2 Between the early 1830s and the mid 1850s, a new political party called the Whigs ran in opposition against the Democrat party of Andrew Jackson. They believed in congressional supremacy instead of presidential supremacy. Whig was a term used to describe someone who was opposed to tyranny a word that many Whigs had used to describe Andrew Jackson. The Whigs were pro-business, favored modernization of the nation, and believed that public education was necessary for the good of the country.
3 In the election of 1836, Andrew Jackson followed tradition, and did not run again. The Democrats chose his vice president, Martin Van Buren, to run. The Whigs were regionally divided, and lost, making Martin Van Buren our 8 th president.
6 Tired of losing to the Democrats, the Whigs worked hard to win the presidential election of The country had been going through an economic depression, and many people blamed President Van Buren for what was happening. Some people even referred to him as Martin Van Ruin. The Whigs chose William Henry Harrison, Old Tippecanoe, who had defeated Native Americans in battle years before.
7 Many Democrats made fun of William Henry Harrison, and said he was too old and senile to be president. They said that if he was given a barrel of hard cider and his retirement money, he would be happy to spend his day s in a cabin. The Whigs jumped on this, and tried to use the common man image. They tried to present Van Buren as being rich and snobby, when in fact, it was Harrison that had come from a wealthy background. He chose a man named John Tyler, a former Democrat, as his running mate. With the slogan Tippecanoe and Tyler Too, they won the election of 1840.
9 Old Tippecanoe took office on March 4, The day was cold and wet, and Harrison did not wear a hat or overcoat. He spoke for over an hour and a half the longest inauguration speech in history. Later in the month, he developed a nasty cold, and died on April 4 th.
10 John Tyler our 10 th president, became the first vice president to assume office on the death of a president. Although a Whig, he went against many wishes of the party, and they kicked him out! The Democrats didn t want him either. He became known as a lame duck, or a leader who can t get much done.
11 Manifest Something that is clear or obvious. Destiny Something that is going to happen. As the 1840s progressed many people began to believe in an idea called Manifest Destiny. It was the belief that the United States was destined to stretch all the way to the Pacific Ocean or From Sea to Shining Sea.
12 As early as 1819, future President John Quincy Adams stated: The world has to accept the idea of the continent of North America as our proper dominion. From the time we became an independent nation, it was as much a law of nature that this would become our claim as that the Mississippi should flow to the sea. By the 1830s and 1840s, many Americans began looking toward New Mexico and California with great interest.
13 Many Americans were interested in obtaining territory that would get the nation closer to the Pacific Ocean The entire Southwest once belonged to Mexico. This huge territory included all, or parts of the following modern-day states: Arizona, New Mexico, Nevada, Utah, and Colorado. The capital was Santa Fe.
14 Much of the American Southwest is hot and dry. There are also desert and mountainous areas as well. Before the Spanish came, some Native Americans had success with irrigation, while others hunted. The Spanish settled part of the area, and built Santa Fe, which is located in the current state of New Mexico. It grew into a busy trading town, but the Spanish refused to let Americans settle in New Mexico.
15 Santa Fe is one of the oldest cities in the U. S.
16 After winning its independence from Spain, Mexico allowed Americans into the territory. William Becknell was the first American to head to Santa Fe. He led a group of traders from Missouri.
17 The Mexicans were eager to trade and buy their goods. Other Americans followed. The Santa Fe Trail was developed as a trade route in the 1820s.
18 By the 1840 s, Mexico was in control of California. The Spanish had actually been there 100 years before the English had set up their colonies along the Atlantic Coast. California has large mountain ranges and fertile valleys to raise crops. Northern California receives a lot of rain, while Southern California is much drier. For most of the year, and in most parts, California enjoys mild temperatures.
19 Spanish priests and soldiers built a series of missions and settlements up and down the coast of California. The natives of the region put up little resistance as the Spanish forced them to work for the missions, and to learn more about the Catholic faith. At times life was rough for them, and many died from overwork, and disease. Conditions even worsened when Mexico got its independence from Spain. Ranchers often cruelly mistreated the Indians. Their population dropped to just about 100,000 by 1850.
22 By the mid 1840 s, less than 1,000 Americans were in California. However, more and more Americans felt it was their duty to spread our ideas of government and our culture to all types of people. At the time, they believed it was our right and our duty to spread all the way to the Pacific Ocean. Newspapers even started to spread the idea of Manifest Destiny.
23 The Whigs choose the well-known Henry Clay. The Democrats chose lesser-known James K. Polk. Voters came to know that Polk favored adding Texas and the Oregon Country into the U.S. Polk insisted that all of Oregon to its northern border should join the United States.
25 Fifty-four forty or fight was a campaign slogan. Americans chose the expansionist James K. Polk, who became our 11 th president.
27 After winning the election, President Polk had to act on his promise to extend the United States from the Atlantic to the Pacific. Happily, the issue over Oregon was settled peacefully, but problems over Texas led to a bloody war with Mexico.
28 Despite his campaign promises for expansion, President Polk did not want war with Britain. In 1846, a treaty was worked out, extending the border between Canada and the U.S. The border was set at 49 degrees north. The U. S. got everything south of the line. The future states of Oregon, Washington, and Idaho were carved out of this region.
30 The largest single group of settlers to move into Mexican territory, were members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints given the nickname Mormons. The church attracted many followers, but not without some controversy.
31 Mormons at first believed property should be owned as a group. Some Mormons also were involved in polygamy having more than 1 wife. Mormons had to move around frequently, and they moved from New York, to Ohio, then on to Missouri. In Missouri they were especially hated, because they frequently voted the same way. Most Mormons were Northerners and were anti-slavery. Missourians worried that they would take over.
33 Under an extermination order from Missouri s governor, the Mormons were driven from the state, and then set up a community in a swampy area in Illinois along the Mississippi River. Their city was called Nauvoo. Problems again developed between their neighbors, and in June of 1844, their leader, Joseph Smith was killed by a mob. Brigham Young, their new leader, decided to move them to the Rocky Mountains, which at that time, WAS NOT in the United States.
34 The Mormons were again kicked out of a place they had settled, when they began to leave Nauvoo in the winter of The Mormon city of Nauvoo grew rapidly, and at one time rivaled Chicago as the biggest city in the state of Illinois.
35 The Mormons were forced out of Nauvoo while it was still winter in They faced a large challenge in moving 15,000 people across the continent. Many of them camped the next winter along the Missouri River in Nebraska. In 1847, the Mormons entered the Salt Lake Valley. (Again, it is important to note that in the summer of 1847, the Salt Lake Valley was still claimed by Mexico.) In the ensuing years, thousands of Mormon pioneers came to Salt Lake City in covered wagons and in handcarts. Salt Lake City became a major rest stop and trading center for many people moving throughout the west.
36 Much of the Mormon Trail followed, and was similar to the Oregon Trail.
38 Originally in 1836, the U.S. had refused to annex Texas. By 1844, many Americans had changed their minds. That year, Sam Houston, the president of Texas, signed a treaty of annexation with the United States. The Senate refused to ratify the treaty because they thought it would lead to war with Mexico.
39 To get the Senate to sign the treaty, Sam Houston pretended that he would become an ally of Great Britain. The U. S. did not want Europe s greatest power to have a foothold on our western border. In 1845, Congress approved Texas joining the United States. Trouble begins with Mexico.
40 Mexico had never accepted Texan independence. Now they were furious that the U.S. had annexed Texas. They were worried that Americans in New Mexico and California would rebel. Mexicans had refused an offer to buy New Mexico and California for $30 million. Mexico did not want to lose more territory. There was also a debate about which river was Texas s western border.
41 Mexico claimed the border with Texas was the Nueces River. Texans argued that the river border was the Rio Grande.
42 Polk had General Zachary Taylor cross the Nueces River and go to the Rio Grande. This was in the disputed territory. In April, Mexican troops crossed the Rio Grande and soldiers on both sides were killed. Polk claimed that American blood had been shed on American soil. At his urging, Congress declared war on Mexico.
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