Chapter 13

Manifest Destiny: An Empire for Liberty– or Slavery?

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Growth as the American Way
• Unprecedented growth: U.S. population and land quadrupled • “Manifest Destiny” John L. O’Sullivan – Democratic Review 1845 • “Young America” movement • Permanent Indian frontier

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Manifest Destiny and Slavery
• Compromise of 1820: supposedly settled a division between slavery and freedom in the Louisiana Purchase • Ongoing issue of expansion of slavery into new territories

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The Westering Impulse
• Horace Greeley: “Go west, young man” • Depression of 1837 pushed many West in search of cheap land, better opportunities • Richard Henry Dana
– Two Years Before the Mast (1840)

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The Hispanic Southwest
• • • • Frontier of New Spain Rio Grande Valley of New Mexico Santa Fe Trail Californios

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The Oregon and California Trails
• “Oregon fever” • “Great American Desert” • 1847, exodus of the Mormons to the basin of Great Salt Lake • 1849, California Gold Rush • Most migrated as families, although women often came reluctantly • Separate spheres for men and women persist
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The Mormon Migration
• Strong patriarchal rule • Mormons (Church of Jesus Christ of LatterDay Saints)
– – – – Joseph Smith Nauvoo, Illinois and Smith’s murder Brigham Young and the Mormon Trek Great Salt Lake

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The Republic of Texas
• Stephen F. Austin and American settlement
– Protestants in a Catholic country – Slave owners in country banning slavery

• Tejanos American alliance against central Mexican government • Republic of Texas 1836 • Antonio López de Santa Anna
– “Remember the Alamo!”

• Sam Houston and the Battle of San Jacinto
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The Annexation Controversy
• Jackson and Van Buren oppose Texas annexation • John Tyler breaks with Whigs once President • Calhoun’s actions inflame Northern suspicions about Texas annexation • Texas annexation main issue in election of 1844
– Whig Henry Clay against – Martin Van Buren against, cost him Democratic nomination – Democrats choose “dark horse” James K. Polk, proannexation and “54’ 40” or fight”

• James Birney and the Liberty Party
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Acquisition of Texas and Oregon
• Tyler’s Joint Resolution annexes Texas • Rio Grande vs. Nueces River as Texas border • Mexico breaks off diplomatic relations with U.S. • “Fifty-four forty or fight!” becomes 49th parallel
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The Mexican War
• President Polk provoked a war with Mexico in order to gain California and New Mexico • “Mr. Polk’s War” • U.S. forces won every battle, and the war

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Military Campaigns of 1846
• Zachary Taylor
– Monterrey (1846)

• Stephen Watts Kearny • Alexander Doniphan • John C. Frémont
– “Bear-Flag Revolt”

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Military Campaigns of 1847
• America’s gamble with Santa Anna • Winfield Scott
– Combined army-navy force took coastal fort at Veracruz – Takes Mexico City in September

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Antiwar Sentiment

• Whigs and many in Northeast considered it a “wicked and disgraceful war” • Anti-slavery supporters saw it as an expansion of slavery

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The Wilmot Proviso
• David Wilmot and the Wilmot Proviso
– Votes along sectional not party lines
• Expansion of slavery could tear parties apart • Northern Democrats upset at loss of 54’ 40” • Walker Tariff unpopular in North

• Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo (1848)
– Nicholas Trist
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The Election of 1848
• Wilmot Proviso and the Liberty Party • Calhoun and “southern rights” • The Democrats middle ground
– Lewis Cass and “popular sovereignty”

• Whigs nominate Zachary Taylor • “Conscience Whigs”

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Free Soil Party
• Convention of 1848 • Van Buren • “no more Slave States, and no more Slave Territories” • Free-Soilers pressured both northern Democrats and Whigs to stand against slavery in the territories • Taylor wins
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The Gold Rush and California Statehood
• 1849: gold-seekers headed to California • California boom towns
– San Francisco – Sacramento

• Territory from Mexico must be organized • Slavery question for California • Taylor proposed to admit California and New Mexico immediately as states, rather than as territories first
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The Compromise of 1850
• • • • Issues that needed to be addressed in 1850 National Fugitive Slave Law End to slave trade in Washington D.C. Texas vs. New Mexico: Rio Grande Texas west border • Nashville Convention

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The Senate Debates
• Clay proposes compromise • Calhoun threatens secession • Daniel Webster
– “seventh of March” speech

• William H. Seward
– “higher law” speech

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Passage of the Compromise
• Clay yields to Stephen A. Douglas • Millard Fillmore replaces Taylor • Provisions
– California a free state – New Mexico and Utah no restrictions on slavery – Texas-New Mexico border dispute settled in New Mexico’s favor – Abolition of slave trade in D.C. – Fugitive Slave Law

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The Fugitive Slave Law
• As anti-slave sentiment in North grew, local authorities refused to cooperate with slave hunters • Personal liberty laws • Fugitive Slave Act (1850)
– Prigg v. Pennsylvania (1842)

• • • •

‘Underground railroad” Federal government pays all cost of enforcement Accused slave has no rights Law skewed to favor slave owner

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The Slave-Catchers
• • • • • • Thomas Sims Christiana, Pennsylvania (1851) Sherman Booth Anthony Burns Margaret Garner Effect: makes Northerners to sympathetic to the abolition of slavery

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Uncle Tom’s Cabin
• Harriet Beecher Stowe • Experience in Cincinnati acquainted her with plight of escaped slaves • Book is reaction against Fugitive Slave Law • Central theme: breakup of slave families • Shapes Northern perceptions of slavery for a generation

Filibustering
• Polk tries to buy Cuba • Narciso López and filibusters try to take Cuba • Franklin Pierce
– “doughface”

• Quitman expedition • Ostend Manifesto (1854)
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The Gray-Eyed Man of Destiny
• • • • William Walker Briefly wins control of Nicaragua in 1856 Several failed attempts to regain control Executed in Honduras in 1860

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Conclusion
• 1845-1848: addition of 1,150,000 square miles to United States • America’s “manifest destiny” • Question of slavery’s expansion • Missouri Compromise of 1820 • Compromise of 1850 • Threats of secession
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