, the U.S. signed the Oregon Treaty, setting the boundary between the U.S. and British Canada at the 49th parallel.



Battle of the Alamo & Texas Independence

The Battle of the Alamo was an important battle in the Texas War for Independence. One hundred fifty Texan and American soldiers fought at this former Spanish mission under the leadership of William B. Travis, James Bowie, and Davy Crockett from February 24 to March 6, 1836. They fought against thousands of Mexican soldiers under General Santa Anna. Though the Texans were defeated at the Alamo, other Texans used the memory of the battle as motivation to defeat the Mexican soldiers six weeks later at the Battle of San Jacinto. Texas became an independent nation on April 21, 1836. Although Texas requested to become a part of the United States, Northerners did not want Texas to become a new state because it allowed slavery, which would disrupt the balance of free states and slave states. The Republic of Texas existed for nine years and became part of the United States when it was admitted as the 28th state in 1845.



U.S. Annexation of Texas & Mexican War

Prior to the outbreak of the Mexican War, tension had been mounting between the U.S. and Mexico for many years. The 1845 U.S. annexation of Texas angered many in Mexico since the Mexican government did not recognize Texas independence. The U.S. and Mexico also clashed because of a dispute over the border between Texas and Mexico, with the U.S. claiming the border was at the Rio Grande, while Mexico claimed the border was further north at the Nueces River. In 1846, President James Polk ordered troops to the north bank of the Rio Grande to protect what he thought to be American territory. The Mexican government, however, viewed this as an act of war and sent troops across the river to attack the Americans. Following this, the United States declared war on Mexico on May 13, 1846. The resulting Mexican War lasted until 1848.



Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo & the Mexican Cession

The Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo was signed in 1848 and ended the Mexican War. Mexico recognized the Rio Grandeas the border between Texas and Mexico. The U.S. paid Mexico $15 million to gain all of what is now California, Nevada, and Utah along with parts of Wyoming, Colorado, Arizona, and New Mexico. This land is known as the Mexican Cession.



California Gold Rush

In 1848, gold was discovered at Sutter's Mill in California. In two years, over 40,000 prospectors came to California with the hope of discovering gold. Many of them came in 1849, which gave the prospectors the name of "49ers." Very few of them actually found gold, but they became an important part of the economic growth in California.



Gadsden Purchase

The Gadsden Purchase occurred in 1853 when the U.S. obtained the land that makes up the southern parts of the present-day states of Arizona and New Mexico for $10 million. This land was important to the U.S. because of plans to build a southern transcontinental railroad route through the area.



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Name ____________________________________ Due: March 9, 2015

Westward Expansion

1. The Republic of Texas existed from 1836 to 1845 before Texas joined the United States. Besides the likelihood of war with Mexico, why did annexation take so long?

 

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A.

Other territories were in line for statehood first.




 

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B.

Texas would be admitted as a slave state.




 

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C.

Texas did not want to join the Union.




 

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D.

Statehood could not happen until the borders were defined.


2. The Spanish were in danger of losing control of their New World colonies in the early 1800s. Why were they willing to sell east and west Florida to the United States?

 

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A.

France had a claim on Florida, and Spain was afraid they would lose it anyway.




 

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B.

They wanted to settle boundary issues from the Mississippi River to the Pacific Ocean.




 

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C.

Spain wanted to concentrate its colonization on the Caribbean and Central America.




 

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D.

Spain wanted the Oregon Territory which it received in exchange for Florida.


3. California became part of the United States in 1848. Soon after, thousands of people migrated across the country to settle in California. This mass migration took place because

 

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A.

the Transcontinental Railroad arrived from the East.




 

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B.

the federal government was giving land away to settlers.




 

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C.

California had voted to be a slave state instead of a free state.




 

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D.

the Gold Rush began in northern California.


4. According to the Land Ordinance of 1785, land in the Northwest Territory was to be surveyed and divided into 36-square mile townships. Each township was divided into 36 sections. In each township, one section was to be set aside for

 

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A.

public education.




 

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B.

Native Americans.




 

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C.

a town church.




 

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D.

a recreational area.


5. The Confederation Congress passed the Land Ordinance of 1785, which dealt with how land was distributed in the Northwest Territory. Which of the following was one of the results of the Land Ordinance?

 

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A.

The national government was able to raise money as it sold land in the area.




 

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B.

Americans who wanted to move to the Northwest Territory were given free land.




 

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C.

The Northwest Territory became the most densely populated area in the U.S.




 

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D.

Immigrants from certain countries were prohibited from moving to the Northwest Territory.


6. How did Mexico react when the United States annexed Texas?

 

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A.

Mexico felt that the United States should have paid a higher price to acquire Texas.




 

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B.

Mexico thought that the U.S had taken Mexican land since Mexico had not recognized Texas' independence.




 

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C.

Mexico was not interested in what was going on in Texas.




 

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D.

Mexico was pleased to have the United States as its neighbor.


7. Which of these states is located in the area acquired by the U.S. in the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo?

 

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A.

Indiana




 

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B.

Minnesota




 

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C.

California




 

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D.

Missouri


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8. How did the United States acquire the area labeled number 4 on the map?

 

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A.

Mexico sold the territory to the U.S. in the Gadsden Purchase.




 

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B.

The U.S. purchased Texas from Great Britain after the War of 1812.




 

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C.

Mexico ceded the territory to the U.S. after the Mexican-American War.




 

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D.

The U.S. annexed Texas several years after it had gained its independence from Mexico.


9. Which number on the map labels the area the U.S. acquired in the Louisiana Purchase?

 

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A.

6




 

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B.

4




 

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C.

2




 

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D.

5


10. The United States acquired the area on the map labeled number 2 at the conclusion of which war?

 

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A.

Mexican-American War




 

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B.

War of 1812




 

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C.

Spanish-American War




 

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D.

Revolutionary War


11. The United States acquired the area labeled number 6 on the map as a result of which of the following treaties?

 

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A.

the Treaty of Guadalupe-Hidalgo




 

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B.

the Treaty of Paris of 1783




 

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C.

the Webster-Ashburton Treaty




 

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D.

the Adams-Onís Treaty


12. Which area on the map did the United States acquire after signing a treaty with Great Britain?

 

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A.

5




 

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B.

1




 

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C.

4




 

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D.

2


13. As the United States expanded westward, what was one of the issues that divided the country?

 

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A.

women's rights




 

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B.

freedom of speech




 

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C.

public education




 

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D.

expansion of slavery



14. Which of these statements describes the idea of Manifest Destiny that was used in the 19th century?

 

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A.

The United States should invade Europe and take control of that continent.




 

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B.

It was necessary for the United States to sell some of its land in order to raise money.




 

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C.

The United States did not need to expand because it had enough land.




 

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D.

It was fate that the United States would continue to expand westward.



15.

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In 1853, the United States paid Mexico $10 million for the southwestern part of New Mexico and the area in Arizona south of the Gila River in a deal known as the Gadsden Purchase. Why did the United States want this piece of land?

 

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A.

The area was heavily populated with many thriving cities.




 

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B.

There were deep water ports with access to the Pacific Ocean.




 

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C.

They thought there were vast deposits of gold in the area.




 

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D.

They wanted to build a railroad route through the area.

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