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Chapter 17 Manifest Destiny and Its Legacy, 1841–1848.

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Presentation on theme: "Chapter 17 Manifest Destiny and Its Legacy, 1841–1848."— Presentation transcript:

1 Chapter 17 Manifest Destiny and Its Legacy, 1841–1848

2 I. The Accession of “Tyler Too” Whig party: – Wm. H. Harrison, a Whig, was elected in 1841 and John Tyler elected Vice-President Cabinet: Secretary of State—Daniel Webster Henry Clay spokesman in the Senate, the uncrowned king of the Whigs. – Harrison contacted pneumonia and died after only four months in office By far the shortest administration in American history but longest inaugural address.

3 I. The Accession of “Tyler Too” (cont.) John Tyler: The “Tyler too” party of the Whig ticket, now claimed the spotlight He was stubbornly attached to principle Resigned early from the Senate, rather than accept distasteful instructions form the Virginia legislature Forsook the Jacksonian Democrats for the Whigs His enemies accused him of being a Democrat in Whig clothing Was at odds with the majority of his adoptive Whigs

4 I. The Accession of “Tyler Too” (cont.) Whig party platform: – Pro-bank, pro-protective tariff, and pro-internal improvements. “Tyler too” rhymed with “Tippecanoe,” but there the harmony ended. President Harrison, the Whig, served for only 4 weeks, whereas Tyler, the ex-Democrat who was still largely a Democrat at heart, served for 204 weeks.

5 II. John Tyler: A President Without a Party Whigs platform: It outlined a strongly nationalist program Financial reform came first: – The Whig Congress passed a law ending the independent treasury system – President Tyler, disarmingly agreeable, signed it – Clay drove though Congress a bill for a “Fiscal Bank” which would create a new Bank of the United States – Clay—the “Great Compromiser”—would have done well to conciliate Tyler

6 II. John Tyler: A President Without a Party (cont.) – Tyler veto the bill on both practical and constitutional grounds – The Whig leaders tried again, passing another bill providing for a “Fiscal Corporation” – Tyler again vetoed the offensive substitute – The Democrats were jubilant Whig extremists condemned Tyler as “His Accidency” and “Executive Ass” – He was formally expelled from his party – His entire cabinet resigned in a body, except Secretary of State Webster, who was then in the midst of delicate negotiations with England.

7 II. John Tyler: A President Without a Party (cont.) Proposed Whig tariff bill: – Tyler vetoed the bill – Because he saw the Whig scheme for a distribution among the states of revenue from the sale of public lands in the West – He could see no point of squandering federal money. Chastened Clayites redrafted their tariff bill: – They chopped out the offensive dollar-distribution scheme – Pushed down the rates to about the moderately protective level of 1832—roughly 32% on dutiable goods – Tyler reluctantly signed the Tariff of 1842

8 III. A War of Words with Britain Anti-British passions: At the bottom lay the bitter, red-coated memories of the two Anglo-American wars The pro-British Federalists had died out British travels wrote negatively about American customs in their travel books These writings touched off the “Third War with England” Fortunately this British-American war was fought on paper broadsides, and only ink was spilled.

9 III. A War of Words with Britain (cont.) – America a borrowing nation: Expensive canals to dig and railroads to build Britain, with overflowing coffers, was a lending nation The panic of 1837 and several states defaulted on their bonds or repudiated them altogether – 1837—a short-lived insurrection erupted in Canada Hot-blooded Americans furnished military supplies or volunteered for armed service The Washington regime tried to hold its neutrality

10 III. A War of Words with Britain (cont.) Again it could not enforce unpopular laws in the face of popular opposition. A provocative incident on the Canadian frontier brought passions to a boil in 1837: – An American steamer, Caroline, was carrying supplies to the insurgents across the Niagara River – It was attacked by the British and set on fire – The craft sank short of the plunge, only one American was killed. This unlawful invasion of American soil had alarming aftermaths.

11 III. A War of Words with Britain (cont.) – In 1840 a man, McLeod, who confessed to being involved in the Carolina raid, was arrested and indicted for murder – The London Foreign Office made clear that his execution would mean war – Fortunately, McLeod was freed after establishing an alibi – Tensions were renewed in 1841 when British officials in the Bahamas offered asylum to 130 Virginian slaves who had rebelled and captured the American ship Creole. – Britain had abolished slavery within the empire in 1833, raising southern fears that its Caribbean possessions would become Canada-like havens for escaped slaves.

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13 IV. Manipulating the Maine Maps The Maine boundary dispute: – The St. Lawrence River is icebound several months of the year: As a defensive precaution the British wanted to build a road westward from the seaport Halifax to Quebec The road would go though disputed territory claimed by Maine The Aroostook War threatened to widen the dispute into a full-dress shooting war.

14 IV. Manipulating the Maine Maps (cont.) – Britain sent to Washington a nonprofessional diplomat, Lord Ashburton, who established cordial relations with Secretary Webster They finally agreed to compromise on the Maine boundary (see Map 17.1) A split-the-difference arrangement, the Americans retained some 7,000 square miles of the 12,000 square miles of the wilderness in dispute Britain got less land but won the desired Halifax- Quebec route.

15 IV. Manipulating the Maine Maps (cont.) The Caroline affair was patched up by an exchange of diplomatic notes Bonus sneaked in small print: – The British, in adjusting the U.S.-Canadian boundary farther West, surrendered 6,500 square miles – The area was later found to contain the priceless Mesabi iron ore of Minnesota.

16 Map 17-1 p363

17 V. The Lone Star of Texas Shines Alone Texas’s precarious existence: – Mexico: refused to recognize Texas’s independence regarded the Lone Star Republic as a province in revolt to be reconquered in the future Mexican officials threatened war if the American eagle ever gather the fledgling republic under its protective wings.

18 V. The Lone Star of Texas Shines Alone (cont.) – Texas was forced to maintain a costly military establishment: Threatened by Mexico, Texas was driven into open negotiations with Britain and France to secure a defensive shield of a protectorate In 1839 and 1840, the Texans concluded a treaty with France, Holland, and Belgium. – Britain was interested in an independent Texas Texas would serve as a check for Americans moving South, possibly into British territory

19 V. The Lone Star of Texas Shines Alone (cont.) Dangers threatened from other foreigners: – British abolitionists were busily intriguing for a foothold in Texas – British merchants regarded Texas as a potentially important free-trade area—an offset to the tariff-walled United States – British manufacturers perceived the Texas plains for great cotton-producing in the future relieving Britain of chronic dependence on American fiber.

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21 VI. The Belated Texas Nuptials – Texas became a leading issue in the 1844 presidential campaign: The foes of expansion assailed annexation Southern hotheads cried, “Texas or Disunion” The pro-expansion Democrats under James K. Polk finally triumphed over the Whigs Lame duck president Tyler interpreted the narrow Democratic victory as a “mandate” to acquire Texas. Tyler deserves credit for shepherding Texas into the fold.

22 VI. The Belated Texas Nuptials (cont.) Tyler despaired of securing the needed 2/3 vote for a treaty in the Senate He arranged for annexation by a joint resolution After a spirited debate, the resolution passed in 1845 and Texas was formally invited to become the 28 th star on the American flag Mexico angrily charged that the Americans had despoiled it of Texas Mexico left the Texans dangling by denying their right to dispose of themselves as they chose

23 VI. The Belated Texas Nuptials (cont.) – By 1845 the Lone Star Republic had become a danger spot: Inviting foreign intrigue that menaced the American people The continued existence of Texas as an independent nation threatened to involve the United States in wars The United States can hardly be accused of haste in achieving annexation.

24 VII. Oregon Fever Populates Oregon Oregon Country: – Geography From the Rockies to the Pacific Ocean, north of California to the line of 54-40, the present southern tip of Alaska panhandle This land was claimed at one time or another by: Spain, Russia, Britain, and the United States Two claimants dropped out of the scramble: – Spain through the Florida Treaty of 1819 – Russia retreated to the 54-40 line by treaties of 1824 and 1825.

25 VII. Oregon Fever Populates Oregon (cont.) – British claims to Oregon were strong: Especially the portion north of the Columbia River They were based on: – Prior discovery and exploration – Treaty rights – Actual occupation – Colonizing agency Hudson’s Bay Company – American claims to Oregon: To exploration and occupation Captain Robert Gray (1792) had stumbled on the Columbia River, which he named after his ship

26 III. Oregon Fever Populates Oregon (cont.) The famed Lewis and Clark expedition of 1804-1806 Presence of missionaries and other settlers, some of whom reached the grassy Willamette River valley – These men and women of God, in saving the soul of the Indians, were instrumental in saving the soil of Oregon for the United States – They stimulated interest in a faraway domain that countless Americans had earlier assumed would not be settled for centuries. Scattered Americans and British pioneers continued to live peacefully side by side.

27 III. Oregon Fever Populates Oregon (cont.) – The Anglo-American Convention of 1818 (see pp. 239-240): The United States sought to divide at the forty-ninth parallel The British wanted the Columbia River as the line A scheme for peaceful “joint occupation” was adopted, pending future settlement The handful of Americans in the Willamette Valley was multiplied in the early 1840s by the “Oregon fever”

28 III. Oregon Fever Populates Oregon (cont.) Over the 2,000 mile Oregon Trail (1846) five thousand Americans had settled south of the Columbia River The British could only muster seven hundred north of the Columbia River – Actually only a relatively small segment was in controversy by 1845: – The Americans offered the forty-ninth parallel – The British repeated offering the line of the Columbia River – The whole issue was now tossed into the presidential election of 1844, where it became overshadowed by the question of annexing Texas.

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30 VIII. A Mandate (?) for Manifest Destiny The two major parties nominated their presidential standard-bearers in May 1844: – Henry Clay chosen by the Whigs at Baltimore – James K. Polk of Tennessee chosen by the Democrats—America’s first “dark horse” – The campaign was an expression of Manifest Destiny: – A sense of mission, believing that Almighty God had “manifestly” destined the American people for a hemisphere career…(see page 366).

31 VIII. A Mandate (?) for Manifest Destiny (cont.) – Expansionist Democrats: Strongly swayed by Manifest Destiny Their platform: “Reannexation of Texas” and “Reoccupation of Oregon”-all the way to 54-40 “All of Oregon or None” (The slogan “Fifty-four forty or fight” was not coined until two years later) They condemned Clay as a “corrupt bargainer,” a dissolute character, and a slaveowner.

32 VIII. A Mandate (?) for Manifest Destiny (cont.) – The Whigs: They countered with their own slogans They spread the lie: – that a gang of Tennessee slaves had been on their way to a southern market branded with the initials J.K.P. (James K. Polk) Clay “straddled” the crucial issue of Texas: – He personally favored annexing slaveholding Texas (an appeal to the South); he also favored postponement (an appeal to the North).

33 VIII. A Mandate (?) for Manifest Destiny (cont.) Election results: “Dark Horse” Polk nipped Clay 170 to 105 votes in the Electoral College 1,338,464 to 1,300,097 in the popular vote Clay would have won if he had not lost New York State by a scant 5,000 votes: – There the tiny antislavery Liberty Party absorbed nearly 16,000 votes that would have gone to Clay. The Democrats proclaimed they received a mandate from the voters to take Texas.

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36 IX. Polk the Purposeful President James K. Polk: Was not an impressive figure His burden increased by his unwillingness to delegate authority Methodical and hard-working but not brilliant He was shrewd, narrow-minded, conscientious, and persistent He developed a four-point program and with remarkable success achieved it completely in less than four years.

37 IX. Polk the Purposeful (cont.) Polk’s four-point program: – To lower the tariff Secretary of the Treasure, Robert J. Walker, devised a tariff-for-revenue bill that reduced the average rates of the Tariff of 1842 from 32% to 25% With strong support of low-tariff southerners, the Walker Tariff bill made it through Congress Complaints came from the middle states and New England (see Table 17.1) The Bill proved to be an excellent revenue producer.

38 IX. Polk the Purposeful (cont.) – The restoration of the independent treasury: Unceremoniously dropped by the Whigs in 1841 Pro-bank Whigs in Congress raised a storm of opposition, but victory at last rewarded the president’s effort in 1846. – The third and fourth points on Polk’s “must list” were the acquisition of California and the settlement of the Oregon dispute (see Map 17.2)

39 IX. Polk the Purposeful (cont.) Settlement of the Oregon dispute: “Reoccupation” of the “whole” had been promised to northern Democrats in 1844 campaign Southern Democrats, once Texas was annexed, cooled off Polk’s feeling bound by the three offers of his predecessor to London, proposed the compromise line of 49. British anti-expansionists were now persuaded that the Columbia River was not the St. Lawrence. Britain in 1846 proposed the line of 49.

40 IX. Polk the Purposeful (cont.) Polk threw the decision to the Senate They speedily accepted the offer and approved the subsequent treaty Satisfaction with the Oregon settlement among Americans was not unanimous. So, Polk, despite all the campaign bluster, got neither “fifty-four forty” nor a fight. But he did get something that in the long run was better: a reasonable compromise without a rifle being raised.

41 Table 17-1 p368

42 Map 17-2 p368

43 X. Misunderstandings with Mexico – Faraway California was another worry for Polk: Diverse population: Spanish Mexicans, Indians, “some foreigners” and Americans Given time these transplant Americans might bring California into the Union Polk was eager to buy from Mexico But the United States had some $3 million claim to American citizens and their property A more serious contention was Texas Deadlock with Mexico over Texas’s boundaries.

44 X. Misunderstandings with Mexico (cont.) Texas wanted the Rio Grande River boundary but Mexico only wanted the Nueces River boundary Polk was careful to keep American troops out of the no-man’s-land – California continued to cause Polk anxiety: Rumors—British wanted to buy or seize California A grab the Americans could not tolerate under the Monroe Doctrine Polk dispatched John Slidell to Mexico City (1845): – To offer $25 million for California and territory to the east – Mexico would not even permit Slidell to present his case

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46 XI. American Blood on American (?) Soil Polk was ready to take action: – January 13, 1846 he ordered 4000 men: Under General Zachary Taylor to march from Nueces River to the Rio Grande hoping for a clash When nothing happened he informed his cabinet (May 9, 1846) that he proposed to declare war – Unpaid claims – Slidell’s rejection New of bloodshed arrived on the same night Mexican troops crossed the Rio Grande and met Taylor.

47 XI. American Blood on American (?) Soil (cont.) – Polk sent a vigorous war message to Congress: Congress overwhelmingly voted for war In his message to Congress, Polk was making history—not writing it Spot resolution—by Abraham Lincoln demanding information as to the precise “spot” on American soil where American blood had been shed. – Did Polk provoke war? California was imperative in his program Mexico would not see it at any price

48 XI. American Blood on American (?) Soil (cont.) Polk wanted California by any means, so he pushed the quarrel to a bloody showdown Both sides were spoiling for a fight Both sides were fired by moral indignation The Mexican people could fight with the flaming sword of righteousness Many earnest Americans sincerely believed that Mexico was the aggressor.

49 XII. The Mastering of Mexico Polk wanted Mexico—not war: – When war came: he wanted to fight on a limit scale and then pull out when he captured the prize Santa Anna convinced Polk that he would sell out his country, then drove his countrymen to a desperate defense of their soil

50 XIII. The Mastering of Mexico (cont.) American operation in the Southwest and California were completely successful (see Map 17.3): – Both General Stephen W. Kearny and Captain John C. Frémont had success in the West – Frémont collated with American naval officers and local Americans who hoisted the banner of short-lived California Bear Flag Republic.

51 XIII. The Mastering of Mexico (cont.) – General Zachery Taylor fought the Mexicans in several successful battles and then reached Buena Vista: Here he captured 20,000 troops under Santa Anna The Mexicans were finally conquered Zachery Taylor became the “Hero of Buena Vista.” Now he called for a crushing blow at the enemy’s vitals—Mexico City Taylor, however, could not win decisively in the semideserts of northern Mexico.

52 XIII. The Mastering of Mexico (cont.) General Winfield Scott succeeded in battling his way up to Mexico City by Sept., 1847 – One of the most brilliant campaigns in American annals: He proved to be the most distinguished general produced by his country between the American Revolution and the Civil War.

53 Map 17-3 p371

54 XIII. Fighting Mexico for Peace Scott and chief clerk of the State Department Nicholas P. Trist arranged: – For an armistice with Santa Anna At a cost of $10,000 – Polk called Trist home, but he wrote a 65 page letter explaining why he could not come home – Trist signed the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo on February 2, 1848, forwarded it to Washington.

55 XIII. Fighting Mexico for Peace (cont.) The Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo: Confirmed the American title to Texas Yielded the enormous area stretching to Oregon, the ocean, embracing California The total expanse was about ½ of Mexico The United States agreed to pay $15 million for the land and to assume the claims of its citizen against Mexico in the amount of $3,250,000 – (see “Makers of America: the Californios” pp. 374-375.)

56 XIII. Fight Mexico for Peace (cont.) Polk submitted the treaty to the Senate: – The antislavery Whigs in Congress—dubbed “Mexican Whigs” or “Conscience Whigs”— denounced the “damnable war”. – Another peril impended: A swelling group of expansionists were clamoring for all of Mexico If America had seized it, she would have been saddled with an expensive and vexatious policing problem.

57 XIII. Fight Mexico for Peace (cont.) Victors rarely pay an indemnity: – Polk arranged to pay $18,250,000 after winning – Critics say Americans were pricked by guilty consciences – Apologists pointed proudly to the “Anglo-Saxon spirit of fair play”

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59 XIV. Profit and Loss in Mexico As wars go, the Mexican War was a small one: – It cost 13,000 American lives, most taken by disease – The fruits of the fighting were enormous: America’s total expanse was increased by 1/3 It proved to be the blood-spattered schoolroom of the Civil War The campaigns provided priceless experience The work of the navy was valuable in placing a blockade around Mexican ports.

60 XIV. Profit and Loss in Mexico (cont.) The Marine Corps won new laurels and to this day sings in its stirring hymn about the “Halls of Montezuma.” The army waged war without defeat and without a major blunder Opposing armies emerged with increased respect for each other Mexicans never forgot that their northern neighbors tore away about ½ of their country Marked an ugly turning point in relations between the United States and Latin America.

61 XIV. Profit and Loss in Mexico (cont.) The war aroused the slavery issue that would not stop until the Civil War David Wilmot of Pennsylvania introduced a fateful amendment that stipulated that slavery should never exist in any of the territories to be wrested from Mexico. The Wilmot Proviso never became federal law: – It was endorsed by the legislatures of all but one of the free states – It came to symbolize the burning issue of slavery in the territories

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