For the next 9 years, Texas worked to get immigrants from the United States to come to Texas. They even offered free land
During the Panic of 1837, thousands of Americans moved to Texas.
Immigrants from Germany and Switzerland also moved to Texas
By 1840, about 140,000 people lived in Texas. Most were American
New Mexico Territory
In the Early 1840s, most of the Southwest was known as the New Mexico Territory.
This included present day Arizona, New Mexico, Nevada, Utah, and parts of Colorado
In the mid-1840s, only about 700 people lived in California.
Every year, however, more and more Americans began moving west.
On several occasions the American government offered to buy California from the Mexican government.
The United States was eager to get control of the Pacific ports of San Francisco and San Diego
There were other reasons for wanting to obtain California
Many Americans felt that since the American culture was superior to others and that democracy was the best form of government, then it was the duty of the United States to spread its culture across the entire continent of North America all the way to the Pacific Ocean
This belief was called Manifest Destiny
Manifest means clear or obvious
Destiny means something that is sure to happen
Manifest Destiny did have a negative side
Many Americans used the belief to justify taking land from cultures whom they considered inferior to the American culture (Mexican and Native American)
The United States finally annexed Texas
This enraged Mexico and now the Mexicans became worried about California
Many Americans felt that Mexico’s refusal to sell California stood in the way of Manifest Destiny
A border dispute between the United States and Mexico between the Nueces River and the Rio Grande erupted when Mexican soldiers crossed the Rio Grande and clashed with American soldiers.
The President of the United States at the time James Polk urged Congress to declare war on Mexico
Many Americans did not approve of this war. They thought it was a plot to gain more slave states
The famous writer Henry David Thoreau refused to pay his taxes as a protest to the war
For this act of Civil Disobedience, we was arrested and put in jail
Still many more Americans supported the war. (mostly from the South)
General Taylor and General Winfield Scott attacked Mexico from many fronts.
A third Army led by Stephen Kearny, captured much of New Mexico and southern California
John C. Fremont led a revolt in California and overthrew the Mexican officials there
Soon after, General Winfield Scott captured Mexico City bringing an end to the War.
In the 1848 Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo, Mexico had to cede all of California and the New Mexico Territory to the United States. This was the Mexican Cession.
The United States agreed to pay 15 million for the land. A few years later, the United States needed to purchase land again from Mexico for a railroad. This was the Gadsden Purchase which filled in the present day borders of the continental United States.