America: Past and Present

Chapter 13

Movement to the Far West

  • American settlement reaches Pacific in 1830s and 1840s
  • Settlement encroaches on lands claimed by Mexico and England

Borderlands of the 1830s

  • 1842–Webster-Ashburton Treaty settles the northeast U.S.-Canadian boundary
  • Americans begin settling in

Oregon territory (joint U.S., English claim)

New Mexico territory (owned by Mexico)

California (owned by Mexico)

Territorial Expansion by the
Mid-Nineteenth Century

The Texas Revolution

  • 1820s–Americans move into Texas
  • “Anglos” never fully accept Mexican rule
  • 1829–Mexico tries abolishing slavery
  • 1835–armed rebellion breaks out

The Republic of Texas

  • March, 1836–Texans declare independence
  • April, 1836–Santa Anna defeated at San Jacinto
  • May, 1836–Santa Anna’s treaty recognizes Texas’ claim to territory (Mexico repudiates)
  • Texas offers free land grants to U.S. settlers
  • Annexation to U.S. refused by Jackson

Texas Revolution

Trails of Trade and Settlement

  • Santa Fe Trail closed to U.S. travelers as a result of Mexico’s war with Texas
  • Oregon Trail conduit for heavy stream of settlers to the Oregon country
  • Oregon settlers demand an end to joint U.S., English occupation

The Mormon Trek: Westward Flight

  • Church of Jesus Christ of the Latter Day Saints founded by Joseph Smith, 1830
  • Mormon church seeks revival of pure aboriginal American Christianity
  • Mormons persecuted for unorthodoxy
  • Flee New York for Nauvoo, Illinois
  • Murder of Joseph Smith prompts resettlement to Great Salt Lake in Utah

The Mormons Trek: Mormons in Utah

  • 1847–State of Deseret established
  • Desert transformed into farmland
  • Mormons at first resist U.S. governance
  • 1857–Brigham Young accepts post as territorial governor of Utah

Western Trails

Manifest Destiny and the Mexican-American War

  • Widespread call for annexation of newly-settled lands
  • “Manifest Destiny” a slogan of those believing the U.S. divinely ordained to encompass Mexico and Canada

Tyler and Texas

  • 1841–John Tyler assumes presidency after William Henry Harrison’s death
  • Tyler breaks with Whigs
  • 1844–Tyler negotiates annexation with Texas for re-election campaign issue
  • Senate refuses to ratify
  • Tyler loses Whig nomination to Henry Clay

The Triumph of Polk and Annexation

  • Democrats nominate James K. Polk
  • Polk runs on expansionist platform

annexation of Texas for Southern vote

U.S. jurisdiction of Oregon for Northern vote

  • Polk, Congress interpret his election as mandate for expansion
  • Texas annexed before Polk inaugurated

The Doctrine of Manifest Destiny

  • “Manifest destiny” first used in 1845

God wants the U.S., His chosen nation, to become stronger

Americans make new territories free and democratic

growing American population needs land

  • Limits to American expansion undefined

Polk and the Oregon Question

  • 1846–Polk notifies Great Britain that the U.S. no longer accepts joint occupation
  • England prepares for war, proposes division of the area
  • Senate approves division of Oregon along 49o north latitude, Treaty of 1846
  • U.S. gains ownership of Puget Sound
  • North condemned Polk for division

Northwest Boundary Dispute

War with Mexico

  • May 13, 1846–War on Mexico declared
  • General Zachary Taylor wins campaign in northern Mexico
  • Colonel Stephen Kearney captured New Mexico and joined John C. Frémont in taking California by early 1847
  • September, 1847–General Winfield Scott occupies Mexico City

Settlement of the Mexican-American War

  • February, 1848–Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo
  • Rio Grande becomes southern border
  • New Mexico, California ceded to U.S.
  • Mexican War politically contentious

Whigs oppose

Northerners see as Slave Power expansion

The Mexican-American War

Internal Expansionism

  • “Young Americans” link territorial growth to other material achievements

technological innovation—e.g. telegraph

transportation improvements

growth of trade

mass immigration

  • Discovery of California gold inspires transcontinental projects
  • Territorial expansion wanes after 1848, economic, population growth continues

The Triumph of the Railroad

  • 1840s–railroad begins displacing canals
  • Rail construction stimulates iron industry
  • Railroads stimulate new forms of finance


preferred stock

government subsidies

Railroads, 1850 and 1860

The Industrial Revolution Takes Off

  • Mass production, the division of labor makes production more efficient
  • Factory system emerges

gather laborers in one place for supervision

cash wages

“continuous process” of manufacturing

  • Agriculture becomes mechanized
  • Northern economy based on interaction of industry, transportation, agriculture

Mass Immigration Begins

  • 1840-1860–4 million Irish, Germans immigrate to U.S.
  • Most come for higher wages
  • Immigrants fill low-paying jobs in port cities
  • Low immigrant wages contribute to slums
  • Urban reform movement results

Immigration to the United States, 1820-1860

The New Working Class

  • 1840s–factory labor begins shifting from women, children to men
  • Immigrants dominate new working class
  • Employers less involved with laborers
  • Post-1837 employers demand more work for less pay
  • Unions organized to defend worker rights

The New Working Class (2)

  • Wage laborers resent discipline, continuous nature of factory work
  • Workers cling to traditional work habits
  • Adjustment to new work style was painful and took time

The Costs of Expansion

  • Working class poses problem for ideals

working for wages assumed the first step toward becoming one’s own master

new class of permanent wage-earners conflicts with old ideal

  • Economic expansion creates conflicts between classes
  • Territorial expansion creates conflicts between sections
  • Both sets of conflicts uncontrollable

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