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Chapter 13

Manifest Destiny: An Empire for


Liberty– or Slavery?

(c) 2003 Wadsworth Group All rights reserved


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 Latter-
Day 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, pro-
annexation 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
(c) 2003 Wadsworth Group All rights reserved