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Chapter 13 Moving West The American People, 6 th ed.

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Presentation on theme: "Chapter 13 Moving West The American People, 6 th ed."— Presentation transcript:

1 Chapter 13 Moving West The American People, 6 th ed.

2 I.Probing the Trans- Mississippi West

3 The International Context for American Expansion  In 1815, save for the Louisiana Purchase, Spain held onto most of the trans-Mississippi west.  Spanish holdings eventually encompassed present-day Texas, Arizona, New Mexico, Nevada, Utah, Colorado, California and more. Mexican independence in 1821 gave the new country all of Spain’s holdings.  North of California was Oregon Territory, disputed between America and England.



6 Early Interest in the West  Early settlers sought beaver skins as early as 1811 in the Oregon backcountry.  In the Southwest the collapse of the Spanish Empire flooded the region with an assortment of settlers.  A few New Englanders settled in California and exploited the sea-otter trade.  Many Indians relocated from eastern lands to present-day Oklahoma.

7 Manifest Destiny  Phrase coined in 1845 by John L. O’Sullivan, editor of the Democratic Review.  Expressed conviction that the development of a superior system of government and lifestyle dictated a God- given right of Americans to spread their civilization to the four corners of the continent.  Territorial expansion was a mandate of Manifest Destiny.

8 II.Winning the Trans- Mississippi West

9 Annexing Texas, 1845  Mexico feared a hostile takeover of Texas after repeated attempt by the United States to buy the territory.  To strengthen border areas, Mexico offered land for reduced costs requiring only that the settlers become Mexican citizens and Catholics.  Stephen Austin and many other contractors organized parties of settlers into Texas.  Few settlers honored their agreement with Mexico.  Texans won their independence from Mexico in 1836 and were annexed by America nine years later.



12 War with Mexico, 1846 - 1848  Mexico severed diplomatic ties with America after its annexation of Texas.  President Polk failed to appreciate the humiliation of the Mexicans and sent American troops to forestall a potential invasion. Hostilities quickly followed.  Debate in Washington simmered as U.S. forces swept into Mexico and took the capital city.


14 California and New Mexico  President Polk communicated that any resolution of the Mexican war would have to include California and New Mexico.  The U.S. government, magnanimously attempted to buy the territories from Mexico to no avail.  Superior American military strength secured the future states in 1847.

15 The Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo, 1848  The final treaty between America and Mexico in the era  Set the Rio Grande as America’s south border  Increased U.S. territory by 529,000 square miles  Awarded Mexico $15 million and set terms for Gadsden Purchase of southern Arizona and parts of New Mexico for an additional $10 million

16 The Oregon Question, 1844 - 1846  Although disputed by both America and England, President Polk claimed settlement of Americans in the territory as a “presumption of possession.”  The British government did not agree but were powerless to stop thousands of settlers migrating to Oregon.  Despite slogans and diatribe, Polk was unwilling to fight and sought a diplomatic resolution to the issue.  England eagerly accepted Vancouver Island in return for dropping her claims to Oregon.


18 III. Going West and East

19 The Emigrants  Most emigrants to the far West were white and American by birth.  Some free blacks also make the six- month overland trip.  Most traveled with family and relatives.  Only during the Gold Rush years did large numbers of unmarried men travel West independently.

20 Migrants’ Motives  Most emigrants sought wealth in the form of gold and silver.  Other sought to set up businesses as merchants or land speculators.  Some traveled to the warmer climate to restore their health.  Others followed the direction of church leaders for religious or cultural missions.


22 IV. Living in the West

23 Farming in the West  New arrivals in the West had to stake a claim and clear the land of obstructions.  As they began their farming, the emigrants unconsciously harmed the land by introducing foreign weeds and poor farming techniques.

24 Cities in the West  Some emigrants went west for the express purpose of living in a fast- growing city such as San Francisco or Denver.  Young, single men made up an overwhelming majority of these urban centers’ populations.  Opportunities were always greatest for those who brought significant assets with them from the East.

25 V. Cultures in Conflict

26 Confronting the Plains Tribes  Americans moving west were continually shocked by the cultural differences between them and the native tribes along the trails.  Problems arose as grazing cattle and indiscriminate buffalo hunting quickly depleted the traditional hunting grounds of the Plains tribes.  A chain of American forts was constructed along the major trails to foil Indian interference.



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