the belief shared by many Americans that the U.S. was meant to expand across the continent to the Pacific Ocean
began rendezvous where fur merchants met trappers in the mountains instead of making them come to Santa Fe.
Father Junipero Serra
He was one of the first missionaries to reach California in the 1700s and built more than twenty missions to serve the Indians of the Pacific Coast. These missions now mark the sites of some of California's major cities.
Cheap land, whaling business, trade with far east.
Americans began moving into California before the Gold Rush because they were attracted by:
John Charles Fremont
He was best known as the "Pathfinder" and was sent by Polk to California to encourage a revolt against Mexico. He led the revolt that became known as the "bear flag revolt" and was instrumental in securing California for the US in the War with Mexico.
Missouri River to Platte Rivers to Rockies. South Pass allowed passage through mountains. North to Snake River into Columbia River.
Moses and Stephen F. Austin
These two men, a father and son team, were responsible for bringing the first American settlers into Texas. The father received the grant but it was the son who filled it by settling almost 300 families in the central Texas area.
Mexican citizens and Catholics.
Texas settlers promised to become these things in return for generous land grants and right to their slaves.
Treaty of Velasco
signed by Santa Anna, this treaty gave Texas independence and set Rio Grande River as border. Rejected by New Mexican government.
slavery issue, Mexican claims, Whig resistance.
Texans seek annexation to US but denied because of these three things.
Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo
This treaty ended the hostilities with Mexico. Mexico accepted the loss of Texas with the Rio Grande as its southern boundary and sold one fifth of the Mexican homeland to the US for $15 mil.
James Gadsden sent to buy Mexican land below Gila River. Purchased for $10mil. in 1853.
He was the foreman in charge of building a sawmill in the Sacramento River for his boss, John Sutter. In the process of construction he discovered gold in the river which started one of the largest westward migrations in the history of the world.
James K Polk
Elected president of the US in 1844, he promised to annex Oregon and Texas to the US. In 1848, having completed his goals, he retired from the presidency after only one term like he promised.
He was placed in charge of a rag tag Texas army and ended up defeating and capturing the much larger Mexican army and their dictator. He was rewarded for his service with two terms as president of the newly formed Texas Republic.
He was a mountain man who made many useful discoveries for later trails through the Rockies. His major discovery was South Pass which was used by all the major westward travels.
battle of Chapultepec
At this battle a group of young Mexican teenage cadets tried to prevent the American entry into Mexico City. Their heroic fight to the death is honored in Mexico much like the Alamo is in Texas.
He was appointed commanding general of the US forces in the War with Mexico, mainly because he was the least likely to become a military hero. He and his troops landed at Vera Cruz and marched overland to capture Mexico City.
He became dictator of Mexico in 1833, was deposed in 1836 at the end of the TX Revolution, became dictator again in the 1840s in time to fight and lose the Mexican War, and president once again in the 1850s when he sold the US the Gadsden Purchase.
battle of San Jacinto
At this 18 minutes battle the Mexican Army was defeated and the Lone Star Republic was born.
He was visited in Palmyra, NY, by the angel Moroni and shown tablets that he translated into the book of Mormon. He was the head of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints until his untimely death at the hands of a mob.
Stephen Watts Kearny
He was given the job of leading an army to capture Santa Fe during the Mexican War and then moving to Cali to help the revolutionaries there in their fight with Mexico.
Narcissa and Marcus Whitman
This couple moved into the Oregon territory and began a mission for the Cayuse Indians. When disease struck the mission, the Indians attacked killing them and 12 others.
He was ordered to take his troops from Corpus Christi to the mouth of the Rio Grande River, thus furthering America's claim to the Rio Grande as the southern boundary of Texas. When his troops skirmished with a Mexican scouting party the Mexican War began.
He assumed the leadership of the Mormons in Illinois after their founder's death and moved his band across the Great Plains to their new home at the Great Salt Lake.
"54-40 or fight!"
This was the campaign slogan used in the election of 1844 to which the Democrats supporting Polk called for the total annexation of Oregon to its Alaskan boundary.
John Jacob Astor
He helped America further its claim to the Oregon Territory by setting up the American Fur Company to profit from the growing fur trade. His fur trading posts became some of the first settlements in Oregon but he sold out the country just before the market went bust and invested heavily in the real estate market of NY.