Unit 4: The New Republic, Growth,
and Reform (1789-1850)
Looking Westward:
Fulfilling Manifest Destiny
Daily Learning Target:
I can identify and evaluate the
political and territorial changes
resulting from the westward
expansion of the United States
during the early 19th Century.
Americans Seek New Lands
• By 1830, the U.S. had acquired
Louisiana (1803) from France
and Florida (1819) from Spain
and had removed the Native
Americans from the Southeast.
• We also jointly occupied the
Oregon Territory with Great
• Expansionists – Americans
who wanted to add more
territory, were looking toward
Mexico and Oregon for new
Manifest Destiny
• The idea or belief that
the U.S. had a Godgiven right to control
North America from
ocean to ocean.
• It would be fulfilled at
the expense of Native
Americans and
Mexican citizens.
American Progress by John Gast (1872)
1. How does
this painting
convey the
idea of
2. What
are apparent
between the
3. According to
the painter,
is “American
Progress” a
positive or
Westward Bound!
Ken Burns' Oregon Trail (0:55-1:07)
• Mountain men went into the Rocky
Mts. in search of animal pelts.
• Oregon Trail – Marcus and Narcissa
Whitman established a mission in
the Walla Walla Valley; this paved
the way for families leaving
Independence, MO for the
Williamette Valley of Oregon and
• Between 1840-1860 about 260,000
Americans crossed the Great Plains
and Rockies in “Prairie Schooners”
aka covered wagons
• They faced many hardships (Indians,
disease, starvation) along the way
and some got lost.
Gone to Texas!
• 1820s – Americans began to
settle in Texas because land
grants were cheap.
• They had to agree to become
Mexican citizens.
• By 1835 there were about
30,000 Anglo-Texans living in
Texas. They outnumbered
Mexicans 6-1.
• Why will this relationship go
The Texas Revolt of 1836
• 1835 – Texans rebelled against General Antonio
Lopez de Santa Anna’s authority and seized
garrisons at San Antonio and Goliad.
• “Remember the Alamo!” – March 1836, after 12
days of siege, Mexican troops seized the mission
and the few survivors were executed. 200 Texans
were killed in all.
• Battle of San Jacinto (1836) – Sam Houston and
America forces routed Santa Anna’s army.
• Santa Anna signed a treaty recognizing Texas
independence, but Mex. Gov’t refused to accept
it. An undeclared border war raged for 10 yrs.
Between Mexico and Texas.
• President Jackson wanted annexation, but he was
blocked by Northern congressman. Why?
President James K. Polk fulfills
Manifest Destiny (1845-1849)
• 1844 – James K. Polk (D-TN)
elected President.
• He vowed to fulfill Manifest
Destiny by taking Oregon
from Britain. In a
compromise, he agrees to
divide the territory at the
49th parallel of latitude.
• The U.S. received the future
states of Washington and
The Mexican-American War (1846-1848)
Before Polk took office, Congress narrowly voted to annex TX and it entered U.S.
as a slave state. Mexico refused to accept it.
General Zachary Taylor was sent into the borderland between the rivers.
Dec. 1846, U.S. troops clashed with Mexican forces and 11 Americans were killed.
Polk said, Mexico “invaded our territory and shed American blood upon the
American soil.”
Congress declared war.
Winning the War
• By September 1847, the U.S. had
seized New Mexico and California
and General Winfield Scott had
captured Mexico City.
• Mexican forces fought bravely, but
were no match for U.S. weaponry
and strength.
• Treaty of Guadalupe-Hidalgo
(1848) gave the U.S. the American
S.W. from the Rio Grande to CA –
1.2 million sq. miles of new
territory – for $20 million.
• 1853 – Gadsden Purchase - $10 M
to Mexico for Southern Arizona as
some in Congress wanted to build
a Southern R.R. from New Orleans
to California.
The California Gold Rush of 1849
• 1848 – Gold found near Sacramento; over 80,000 Americans go to California
in 1849 – “Gold Rush”
• Placer mining (panning in the water) soon gave way to large-scale industrial
mining by companies – very few miners got wealthy
• Miners came from Europe, Mexico, and even China; white miners dominated
them with a “foreign miners” tax.
• California became a state in 1850.
Exit Slip – Fulfilling Manifest Destiny
1. In the 1840s, the phrase manifest destiny referred to the idea that the United States would inevitably
a. abolish slavery.
b. possess the North American continent.
c. add all of Mexico to its territory.
d. spread liberty throughout the world.
2. This famous, former mission is remembered for the failed heroic stand by Texas forces against Mexican
General Antonio Lopez Santa Anna’s larger army in 1836?
a. the Alamo
c. San Jacinto
b. Goliad
d. Santa Fe
3. One important result of the Mexican War was that
a. the United States gained control of the entire Oregon Country.
b. Mexico and the United States became permanent allies.
c. the Rio Grande became the American-Mexican border
d. the Republic of Texas became an independent nation.
4. Which event drew numerous settlers to California after the conclusion of the Mexican War in 1848?
a. jobs offered by railroad companies
c. the discovery of gold
b. the Second Great Awakening
d. a conflict over slavery

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