AP US History Chapter 17: Manifest Destiny

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Walker Tariff

(1846) Revenue-enhancing measure that lowered tariffs from 1842 thereby fueling trade and increasing Treasury receipts; reduced the average rates of the Tariff of 1842 from about 32% to 25% and so it had strong support of low-tariff southerners, but had objection of Clayites, who complained that American manufacturing would be ruined; however this tariff proved to be an excellent revenue producer

Wilmot Proviso

(1846) Amendment that sought to prohibit slavery from territories acquired from Mexico. Introduced by Pennsylvania congressman David Wilmot, the failed amendment ratcheted up tensions between North and South over the issue of slavery; never became federal law, but it was eventually endorsed by the legislatures of all but one of the free states, and it came to symbolize the burning issue of slavery in the territories

Creole Incident

(1841) A group of 130 rebelling Virginia slaves captured the American ship "Creole" and were given asylum, or a place offering safety and refuge, by British soldiers in the Bahamas. As a result, the incident raised fears among Southern planters that the British West Indies would become a Canada-like safe haven for runaway slaves. The event also created further tension between Britain and the United States.

Aroostook War

an undeclared nonviolent confrontation in 1838/1839 between the United States and Great Britain over the international boundary between British North America (Canada) and Maine. The compromise resolution wins a mutually accepted border between the state of Maine and the provinces of New Brunswick and Quebec. High tensions and heated rhetoric in Maine and New Brunswick led both sides to raise troops, arm them, and march them to the disputed border. President Martin Van Buren sent Brigadier General Winfield Scott to work out a compromise. The compromise created a neutral area, and the excitement faded away as the diplomats took over; involved no actual confrontation between military forces, and negotiations between diplomats from Britain and United States Secretary of State Daniel Webster quickly settled the dispute. Secretary of State Webster secretly funded a propaganda campaign that convinced leaders in Maine of the wisdom of compromise. Webster-Ashburton Treaty of 1842 established final boundary between the countries, giving most of the disputed area to Maine and a militarily vital connection between Canadian provinces to Britain. Though there was no conflict between military forces, occasionally civilian lumberjacks became violent if they spotted people on the wrong side of the border.

Tariff of 1842

The Tariff of 1842, or Black Tariff as it became known, was a protectionist tariff schedule adopted in the United States to reverse the effects of the Compromise Tariff of 1833. The Compromise Tariff contained a provision that successively lowered the tariff rates from their level under the Tariff of 1832 over a period of ten years until the majority of dutiable goods were to be taxed at 20%. As the 20% level approached in 1842, industrial interests and members of the Whig Party began clamoring for protection, claiming that the reductions left them vulnerable to European competition. The bill restored protection and raised average tariff rates to almost 40%. The impact of the 1842 tariff was felt almost immediately through a sharp decline in international trade in 1843. Imports into the United States nearly halved from their 1842 levels and exports, which are affected by overall trade patterns, dropped by approximately 20%. The Tariff of 1842 was repealed in 1846 when it was replaced by the Walker Tariff. The Whigs' loss of Congress and the presidency in 1844 facilitated a Democratic-led effort to reduce the rates again. Concerns that the Black Tariff's high rates would suppress future trade and customs revenue with it fueled the movement to repeal the act.

Bear Flag Revolt

When war between the United States and Mexico became likely in 1846, former general, Mariano Guadalupe Vallejo, began inciting the people of California to revolt against Mexico. When U.S. Army Major John C. Frémont arrived in California claiming to be on a mission to find a route to the Pacific (his mission officially was to find the source of the Arkansas River), he began encouraging a parallel rebellion among the Anglo-American settlers. As a result, thirty-three settlers in Sonoma, assisted by volunteers from among the American settlers and Vacqueros from the many haciendas, in the Sacramento River valley, captured the Mexican garrison of Sonoma and raised a homemade flag with a bear and star (the "Bear Flag") to symbolize their taking control. The words "California Republic" appeared on the flag but were never officially adopted by the insurgents

Treaty of Guadelupe Hidalgo

It was the treaty negotiated between Mexico and the United States during the Mexican War and signed on February 2, 1848. In an attempt to secure territorial gains by the end of the war, President James Polk sent chief clerk of the State Department, Nicholas P. Trist, to negotiate a treaty with Mexican dictator Santa Anna. The terms of this treaty confirmed the American title to Texas and yielded the enormous area stretching westward to Oregon and the Pacific Ocean (this area was called the Mexican Cession, a territory that included the coveted California). This treaty had Mexico to cede about half of its land to the United States, but America agreed to pay $15 million for the territory and to assume the claims of its citizens against Mexico for $3.25 million.

John C. Fremont

He was an explorer, army major, and surveyor known as "The Pathfinder." During the Mexican War, this captain played a crucial rule in overthrowing Mexican rule in California (the Bear Flag Revolt of 1846). Following California's independence from Mexico, he and a group of American naval officers and local Americans collaborated together to form the short-lived Bear Flag Republic. In the Election of 1856, he would run as the first Republican candidate for president against the Democratic candidate James Buchanan; he would lose the election to Buchanan, but he would go on to serve as governor of the Arizona Territory.

Joint Resolution

Annexation of Texas; U.S. made Texas a state in 1845; both houses of Congress supported annexation under Tyler, and he signed the bill shortly before leaving office;

Manifest Destiny

the 19th century American belief that the United States was destined to expand across the continent. It was used by Democrats in the 1840s to justify the war with Mexico; the concept was denounced by Whigs, and fell into disuse after the mid-19th century. First used for the annexation of Texas issue. Opposed by Clay, Webster and Lincoln, but supported by Polk.

Webster-Ashburton Treaty

signed August 9, 1842, was a treaty resolving several border issues between the United States and the British North American colonies. It resolved a dispute over the location of the Maine-New Brunswick border, established the border between Lake Superior and the Lake of the Woods, originally defined in the Treaty of Paris (1783), reaffirmed the location of the border (at the 49th parallel) in the westward frontier up to the Rocky Mountains defined in the Treaty of 1818, called for a final end to the slave trade on the high seas, and agreed to shared use of the Great Lakes. The treaty was signed by United States Secretary of State Daniel Webster and British diplomat Alexander Baring, 1st Baron Ashburton

Spot Resolution

Offered in the United States House of Representatives in 1847 by Abraham Lincoln, Whig representative from Illinois, the resolutions requested President James K. Polk to provide Congress with the exact location (the "spot") upon which blood was spilt on American soil, as Polk had claimed in 1846 when asking Congress to declare war on Mexico. So persistent was Lincoln in pushing his "spot resolutions" that some began referring to him as "spotty Lincoln." Lincoln's resolutions were a direct challenge to the validity of the president's words, and representative of an ongoing political power struggle between Whigs and Democrats.

Zachary Taylor

Whig Party Candidate for the election of 1848 who ran against Lewis Cass, a veteran of the war of 1812. Taylor won the election to become the 12th President of the U.S. and the second to die in office. His vice president Millard Fillmore took over in July of 1850. Taylor was a Louisiana plantation owner and the last president to own slaves while in office. He was known as "Old Rough and Ready" because of his past military experiences starting in the War of 1812 and ending with the Mexican American War. He took a moderate stance on the issue of the extension of slavery into new states. He laid the foundations for the Compromise of 1850, which would occur during Fillmore's term in office.

Nicholas Trist

Chief clerk of the State Department when Polk was president; he was "afflicted with an overfluid pen," meaning that he and Scott arranged for an armistice with Santa Anna for $10,000. After ignoring Polk when he called him back to Washington D.C., he instead negotiated and signed the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo on February 2, 1848.

John Tyler

The tenth President ("Accidental President") of the United States (1841-1845). A native of Virginia, served as a state legislator, governor, U.S. representative, and U.S. senator before being elected Vice President (1841). He was the first to succeed to the office of President following the death of a predecessor. his opposition to nationalism and emphatic support of states' rights endeared him to his fellow Virginians but alienated him from most of the political allies that brought him to power in Washington. His presidency was crippled by opposition from both parties, and at the end of his life, he would join the South in secession from the United States.

James K. Polk

was the 11th President of the United States (1845-1849). A Democrat, served as the 17th Speaker of the House of Representatives (1835-1839) and the 12th Governor of Tennessee (1839-1841). was the surprise ("dark horse") candidate for president in 1844, defeating Henry Clay of the rival Whig Party by promising to annex Texas. was a leader of Jacksonian Democracy during the Second Party System. was the last strong pre-Civil War president, and he is the earliest of whom there are surviving photographs taken during a term in office. He is noted for his foreign policy successes. He threatened war with Britain over the issue of which nation owned the Oregon Territory, then backed away and split the ownership of the region with Britain. When Mexico rejected American annexation of Texas, he led the nation to a sweeping victory in the Mexican-American War, which gave the United States most of its present Southwest. He secured passage of the Walker tariff of 1846, which had low rates that pleased his native South, and he established a treasury system. he oversaw the opening of the U.S. Naval Academy and the Smithsonian Institution, the groundbreaking for the Washington Monument, and the issuance of the first postage stamps in the United States.

John Slidell

American and Mexico were on unfriendly terms with each other. The disagreement came over boundaries along Texas and in California. John Slidell was sent to Mexico in 1845 as a minister, He was given instructions to offer $25 million to the Mexicans for California. He was rejected by the Mexicans and they called this offer "insulting". After Mexico refused it lead to the Mexico American war.

Winfield Scott

United States Army general, and unsuccessful presidential candidate of the Whig Party in 1852. Served on active duty as a general longer than any other man in American history. During the Mexican-American War, Major General Scott commanded the southern of the two United States armies

Sam Houston

a 19th-century American statesman, politician, and soldier. In 1827 Houston was elected Governor of Tennessee as a Jacksonian. In 1829 he resigned as Governor and relocated to Arkansas Territory. Shortly afterwards he relocated to Coahuila y Texas, then a Mexican state, and became a leader of the Texas Revolution. He supported annexation by the United States. In 1832 Houston was involved in an altercation with a U.S. Congressman, followed by a high profile trial.

General Santa Ana

Dictator of Mexico who jailed Stephen Austin for eight months; 1835 wiped out all local rights and started to raise an army to suppress the upstart Texas; led 6,000 soldiers into Texas for the famous Alamo in an Antonio where he emerged victorious after a 30 day siege; in San Jacinto General Sam Houston and about 900 soldiers defeated his men and captured him; while captured he was forced to sign two treaties: 1)withdraw Mexican troops 2)recognize the Rio Grande as the extreme southwestern boundary of Texas; after Polk and Congress declared war on Mexico for their attack of General Taylor's Command across the Rio Grande the exiled dictator voiced that if the American blockading squadron would permit him to slip into Mexico, he would sell out his country. Polk agreed to this, however, once in Mexico he rallied his countrymen to a desperate defense of their soil

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