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Chapter 13 Immigration, Expansion, and Sectional Conflict 1840-1848.

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1 Chapter 13 Immigration, Expansion, and Sectional Conflict 1840-1848

2 Introduction Between 1845 and 1847, Brigham Young led some 20,000 Mormons into the Great Salt Lake Valley (then part of Mexico). The Mormons chose this remote desert area in hopes of isolating themselves from non-Mormom fellow Americans who were persecuting them. However, great numbers of their countrymen were also relentlessly pushing westward

3 Introduction (cont.) In the 1840’s, many American believed it was the “manifest destiny” of the U.S.A. to possess North America from coast to coast Acting on that belief, the administration of James K. Polk between 1845 and 1849: – Annexed Texas – Divided the Oregon Territory with GB – Fought the Mexican War Resulting in the conquest of CA and NM

4 Introduction (cont.) Also in the 1840’s and 1850’s a rising tide of new immigrants entered the country Expansion and immigration were linked The overwhelming Democratic Party leaders saw the acquisition of more land and a return to a republic of self-sufficient farmers – A way of relieving growing class, ethnic, and sectional conflicts – Adding OR would please the North – Adding TX would please the South

5 Introduction (cont.) In fact, westward expansion had the opposition effect It sharpened sectional strife Split the Democratic Party Set the nation on the path to the Civil War

6 Introduction (cont.) 1.) How did immigration in the 1840’s influence the balance of power between the Whig and Democratic Parties 2.) What economic and political forces fed westward expansion during the 1840’s 3.) How did westward expansion threaten war with Britain and Mexico 4.) How did the outcome of the Mexican-American War intensify intersectional conflict?

7 Newcomers and Natives Introduction – Between 1840 and 1860 4.2 million immigrants entered the U.S.A. 2 biggest groups came from Ireland and the German states

8 Expectations and Realities Immigrants came in the hope of improving their economic condition Few of the Irish immigrants possessed enough capital to acquire farms – Instead they settled heavily in northeastern cities – They took jobs in construction and railroad building Germans and Scandinavians tended to concentrate in IL, OH, WI, MO – More entered farming than the Irish – Drawn to cities too

9 Expectations and Realities (cont.) By 1860 Irish and Germans accounted for about 50% of the populations in the following cities: – St. Louis – New York – Chicago – Cincinnati – Milwaukee – Detroit – San Francisco

10 The Germans Very diverse group of immigrants People of different social classes and religions Bound together by their common language Often times settled in German neighborhoods They prospered and built many ethnic institutions: – German-language newspapers – Voluntary associations – Schools Native-born Americans criticized them for being clannish

11 The Irish Between 1815 and 1844 almost 1 million Irish entered the U.S.A. – Most were Catholic, poor, and seeking greater economic opportunity From 1845-1855 – Roughly 2 million arrived – Overwhelming Catholic – Fleeing from the potato famine in Ireland They usually entered the urban work force at the bottom – Competed for jobs with equally poor blacks

12 The Irish (cont.) The competition for jobs between the Irish and poor blacks led to animosity between the 2 groups – Made most Irish hostile to abolition and abolitionists Those Irish who rose to the level of skilled and semi-skilled workers competed against native- born, white, Protestant mechanics – Caused another level of hostilities – Ethnic and religious

13 Anti-Catholicism, Nativism, and Labor Protest Know-Nothing Party A.k.a. American Party – Mostly white, Protestant, native-born workers – anti-Catholic and anti-immigrant – Ohio History link on Know Nothing Party Ohio History link on Know Nothing Party – Played a significant political role in the 1850’s

14 Anti-Catholicism, Nativism, and Labor Protest (cont.) Labor also responded to low wages and job competition by advocating land reform – Including free 160-acre homesteads in the West for all who wanted them Formed unions and waged strikes Unions won a few gains Their growth was limited by: – govt. and employer opposition – The deep splits along ethnic and religious lines in the antebellum working class

15 Immigrant Politics Almost all Irish and German immigrants became supporters of the Democratic Party Antiprivilege party More sympathetic to the common man than the Whigs They also resented Whig connections with the temperance movement and nativism The Irish suspected the northern Whigs of antislavery views – Irish feared economic competition from emancipated slaves – They wanted no part of abolitionism

16 The West and Beyond The Far West – In the 1820’s, 1830’s, and 1840’s, TX and present- day southwestern regions of the U.S.A. belonged to Mexico After independence Mexico claimed all Spanish territories in the West – Oregon Territory OR, WA, ID, parts of WY, MT, and Canada Ceded to the United States from Spain in the Adams- Onis Treaty Under joint occupation by GB and U.S.A.

17 The United States in 1840

18 Far Western Trade Fur trappers and traders – 1st Americans to enter the Far West – Some sailed around South America – Others blazed overland trails Santa Fe Oregon Trail Introduced eastern manufactured goods in exchange for beaver pelts or Mexican silver Set up encampments and trading posts Spurred the interest of pioneer farmers with their tales of favorable climate and fertile soil in the Far West

19 The American Settlement of Texas to 1835 In the 1820’s the Mexican govt. gave generous land grants to Americans – encouraged their settlement in TX a way to guard against Indian attacks hasten the economic development of the province Many American came – Mostly from southern states In the 1830’s, Mexican govt. attempted to end American immigration and prohibit slavery in TX

20 The American Settlement of Texas to 1835 (cont.) Its efforts antagonized the Americans but failed to stop the flood of immigrants By 1836 the American population in TX was 30,000 free and 5,000 slaves

21 The American Settlement of Texas to 1835 (cont.) Santa Anna – New president- dictator of Mexico – 1834 – Started to tighten his hold on TX – The Americans in the province rebelled

22 The Texas Revolution, 1836 Fall of 1835 Santa Anna led an army into TX to suppress the uprising The Mexicans defeated the Americans at the Alamo and at Goliad

23 The Battle of the Alamo

24 The Texas Revolution, 1836 (cont.) In April 1836 Sam Houston – Led the American route against the Mexicans at San Jacinto – Took Santa Anna prisoner Forced him to sign a treaty granting TX independence – The Mexican govt. later refused to ratify the treaty But TX remained independent

25 American Settlements in CA, NM, and OR The Mexicans also initially welcomed American colonists to CA By the 1840’s a growing number were settling in the Sacramento Valley – They lived apart from the Mexicans

26 American Settlements in CA, NM, and OR (cont.) In the 1830’s, American missionaries entered Oregon’s Willamette Valley to attempt to convert the Indians there The missionaries’ glowing reports of the territory’s climate and resources aroused keen interest back in the U.S.A.

27 The Overland Trails In the 1840’s, 14,000 Americans joined wagon trains on the overland trails (or the OR and CA trails) Headed for OR or CA Problems: Faulty maps and guidebooks Fears of Indian attacks Other real and imagined dangers


29 The Overland Trails (cont.) The British could not effectively settle OR at all Mexican numbers in CA were small and scattered

30 The Politics of Expansion, 1840- 1846 Introduction – At the start of 1840’s, western expansion was not an important political issue – Only after politicians failed to deal effectively with troubling economic issues did some of these leaders seize on expansion as a primary goal

31 The Whig Ascendancy The Whig Party won the election of 1840 – William Henry Harrison The Party planned to enact Clay’s American system of a new national bank, protective tariffs, and federal aid for internal improvements

32 The Whig Ascendancy (cont.) Harrison died after only 1 month in the White House VP was John Tyler Tyler was a states’ rights Virginian Vetoed all the economic measures Congress passed Created tension in the Whig party

33 Tyler and the Annexation of Texas Tyler supported the U.S. annexation of Texas Appointed John C. Calhoun as his secretary of state Draw up a treaty with Mexico to annex TX

34 Tyler and the Annexation of Texas (cont.) Calhoun wrote undiplomatically that one reason for annexation was to provide more territory for the expansion and protection of slavery – This added fuel to already existing northern suspicions that acquiring TX was part of a southern conspiracy to expand slavery The Senate rejected Tyler and Calhoun’s annexation treaty

35 The Election of 1844 Whigs nominated Henry Clay Democrats nominated James Polk Major issue of annexation of TX

36 The Election of 1844 (cont.) Henry Clay waved on annexation – First opposed it as sectionally divisive Then softened his opposition Finally opposed it again – His shifts lost southern votes to Democrats and northern antislavery votes to the Liberty James Polk – Expansionist – Called for admitting TX immediately Many Irish and other recent immigrants voted for Polk – They disliked the Whigs’ association with nativism, temperance, and anti-Catholicism Polk won in a close election

37 The Election of 1844 (cont.)

38 Manifest Destiny, 1845 Expansionism had become a popular cause by the 1840’s Many expansionists said it was “manifest destiny” to the U.S.A. to spread its experiment in liberty and self-govt. from coast to coast – John L. O’Sullivan developed the phrase of “manifest destiny” Expansionists eyed the excellent harbors of CA and OR – Natural outlets for American trade with Asia

39 Manifest Destiny, 1845 (cont.) Expansionists argued that acquiring additional fertile soil would safeguard the U.S. future as a democratic republic of self-sufficient farmers – Combat the social stratification and class strife that accompanied industrialization and urbanization These ideas, carried in the penny press, strongly appealed to struggling immigrants in the cities

40 Polk and Oregon Polk wanted OR during the 1844 campaign Manifest Destiny placed OR in its sights Neither GB or U.S.A. wanted a war over OR – They settled for a compromise treaty Split OR at the 49th parallel Senate ratified the treaty in 1846

41 The Mexican-American War and Its Aftermath, 1846-1848 The Origins of the Mexican-American War – In Feb. 1845, Congress passed a joint resolution to annex TX Mexico never recognized the independence of TX – TX claimed that its southern boundary was the Rio Grande – Mexico contented that it was the Nueces River (100 miles to the northeast) – Polk’s support encouraged Texas to accept annexation on July 4, 1845

42 The Origins of the Mexican- American War (cont.) Polk also wanted to gain CA and NM He sent John Slidell to Mexico with an offer to buy them for $25 million Mexico refused

43 The Origins of the Mexican- American War (cont.) Polk ordered American troops into the disputed region south of the Nueces River Led by Zachary Taylor Polk hoped to provoke a war that would give the U.S. a chance to seize CA and NM

44 The Origins of the Mexican- American War (cont.) When Mexican troops clashed with Taylor’s, Polk told Congress that Mexico had forced war with the U.S.

45 The Origins of the Mexican- American War (cont.)

46 The Mexican-American War Feb. 1847 Taylor defeated a Mexican army at the Battle of Buena Vista Colonel Stephen Kearny – took NM Commodores John D. Sloat and David Stockon and army officers Kearny and John C. Fremont – Took CA – combined naval and land assaults

47 The Mexican-American War (cont.) General Winfield Scott – Captured Mexico City Mexico surrendered Sept. 1847 Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo – Mexico accepted the Rio Grande boundary – Mexico Ceded to U.S.A. almost all of the present-day U.S. southwest region – U.S.A. paid $15 million – U.S.A. promised to pay claims of U.S. citizens against Mexico


49 The War’s Effects on Sectional Conflict Patriotism was generated by the war Sectional conflict grew though between 1846 and 1848 The Polk administration angered the North and West by lowering tariffs and vetoing federal aid for internal improvements

50 The War’s Effects on Sectional Conflict (cont.) Most important, arguments began over the expansion of slavery in the Mexican cession – Northern Democrats worried that the western expansion of slavery would close out opportunities for free laborers in the West and worsen class antagonism in the East

51 The Wilmot Proviso 1846 David Wilmot – Northern Democratic Tacked on an appropriations bill an amendment that would bar slavery from the new territory acquired from Mexico Passed the House but not the Senate Extremist southerners led by Calhoun claimed it was unconstitutional for Congress to forbid slavery in any territory

52 The Election of 1848 Whigs nominated Zachary Taylor Democrats nominated Lewis Cass – Tried to solve the sectional controversy by proposing popular sovereignty which would give settlers who lived in a territory the right to decide whether to permit slavery

53 The Election of 1848 (cont.) Free-Soil Party – A faction of Democrats called Barnburners joined antislavery “conscience” Whigs and Liberty Party abolitionists – Nominated Martin Van Buren – Opposed to any further spread of slavery

54 The Election of 1848 (cont.)

55 Taylor won the election – A military hero – position on slavery was unknown The good showing of the Free-Soilers in the North demonstrated the popular appeal of keeping slavery out of the West and using it as a place of opportunity for poor white men

56 The California Gold Rush Just before the signing of the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo, an American carpenter living in CA discovered gold near Sacramento The news quickly reached the east Produced a rush of prospectors CA’s population surged The weak military govt. proved unequal to containing the violence and disorder of the gold fields and mining boomtowns Californians demanded a civilian state govt. This brought to a head the issue of slavery in CA and the rest of the Mexican cession

57 Panning Gold, California

58 Conclusion After winning the 1840 election, the Whigs were unable to enact their platform of national banking and protective tariffs because of the death of Pres. William H. Harrison. – His replacement VP John Tyler, espoused Democratic not Whig views In the 1844 election, the ardently expansionist Democrat James Polk was elected President

59 Conclusion (cont.) Polk during his one term, nearly led the U.S.A. into a war against Britain and did fight Mexico. The issue of the spread of slavery into the territories taken from Mexico fanned sectional strife and split the Democrats Many northern Democrats joined others in 1848 to create the Free-Soil Party

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