Harold L. Richards High School

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US History

Western Expansion Notes
AMERICA IS A VAST EXPANSE OF LAND – ALTHOUGH EUROPE HAD INFLUENCED THE EAST COAST, THE TRUE AMERICA LIVED BEYOND THE APPALACHIAN MOUNTAINS
-THE WEST AT THIS TIME IS CONSIDERED TO BE THE LAND WEST OF THE MISSISSIPPI RIVER (PLEASE NOTE THAT THIS IS NOT THE WILD WEST THAT BEGINS AFTER THE CIVIL WAR)

EUROPE STRETCHES TO THE ALLEGHENIES, AMERICA LIVES BEYOND” (EMERSON)

“IN AMERICA, THERE IS MORE SPACE WHERE NOBODY IS THAN WHERE SOMEBODY IS” (STEIN)

REVIEW:
-ORIGINAL 13 COLONIES ESTABLISHED BY ENGLAND

TREATY OF PARIS: UNITED STATES RECEIVES ALL THE
LAND EAST OF THE MISSISSIPPI RIVER, SOUTH OF
CANADA, WITH THE EXCEPTION OF FLORIDA.

LOUISIANA PURCHASE: (1803) JEFFERSON BUYS THE LAND
FROM NAPOLEON FOR $15 MILLION. ORIGINALLY WANTED
JUST NEW ORLEANS. DOUBLED THE SIZE OF THE
COUNTRY. FROM NEW ORLEANS INTO WASHINGTON STATE.
(MIDDLE OF THE USA)

FLORIDA: ANDREW JACKSON MARCHES AMERICAN ARMY INTO
FLORIDA AND CAPTURES THE TERRITORY FROM SPAIN.
SPAIN TOO WEAK TO RESIST DUE TO SOUTH AMERICAN
REVOLUTIONS. JACKSON ORIGINALLY SENT TO PROTECT
SETTLERS FROM INDIAN ATTACKS. ADAM-ONIS TREATY
PAID SPAIN FOR FLORIDA.

OTHER TERRITORY: AGREEMENT WITH ENGLAND 1818 FOR BOUNDARY OF N. DAKOTA
BOTTOM OF MISSISSIPPI & ALABAMA TAKEN BY JACKSON FROM SPAIN AFTER INDIAN BATTLES (1810-1812)

THE AMERICAN FRONTIER:
-THE AMERICAN WEST IS CONSIDERED TO BE THE LAND WEST
OF THE MISSISSIPPI RIVER
-AMERICANS ARE RESTLESS (ALWAYS MOVING)
-IN 1850 THE MAJORITY OF PEOPLE IN THE WEST ARE UNDER
30 YEARS OLD.
-INDIVIDUALISTS/SELF-SUFFICIENT/LOG CABINS/PIONEERS

METHODS OF TRAVEL (HOW CAN I TRAVEL WEST?)
-WATER: CLIPPER SHIP AROUND CAPE HORN (SOUTH AMERICA)
5-6 MONTHS ---- $600 PER PERSON

-LAND: WAGON TRAILS (OREGON/CALIFORNIA/SANTA FE/MORMON)
1-2 MILES PER HOUR (100 MILES PER WEEK)
5-6 MONTHS ---- $600 FOR 4 PEOPLE
PROBLEMS: CHOLERA/INDIANS/DESERTS/MOUNTAINS/WINTER

MOTIVES FOR MOVING WEST (WHY MOVE WEST?)
-LAND FOR FARMING: "SQUATTERS" (1830'S/40'S)
-PAY FOR LAND OVER 4 YEARS & MAKE IMPROVEMENTS
-HOMESTEAD ACT (1862)160 FREE ACRES/LIVE ON &
IMPROVE PROPERTY/ AT LEAST 21 YEARS OLD

-GOLD & SILVER MINING
1848 CALIFORNIA GOLD RUSH
1859 COMSTOCK LOAD (VIRGINIA CITY, NEVADA) (SILVER)
1870'S BLACK HILLS (COLORADO)

-OTHER REASONS: BUSINESS OPPORTUNITY/LAND
SPECULATION/HEALTH/RELIGION

MANIFEST DESTINY:
-THE IDEA THAT IT IS THE RIGHT OF THE UNITED STATES TO EXPAND ACROSS THE CONTINENT FROM SEA TO SHINING SEA! THAT THE USA IS ON A MISSION FROM GOD TO CONQUER THE CONTINENT AND SPREAD DEMOCRACY ACROSS THE LAND
-THIS IS A DRIVING FORCE DURING WESTWARD EXPANSION MOVEMENT

OREGON COUNTRY:
-OREGON IS ORIGINALLY CLAIMED BY ENGLAND, SPAIN, RUSSIA, AND USA (LEWIS & CLARK)
-SPAIN & RUSSIA GIVE UP CLAIMS AND USA & ENGLAND SHARE OREGON COUNTRY
-BY THE 1840 BOTH SIDES HAVE SETTLEMENTS IN OREGON
-PEOPLE MOSTLY MOUNTAIN MEN EARN A LIVING IN THE FUR TRADE
-AMERICANS GET TO OREGON VIA THE OREGON TRAIL – MANY MOVE THERE TO FARM (THEY BELIEVE THAT BECAUSE MANY TREES GROW IN NORTH WEST THE LAND IS GOOD FOR FARMING)
-LIFE ON THE OREGON TRAIL IS HARSH, BUMPY RIDE, INDIAN ATTACKS, DISEASE, MANY OTHER PROBLEMS – PEOPLE TRAVEL BY WAGON FILLED WITH ITEMS – WALK NEXT TO WAGON
-MOST PEOPLE START IN MISSOURI – ACROSS THE GREAT PLAINS (FLAT, NO TREES) – ACROSS THE ROCKY MOUNTAINS (LOOK FOR A PASS BEFORE WINTER) – USUALLY TRAVEL NEAR A RIVER FOR WATER – CROSS THE COLUMBIA RIVER INTO OREGON

ELECTION OF 1844
HENRY CLAY (WHIG)
JAMES K. POLK (DEMOCRAT) “DARK HORSE” (NOT WELL KNOWN)
POLK’S CAMPAIGN SLOGAN “54’ 40” OR FIGHT!”
-THREATENS WAR WITH ENGLAND IF THEY DID NOT GIVE US ALL OF THE OREGON COUNTRY (WELL INTO CANADA)
JAMES BIRNEY (LIBERTY) ABOLITIONIST

TEXAS ANNEXATION (ADDING TO THE NATION AN ISSUE)

-POLK WINS THE ELECTION – BIRNEY TAKES MANY OF CLAY’S VOTES IN KEY STATES

JAMES K. POLK “YOUNG HICKORY”
-BELIEVED MUCH OF THE SAME THINGS AS JACKSON – FROM TENNESSEE
-LOW TARIFF, NO NATIONAL BANK, WANTED TO TAKE TEXAS AND EXPAND THE NATION

-POLK COMPROMISES WITH ENGLAND – OREGON IS DIVIDED AT THE 49TH PARALLEL
-USA HAD MANY MORE SETTLERS – ENGLISH ONLY WANTED VANCOUVER

-TEXAS:
-MEXICO GAINS INDEPENDENCE FROM SPAIN IN 1823
-MEXICO AT THE TIME INCLUDES CALIFORNIA, NEVADA, NEW MEXICO, ARIZONA, & TEXAS
-FEW PEOPLE LIVE IN NORTHERN MEXICO (TEXAS) – NEED SETTLERS
-MEXICO INVITES AMERICANS TO SETTLE – CHEAP LAND
-GROUP OF AMERICANS IS LED BY STEPHEN AUSTIN
-MEXICO HAS TWO RULES FOR SETTLERS – 1. MUST BECOME CATHOLIC 2. NO SLAVES
-TEXAS IS PERFECT FOR PLANTATIONS – SLAVES BECOME INDENTURED SERVANTS
-BY 1830 15,000 AMERICANS AND ONLY 5,000 MEXICANS LIVE IN TEXAS
-SETTLERS KEEP AMERICAN CULTURE AND FOLLOW THEIR OWN RULES & LAWS

TEXAN INDEPENDENCE:
-TEXANS REBEL AGAINST MEXICANS AT GONZALES “COME AND TAKE OUR CANNON!”
-TEXANS ATTACK FORT NEAR SAN ANTONIO
-SANTA ANNA (EL PRESIDENTE) LEADER OF MEXICO, MARCHES ARMY TO STOP REBELLION
-SURPRISE TEXANS – TEXANS SEEK PROTECTION IN THE ALAMO (OLD SPANISH MISSION)
-FORTIFY WALLS – SANTA ANNA LAYS SIEGE – FAMOUS DEFENDERS JIM BOWIE (BOWIE KNIFE) - COL. TRAVIS “VICTORY OR DEATH!” LINE IN THE SAND – DAVIE CROCKETT
-SANTA ANNA ATTACKS – MANY MEXICAN CASUALTIES – EVERY DEFENDER OF THE ALAMO IS KILLED!
-TEXAS LATER WINS INDEPENDENCE AFTER THE BATTLE OF SAN JUCINTO (SAM HOUSTON CAPTURES SANTA ANNA – FORCES HIM TO SURRENDER
-TEXAS BECOMES AN INDEPENDENT NATION “LONE STAR REPUBLIC”
-WANT TO BE ANNEXED (ADDED) TO USA (PROBLEMS-SLAVERY- WAR WITH MEXICO)
-TEXAS MAKES TREATIES WITH ENGLAND – USA (SOUTH) LOSES $$$$$$
-JACKSON & VAN BUREN DO NOTHING TO ANNEX
-TYLER ANNEXES TEXAS BEFORE POLK TAKES OFFICE
-JOINT RESOLUTION (BOTH NATION AGREE) – TEXAS CAN BE DIVIDED INTO 4 STATES

MEXICAN WAR:

CAUSES OF THE MEXICAN WAR:


-BORDER DISPUTE IN TEXAS – MEXICANS CONSIDER THE BORDER TO BE AT THE NUECES RIVER AND THE USA CONSIDERS THE BORDER TO BE AT THE RIO GRAND (100 MILES SOUTH OF NUECES)

OCT 1845:POLK ORDERS AMERICAN ARMY (4,000 MEN) UNDER ZACH TAYLOR TO NUECES RIVER

NOV. 1845: AN AMERICAN AMBASSADOR JAMES SLIDELL GOES TO MEXICO TO DISCUSS BORDER AND BUY TERRITOY (CALIFORNIA) – MEXICO WILL NOT SEE HIM – AMERICA IS INSULTED

MARCH 1846: TAYLORS ARMY IS ORDERED TO MOVE SOUTH OF NUECES NORTH OF RIO GRANDE – POLK HOPES TO PROVOKE THE MEXICANS – MEXICANS DO NOTHING AT FIRST –POLK IS INFURIATED – FINALLY THE MEXICANS ATTACK TAYLOR!

APRIL 1846: TAYLOR INFORMS POLK OF ATTACK – POLK ASKS CONGRESS FOR DECLARATION OF WAR “AMERICAN BLOOD HAS BEEN SHED ON AMERICAN SOIL!” – CONGRESS DECLARES WAR ON MEXICO

OTHER CAUSES OF THE WAR:
-MEXICO IS UPSET BY THE ANNEXATION OF TEXAS – NEVER CONSIDERED TEXAS TO BE INDEPENDENT – MEXICO SEE THE ANNEXATION AS STEALING THEIR LAND
-MANY CIVIL WARS IN MEXICO – SOME AMERICAN PROPERTY WAS DESTROYED – PEOPLE FELT THAT MEXICO SHOULD PAY DAMAGES AMERICAS WERE OFTEN JAILED FOR BREAKING MEXICAN LAW – SOME EXECUTE
-PRESIDENT POLK: HIS ACTIONS WERE DESIGNED TO BULLY MEXICO INTO WAR IN ORDER TO OBTAIN WESTERN LANDS
-MANIFEST DESTINY: AMERICANS FEEL IT IS THERE RIGHT TO TAKE WESTERN LANDS EVEN BY FORCE

-SOME ARE OPPOSED TO THE WAR – ABRAHAM LINCOLN (REP. FROM ILL.) MAKES HIS “SPOT RESOLUTION” WHERE EXACTLY WAS THE SPOT AMERICAN BLOOD WAS SHED IN USA OR IN MEXICO? HE WILL NOT BE REELECTED FOR ANOTHER TERM

MILITARY ACTIONS OF THE MEXICAN WAR:
AMERICAN PLAN CONSISTED OF THREE PARTS: 1. OCCUPY TEXAS & NORTHERN MEXICO 2. TAKE CALIFORNIA & NEW MEXICO 3. TAKE THE CAPITAL OF MEXICO CITY
*THE WAR IS OVER BEFORE IT BEGINS – AMERICANS HAVE ALL THE ADVANTAGES

TAYLOR’S ARMY
ZACHARY TAYLOR “OLD ROUGH AND READY”
LOVED BY HIS MEN – WEARS OLD CLOTHES, STAW HAT, SOMETIMES NO SHOES, RAERLY A UNIFORM

-DRIVES INTO MEXICO SOUTH OF RIO GRAND – WINS BATTLES OF PALO ALTO, MONTERREY, AND BUENO VISTA –MEXICANS HAVE THOUSANDS OF MORE MEN THAN THE USA – THERE SOLDIERS AND EQUIPMENT ARE INFERIOR – AMERICANS WIN EASILY
TAYLOR TREATS MEXICANS WITH RESPECT EVEN THOUGH THEY ARE DEFEATED

COMBAT JOURNALISM:
-PRIOR TO THE MEXICAN WAR THE ONLY NEW OF THE BATTLES CAME FROM SOLDIERS RETURNING FROM THE BATTLES (TIME, EXAGERATIONS, ETC.)
-FOR THE FIRST TIME IN AMERICAN WARFARE JOURNALIST TRAVEL WITH THE ARMIES
-THEY REPORT ON THE BATTLES AND TELEGRAPH THEIR STORIES HOME
-NOW PEOPLE CAN READ ABOUT THE BATTLES RIGHT AFTER THEY HAPPEN!
-PEOPLE LOVE IT AND TAYLOR BECOMES EXTREAMLY POPULAR

CALIFORNIA “BEAR FLAG REPUBLIC”
-MANY AMERICAN SETTLERS IN CALIFORNIA
-THEY HEAR THAT WAR HAS BEGUN AND REBEL AGAINST THE MEXICANS – DECLARE INDEPENDENCE IN SONOMA “BEAR FLAG REPUBLIC”
-AN AMERICAN ARMY UNDER JOHN FREEMONT JUST SO HAPPENED TO BE IN THE AREA (THIS WAS NO ACCIDENT)
-AMERICAN & MEXICAN FORCES FIGHT AT THE BATTLE OF MONTEREY
-AMERICAN NAVY ATTACKS THE COASTLINE TO DRIVE MEXICANS OUT

SANTA FE:
-STEVEN KEARNEY LEADS AN AMERICAN ARMY TO ATTACK SANTA FE
-MEXICANS GIVE UP WITHOUT A FIGHT
-KEARNY THEN DRIVES WEST AND ATTACKS MEXICANS IN SAN DIEGO

ON TO MEXICO CITY:
-TAYLOR BECOMES VERY POPULAR – POLK WORRIES THAT TAYLOR MIGHT RUN FOR PRESIDENT (TAYLOR HAS NO SUCH AMBITIONS) REPLACED WITH WINFLIED SCOTT (HAS PRESIDENTIAL AMBITIONS)

-WINFIELD SCOTT “OLD FUSS AND FEATURES”
-SCOTT IS VAIN (HAIR, PERFECT UNIFORM, ETC.) WANTS TO BE PRESIDENT
-TRANSPORTS HIS ARMY BY SEA (SAVES TIME) AMPHIBIOUS LANDING NEAR VERA CRUZ
-LAYS SEIGE AND TAKES VERA CRUZ – DRIVE TO MEXICO CITY (TAKE THE SAME ROUTE AS CORTEZ DID TO DESTORY AZTEC)
-MEXICANS FIGHT BRAVELY OUTSIDE MEXICO CITY AT THE BATTLE OF CHAPULTEPEC (OLD AZTEC PALACE FORTIFIED BY MEXICANS) – PALACE FALLS (LEE & GRANT ARE BOTH AT THIS BATTLE AS JUNIOR OFFICERS)

-SEPT 1847 MEXICO CITY FALLS TO SCOTT – AMERICAN ARMY MARCHES IN AND OCCUPIES THE ENTIRE NATION

TREATY OF GUADALUPE-HIDALGO
-POLK SENT N. TRIST ALONG WITH SCOTT TO NEGOCIATE TREATY AT THE END OF WAR
-TRIST & SCOTT DO NOT GET ALONG AT FIRST AND THEN BECOME FRIENDS
-TRIST IS SUPPOSED TO BUY SOUTHWEST AND CALIFORNIA FOR $30 MILLION
-THE SITUATION HAD CHANGED – USA CONTROLLED ALL OF MEXICO – CAN WE TAKE MORE LAND?
-MEXICAN GOVERNMENT IS VERY UNSTABLE – COUNTRY IS FALLING APART – TRIST NEGOCIATES WHILE HE STILL CAN (USA WOULD HAVE FACED LOCAL RESISTENCE AND NO ONE TO NEGOCIATE WITH) –TRIST GOES ALONG WITH ORIGINAL ORDERS

RESULTS OF THE WAR:
TERRIROTY: USA GETS CALIFONIA AND THE SOUTHWEST (TAKE NORTHER PART OF MEXICO)
SOUTH AMERICA BECOMES UPSET WITH US (WHAT HAPPENED TO MONROE DOCTRINE?)
WHAT TO DO WITH THE NEW TERRITORY WILL HELP LEAD TO THE CIVIL WAR
TRAINING GROUND FOR THE CIVIL WAR: OFFICERS GET EXPERIENCE IN WARFARE

MORE WESTWARD EXPANSION:

GADSDEN PURCHASE:
-DEBATE OVER WHERE TO BUILD TRANSCONTINENTAL RAILROAD (NORTH OR SOUTH)
-THE RAILROAD WILL BRING $$$$$$$$$$$$$
-JAMES GADSDEN (AMBASSADOR TO MEXICO – FROM SOUTH) BUYS LAND NEAR THE GILA RIVER FOR $10 MILLION TO GET AROUND MOUNTAINS

THE MORMONS:
-PERSECTUED RELIGIOUS GROUP – (PRACTICED BYGAMY)
-FOUNDED BY JOHN SMITH – MOVE AROUNDIN EAST SMITH KILLED
-B. YOUNG TAKES OVER AND MOVES THEM TO UTAH (PART OF MEXICO AT THE TIME)
-15,000 SETTLE NEAR THE GREAT SALT LAKE

THE GOLD RUSH:
-GOLD IS DISCOVERED AT SUTTER’S MILL (1848) BY JAMES MARSHALL
-GOLD FEAVER SWEEPS ACROSS AMERICA
-80,000 PEOPLE MOVE TO CALIFORNIA IN 1849
-PAN FOR GOLD IN WATER OR DIG FOR IT
-KICK INDIANS & MEXICANS OUT – LAWLESS – MOST FIND NO GOLD

COMPROMISE OF 1850 (SEE ROAD TO CIVIL WAR NOTES FOR DETAILS)
-CALIFORNIA BECOMES A STATE (NO SLAVES) – ENDS LAWLESSNESS

COMSTOCK LODE (1859):
-LARGEST SILVER STRIKE IN US HISTROY IN NEVADA
-OTHER SILVER STRIKES IN COLORADO AND OTHERS

PONY EXPRESS:
-PRIVATE COMPANY – DELIVERS PAGAGES BETWEEN EAST AND WEST
-US MAIL TAKES 3 WEEKS – PONY EXPRESS 10 DAYS
-STATIONS 25 MILES APART – 100 STATIONS –500 HORSES – FIFTY RIDERS
-RIDER RIDES 75 MILES A DAY – CHANGES HORSES SPECIAL SADDLE
-GOES OUT OF BUSINESS ONCE TELEGRAPH CONNECTS CALIFORNIA

TELEGRAPH “TALKING WIRE”:
-INVENTED BY SAMUEL F.B. MORSE
-CONNECTED CALIFORNIA IN 1861

TRANSCONTINENTAL RAILROAD:
-RAILROAD CONNECTS THE WEST
-NORTH ROUTE CHOOSEN DURING THE CIVIL WAR (CONNECT CALIFORNIA)
-JUDAH COMES UP WITH PLAN
-TWO COMPANIES BUILD (UNION PACIFIC WEST/ CENTRAL PACIFIC EAST)
-MANY CHINESE WORKERS HIRED – VERY DANGEROUS WORK (INDIANS/EXPLOSIVES)
-COMPLETED IN 1869 – MEET IN UTAH AT PROMONTARY POINT –CONNECTS THE NATION

CREDIT MOBILIER:
-GREAT RAILROAD SCANDLE
-GOVERNEMNT SWINDLED OUT OF MILLIONS OF DOLLARS (SEE SPECTACULAR FOR MORE DETAIL)
 

Review Questions
 

1. What territory did the Treaty of Paris did give the USA?
 

2. How did the USA acquire the Louisiana Purchase? Who did they buy it from? How much? Etc?
 

3. What kinds of people moved west?
 

4. Why did most people move west?
 

5. Who did people get west? How long did it take? How much did it cost?
 

6. What was squatting? What was the Homestead Act?
 

7. What was Manifest Destiny?
 

8. Which nations claimed the Oregon Territory?
 

9. What part of Mexico did many Americans move to? Who led them? What did they have to do?
 

10. Describe Texas Independence. What was the Alamo? How did Texas win their independence?
 

11. What was the “Lone Star Republic?” How were they annexed into the United States?
 

12. Who was Jim Bowie, Sam Houston, Davy Crockett, Col. Travis?
 

13. Who won the Election of 1844? What was the famous campaign slogan?
 

14. What nation did the USA nearly go to war with over Oregon? How was the problem settled?
 

15. Who were the Mormons? Where did they move to?
 

16. What is the Telegraph? Who invented it?
 

17. What was the Comstock Lode? Where was it discovered?
 

18. Mexico claimed this river as the border between Mexico and the USA in 1846? USA claimed?
 

19. Who was president during the Mexican War?
 

20. During the Mexican war, who traveled with the armies for the first time?
 

21. Who was Zach Taylor? Winfield Scott? Steven Kirney? John Fremont? What did they accomplish?
 

22. Which famous American opposed the Mexican War? What was the “Spot Resolution”?
 

23. What treaty ended the Mexican War? Who signed it for the United States?
 

24. What were the results of the Mexican War?
 

25. What was the Pony Express?
 

26. How was the Transcontinental Railroad built? What was the famous railroad scandal?
 

27. What was the Gadsden Purchase?

*LABEL EACH PART OF TERRITORIAL EXPANSION ON THE MAP: (LA PURCHASE, MEXICAN SESSION, OREGON, GADSDEN PURCHASE, FLORIDA, OTHER PARTS)

*ESSAY QUESTION: (PICK ONE)
1. EXPLAIN WHAT HAPPENED AT THE BATTLE OF THE ALAMO. INCLUDE DETAILS.
 

2. DISCUSS THE CAUSES OF THE MEXICAN WAR. INCLUDE DETAILS.
 

3. EXPLAIN HOW THE TRANSCONTINENTAL RAILROAD WAS BUILT. DETAILS.