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The Impending Crisis

Westward Expansion
1815-Spain owns most of Western lands Texas, Arizona, New Mexico, Nevada, Utah, Colorado, California, Wyoming Tried to keep out foreigners After Mexican Independence, they sought to resolve problems with Americans

American interests in these areas
Fur trade in Oregon and other western regions Missionaries Trade with Mexico Texan land for cotton Sea trade with China

Manifest Destiny Slogan used to justify America’s desire to expand Some convinced that America’s superior institutions and culture gave a God given right to spread civilization

Americans call for expansion, Mexico realized they will probably turn to Texas Mexico tried to strengthen border claims by increasing population Offered land in return for a pledge to become Roman Catholic

After Mexico gained independence, no identity

Stephen Austin took advantage of this proposal, and brought American settlers to Texas Most came from the South and brought slaves Many didn’t honor deal with Mexico Disliked Mexican law and customs or limits on economic opportunities

Americans populate Texas

Republic of Fredonia 1826—some settlers rebelled and declared the Republic of Fredonia “apostles of democracy” vs. “alien civilization”

1829—Mexico altered Texas policy

Abolished slavery in Texas Forbade further US emigration

Little actually changed

Slaves freed then forced to sign life indenture contracts Emigration continued

October 1835— hostilities began

Skirmish between Texans and Mexicans began hostilities Sam Houston— commander in chief of Texans

Santa Anna
Mexican dictator and general Took army to crush rebellion Won initial battles Carelessness at San Jacinto Successful threats Mexico claims invalid

Republic of Texas Financially unstable Unrecognized by Mexico Denied admission to US War slavery

1844—Texas resurfaces
President John Tyler hoped to use issue to gain re-election Shows divisiveness of slavery’s expansion Democrats argue South’s future Spread American civilization Whigs oppose annexation

Polk vs. Tyler

Polk won election Tyler resolved issue before leaving office Texas admitted by joint resolution

Mexican American War
Diplomacy ends Polk’s demands Troops sent to Rio Grande Also sent ambassador to secure demands Ambassador refused Invasion of Mexico

Congress declared war

Divides Americans Whigs opposed war Expansionists support war

Negotiations Mexican officials approached Polk’s representative and negotiated end of war Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo


US quickly benefited from new territory Gold at Sutter’s Mill Migration skyrocketed Rise of San Francisco

Wilmot Proviso

Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude will exist in any territory that might be gained from Mexico

Statehood Population boom State constitution forbade slavery Most of CA below Missouri Compromise line President Taylor supported admission as free state

Compromise of 1850
Settle “all questions in controversy between the free and slave states, growing out of the subject of slavery” Provisions: California Slave law Popular sovereignty DC

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Kansas and Nebraska
Popular sovereignty in NM and UT, but what about Nebraska Territory? Above Missouri Compromise line Stephen Douglas proposes division into two territories Popular sovereignty

“Bleeding Kansas”
March 1855—Kansas had enough settlers for territorial legislature The floods The retaliation and resulting violence

Brown and Pottawatomie Creek

Birth of Republican Party

1852—Whigs nominated a pro-Northern candidate for president Lost Southern Whigs Party broken after KansasNebraska Act

Alternatives Know Nothing Party Two groups before development of Rep. Party Liberty Party Free Soil Party

Republican Party formed in 1854 Supporters from all over Free Soil, antislave Whigs and Democrats, nativists Show strength in 1856 election

Missouri to Illinois then to free territory of Wisconsin then back to Missouri Appealed to Supreme Court for freedom No legal standing—not a citizen 5th Amendment

Dred Scott

Rise of Lincoln

Stephen Douglas vs. Abraham Lincoln Lincoln-Douglas debates Lincoln brought to national attention

Election of Lincoln
1860—Republican Party nominated Lincoln Pledged to stop spread of slavery Promised not to interfere with Southern slaves Won with less than ½ popular vote and NO electoral votes from South