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Manifest Destiny, Mexican-American War, and the Gold Rush (scooting ahead to the mid-1800s) PowerPoint Presentation
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Manifest Destiny, Mexican-American War, and the Gold Rush (scooting ahead to the mid-1800s)

Manifest Destiny, Mexican-American War, and the Gold Rush (scooting ahead to the mid-1800s)

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Manifest Destiny, Mexican-American War, and the Gold Rush (scooting ahead to the mid-1800s)

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  1. Manifest Destiny, Mexican-American War, and the Gold Rush (scooting ahead to the mid-1800s)

  2. Manifest Destiny • Idea that the land from the Atlantic Ocean to the Pacific Ocean was destined to belong to America (and be inhabited and “civilized” by white Americans) • Who gave America this destiny? God! • America was destined to spread democracy throughout the North American continent (and further, if necessary… Monroe Doctrine?) • Used as the excuse for many political actions, such as waging wars, imperialism, and buying land

  3. Why were people moving out West? • Many farmers needed more land-- soil was exhausted and/or they wanted to expand their farms to make more money. Land out East was really expensive because it was in limited supply and in high demand. • Population was growing--people were having more babies and immigrants were coming in large numbers • Indian Removal-- Government bought or stole land from Native Americans and forced them out of their homes, which made more land available for settlers. • New inventions -- the railroad and the steam engine made travel faster and more convenient • Gold Rush— gold was found in California and many came to the area to find their own gold and hoped to get rich • Trapping —lots of animals in the West to trap; you could make good money off of selling their fur • Trading—Native Americans and others moving west needed people to trade goods with them. There weren’t many people at first, so you could make good money by selling things as simple as bread. • Manifest Destiny —People believed that it was their to move West • Religious reasons -- Pursuing religious freedom out West

  4. James Polk • 54- 40 or Fight! • Polk’s campaign slogan in 1844 showed his commitment to Manifest Destiny • 54°40’ Latitude was an area of land in the extreme Northwest that was disputed between Britain and America (Polk settled on the 49th parallel instead and we got the states of Oregon, Idaho, and Washington out of that area) • He turned his attention to Mexico instead

  5. Texians! (a little back story) • Present-day Texas was owned by Mexico • John Quincy Adams AND Andrew Jackson had tried to buy the land, but Mexico didn’t want to sell. • 1823: Mexico did let Americans settle on the land • 1834: there were four times as many Americans than Mexicans on this land (20,000 white people and 2,000 black slaves) • 1835: the Mexican president took away special privileges Texas had and Texians (Americans living in this part of Mexico) declared independence

  6. Remember the Alamo! • 1836: stand-off at The Alamo… Mexican soldiers killed all the Texians inside (187 people) • Six weeks later, Sam Houston (US) defeated Santa Anna (Mexican) • 1841: Texas became a state on Jackson’s last day in office (but Mexico didn’t recognize this)

  7. Mexican-American War (1846-1848) • Polk wanted to make California part of the US • Mexico owned it and stood in the way of finishing out Manifest Destiny • 10 years later, Mexico is still mad about the Texas thing • US tried to buy California at first, but Mexico refused, so Polk decided to take the land by force • Polk’s goal was to make it look like the war was Mexico’s idea • Gradually sent soldiers to the US/Mexico border • After a small attack from Mexican soldiers, Polk had his excuse to start the war

  8. Small War with Big Effects • The US did not lose a single major battle during the war • 13,000 US soldiers died, but 11,000 of them died from disease instead of battle • The US won and got 500,000 square miles of land from Mexico: parts (if not all) of present-day California, Nevada, Utah, Arizona, New Mexico, Wyoming and Colorado • Polk paid Mexico $18.25 million for the land, so it was more of a forced sale than stealing land

  9. The Gold Rush • In 1848, a man helping to build a sawmill discovered gold on the ground • California Gold Rush: massive migration of Americans from the East/Midwest to the West in a search for gold • It took between 3 and 5 months to get to California (depending on if you went by land or sea) and was a very dangerous and difficult journey • By 1850, 90,000 people had moved to California • By 1854, 300,000 people had moved to California

  10. Fool’s Gold? • It was a rough life: • few actually got rich off of the gold (though $170 million worth was found) • violence was high (the dream of riches makes people a little crazy and the people that tend to drop everything to move for get-rich-quick schemes aren’t usually the safe, happy types) • diseases and deaths during travel were common • Most of the people looking for gold, even if they found some, weren’t better off for it because prices were very high in California

  11. Sutter’s Mill Song • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ERjoXJ1rLuc

  12. Oregon Trail • One of the main migration paths from the East to the West across the US • Many traveled in covered wagons for 4-6 months to finish the 2,000 mile journey • Families had to cross rivers with wagons, animals, and babies • Supplies along the way were hard to get, though as time went on it was easier to get what you needed