Manifest Destiny Manifest Destiny The idea that God had given the continent to Americans and wanted them to settle western
lands to the Pacific Ocean. The Midwest Squatters settled on land that they did not
own in the Midwest. Many became farmers. The steel plow was invented by John Deere which made farming easier and more efficient. The Preemption Act allowed squatters to buy
up to 160 acres of land. Trails West Much of the terrain between the jumping-off points
and the Pacific Ocean was very difficult. Pioneers encountered enormous mountains, wild animals and Native Americans. The most popular trail was known as the Oregon
Trail. On a quest for religious freedom Mormons went west along the Mormon Trail. Typical trips took 5-6 months. Wagon trains
progressed about 15 miles per day. Westward Most pioneers went west looking for gold or new opportunities.
California became highly populated due to the rush to find gold, known as California Gold Rush of 1849 at Sutters Mill. The Donner Party was a group of pioneers who were
led astray by a western guidebook. They were stranded in the Sierra Nevada Mountains. To survive they resorted to cannibalism.
Texas and the Southwest Mexico invited Americans to live in Texas. Under the National Colonization Act, Empresarios, or agents were granted land in Texas and were expected to
attract American settlers to the area. Mexico passed laws harming American immigrants. Americans had to pay high imports on American goods and were expected to assimilate to Mexican culture but they did
not. Americans did not follow the laws of the Mexican Government because they still regarded their government to be the US.
This led to the Texas War for Independence. Texas War for Independence Americans led by Sam Houston were poorly trained and small in numbers.
The Mexican army was large, experienced and led by Antonio Lopez de Santa Anna. Santa Anna denounced the Mexican Constitution and made himself the dictator of
Mexico. Battles Alamo: Members of the Texas army were
holed up in an old Spanish Mission where they fought off the Mexican Army for nearly two weeks. They were defeated, but gave Houstons army time to organize.
The Battle of San Jacinto: Houstons army surprised Santa Annas troops and captured over 700 including Santa Anna. Mexico was forced to recognize Texas independence.
Texas Annexation Many slaves and slave owners lived in Texas and Texas. Many Northerners did not want to annex Texas as a
slave state. The Republic of Texas existed for 9 years until Texas was annexed into the United States in 1945. War with Mexico
The US went to war with Mexico over boundary disputes. The Americans invaded Mexico and eventually captured the capital city of Mexico City. The US won the war. Under the Treaty of Guadalupe
Hidalgo, Mexico ceded land to the US which is now much of the Southwest. Oregon
Great Britain and the US claimed parts of Oregon. Many Americans sought farmland in the Oregon Territory. Fifty-four Forty or Fight was the declaration of
Americans, laying claim to the territory up to the Fifty-fourth Forty Northern Latitude. The two countries divided the territory without conflict at the 49 parallel.
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