Mexican-American War Act-It-Out

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1 Florida Act-It-Out Follow the narration below to create an act-it-out about Florida. When the narrator says Action! the actors will move, act, and speak as described. When the narrator says Audience! the audience members will say Govern or get out! loudly and in unison. 1. In the early 1800s, Florida was controlled by Spain. Sometimes Seminole Indians from Florida would cross the border, raid U.S. lands, and escape back into Florida 2. Sometimes slaves from Georgia would escape to Florida, where Seminole Indians would hide them. 3. Andrew Jackson, possibly on a secret mission from orders by John Quincy Adams, invaded Florida in Jackson s mission was to destroy the outlaws, runaway, Seminoles who had been raiding American settlements in Georgia. 4. Jackson accomplished his mission and then overcame the Spanish garrison at St. Augustine. Andrew Jackson and his military force now occupied Florida. 5. Meanwhile, Spain was losing power elsewhere in its vast empire and realized that they couldn t hold Florida against the Americans. (Audience!) 6. In 1819, Spain agreed to the Adams-Onís Treaty in which they gave up control of Florida to the United States. 7. Plantation owners from the South, who had worn out their land, began to settle in the new territory of Florida and plant cotton and tobacco. As the population grew, the people of Florida applied for statehood in The application was delayed because admitting Florida as a slave state would upset the balance in Congress. (Audience!) 8. In 1845, Iowa joined the union as a free state and Florida joined the nation as a slave state.

2 Texas Act-It-Out Follow the narration below to create an act-it-out about Texas. When the narrator says Action! the actors will move, act, and speak as described. When the narrator says Audience! the audience members will say Govern or get out! loudly and in unison. 1. In 1821, Mexico declared itself free from its mother country, Spain. Its land stretched from Guatemala to Oregon and was equal to the United States. 2. Mexican leaders were aware of the near emptiness of their northern lands. One way to increase their population was to welcome settlers from the United States, especially farmers to the Mexican province of Texas. 3. Unfortunately, Mexico was Catholic and anti-slavery and the American settlers were mostly Protestant, pro-slavery, and largely ignored Mexican authority. 4. American settlers in the Mexican territory of Texas rebelled against Mexico. 5. The worst battle for the Texans was at the Alamo, where every Texan was killed. This only spurred on American supporters, who flooded into Texas to help and cried Remember the Alamo! 6. After winning the Battle of San Jacinto where Texans surprised Mexican general Santa Anna and his troops, Texas became an independent country, the Lone Star Republic, in Two times over the next nine years, Texas applied to the United States Congress for annexation. Both times Congress said no. 8. However, in 1844, James Polk, who was a strong supporter of Manifest Destiny, was elected President and Congress changed its mind and said yes.

3 Mexican-American War Act-It-Out Follow the narration below to create an act-it-out about the Mexican-American War. When the narrator says Action! the actors will move act, and speak as described. When the narrator says Audience! the audience members will say Govern or get out! loudly and in unison. 1. In 1845, Mexico owned the California and New Mexico territories. President Polk offered to buy these territories, but Mexico refused. 2. Relations between Mexico and the United States were strained at this time. The United States had recently annexed Texas and claimed the Rio Grande as the border, but Mexican officials said the border was further north at the Nueces River. 3. In July 1845, President Polk sent American troops under the command of Zachary Taylor into the area between the Rio Grande and the Nueces River, the territory that both countries claimed. 4. On April 25, 1846, believing that the U.S. soldiers were on Mexican land, a group of Mexican soldiers attacked. When it was all over, sixteen U.S. soldiers were killed or wounded. 5. Following the attack, President Polk addressed Congress. Mexico, he charged, has invaded our territory and shed American blood on American soil. (Audience!) 6. Congress declared war on Mexico and some Americans celebrated. Some Americans did not. 7. The Mexican American War raged for the next two years with U.S. troops invading California and New Mexico 8. Finally, in September 1847, General Winfield Scott and his U.S. army troops captured Mexico City. Eventually, the Mexican army surrendered. By early 1848, the United States had won the war and gained control of half of Mexico s lands. Many Americans cheered and celebrated. Some Americans did not.

4 California Act-It-Out Follow the narration below to create an act-it-out about California. When the narrator says Action! the actors will move, act, and speak as described. When the narrator says Audience! the audience members will say Govern or get out! loudly and in unison. 1. Defeated on February 2, 1848, Mexico s leaders signed the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo which gave the United States more than 500,000 square miles of territory what are now the states of California, Nevada, and Utah, as well as parts of other states. 2. When gold was discovered in California in 1848, thousands of people rushed west. Those who arrive in 1849 were called forty-niners. 3. By 1849 not only Americans but people from as far away as China came to find gold and get rich. 4. Boomtowns grew quickly. 5. Most of the forty-niners did not get rich from the Gold Rush. 6. However, they often stayed in California to farm or become merchants. 7. California grew, and in 1850 it applied to become a state. Because the California constitution banned slavery, the application caused a crisis. (Audience!) 8. As a result of the Compromise of 1850, California became a state later that year.

5 Oregon Act-It-Out Follow the narration below to create an act-it-out about Oregon. When the narrator says Action! the actors will move act, and speak as described. When the narrator says Audience! the audience members will say Govern or get out! loudly and in unison. 1. The Oregon Country was a large area north of California, extending from the Pacific Ocean to the Rocky Mountains. The United States, Great Britain, Russia, and Spain all claimed it. 2. In the Adams-Onís Treaty, Spain gave up claims to land north of California. Russia gave up its claims south of Alaska. 3. The United States and Great Britain agreed to joint occupation of the area. 4. Fur traders, or mountain men, were the first Americans to live in the Oregon Country. They trapped beavers and sold the furs to large fur companies. 5. In the 1830s Americans began traveling to the Oregon Country. This began the great migration of Americans coming west to start a new life. 6. Many Americans came to believe in Manifest Destiny, that the country should extend all the way to the Pacific Ocean. 7. James K. Polk won the presidential election by supporting Manifest Destiny. His slogan was Fifty-Four Forty or Fight. (Audience!) 8. In 1846, the United States and Britain compromised on latitude 49 N as the border between the American and British parts of Oregon.

6 Utah Act-It-Out Follow the narration below to create an act-it-out about Utah. When the narrator says Action! the actors will move, act, and speak as described. When the narrator says Audience! the audience members will say Govern or get out! loudly and in unison. 1. Joseph Smith founded a new religion, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, or Mormons. It was based on visions he had received. 2. Smith and his followers formed a community in New York. 3. Later, they moved to Illinois because Mormons faced persecution because of their beliefs. 4. In 1844 a mob killed Smith. Brigham Young then led the Mormons to Utah. 5. Through hard work and determination, the Mormons built prosperous communities in the rough desert area. 6. After the war with Mexico, Utah became a territory of the United States. 7. However, because of the Mormon belief in polygamy, the idea that a man could have more than one wife, and conflicts with federal officials. (Audience!) 8. Utah did not become a state until 1896.

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