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Newman and Schmalback United States History: Preparing for the Advanced Placement Examination

Manifest destiny

term used by John L. O'Sullivan to express the popular belief that the US had a divine mission to extend its power and civilization across the breadth of North America; spurred by nationalism, population increase, rapid economic development, technological advances, and reform ideals


Mexican province America wanted

Stephen Austin

brought 300 families into Texas and began a steady migration of American settlers into the frontier territory; 1830, Americans outnumbered native Texans 3 to 1

Antonio Lopez de Santa Anna

dictator of Mexico in 1834, abolished the federal system of government; insisted on enforcing Mexican laws in Texas

Sam Houston

led a group of American settlers in a revolt against Houston; declared Texas to be an independent republic in 1836


Mexican army led by Anna attacked the Alamo in San Antonio, killing everyone; later, Anna was captured and forced to sign a treaty that recognized Texan independence and granted the new republic all the territory north of the Rio Grande

John Tyler

(1841-1845) President, southern Whig who was worried about the growing influence of the Brits in TX; worked to annex Texas but the Senate rejected his treaty of annexation in 1844

Aroostook War

"battle of the maps"; conflict between rival groups of lumbermen on the Maine-Canadian border

Webster-Ashburton Treaty (1842)

US Secretary of State Daniel Webster and British ambassador Lord Alexander Ashburton created a treaty splitting New Brunswick territory into Maine and British Canada; also settled boundary of the Minnesota territory (giving iron-rich Mesabi range to US)

Oregon territory

on Pacific Coast stretching as far north as the Alaskan border; claimed by Spain, Russia, GB and US

"Fifty-four Forty or Fight!"

Polk wanted all of Oregon, and ran on a promise to fight Britain if America was denied the territory

James K. Polk

dark horse Democratic candidate; favored getting Texas, getting all of Oregon, and getting California, beat Whig candidate Henry Clay of KY

Rio Grande; Nueces River

Mexico refused to sell California to US thinking that Texas' southern border was on the Nueces River; Polk and special envoy to Mexico City John Slidell, asserted that the border of TX is to the south, along the Rio Grande

Mexican War (1846-1847)

when a Mexican army crossed the Rio Grande and captured an American army patrol, killing 11, Polk used the incident to go to war, a war approved by both houses in Congress overwhelmingly

Zachary Taylor

General of Polk's army that fought in Mexico

Stephen Kearney

succeeded in taking Santa Fe, the New Mexico territory, and Southern California

Winfield Scott

General who invaded central Mexico, taking Vera Cruz and then Mexico City in 1847

John C. Fremont

with a rag-tag group of troops, overthrew Mexican rule in North California and claimed the area to be an independent republic with a bear on its flag=the Bear Flag Republic

Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo (1848)/Mexican Cession

Mexico would recognize the Rio Grande as the southern border of TX; US would take possession of California and New Mexico (Mexican Cession); 15 million paid by US to Mexico and assumption of claims

Wilmot Proviso

1846, PA Congressman David Wilmot proposed that a bill be amended to forbid slavery in any of the new territories taken from Mexico; passed House twice but failed to pass Senate

Franklin Pierce

1852 President, adopted prosouthern policies and dispatched 3 American diplomats to Ostend, Belgium where the diplomats secretly negotiated to buy Cuba from Spain; leaked to US press and provoked angry reactions from Anti-Slavery Congressmen

Ostend Manifesto (1852)

Polk wanted to buy Cuba for 100 million from Spain, but Spain refused to sell the last part of its former empire

Walker Expedition

William Walker, a southern adventurer, tried to take Baja California from Mexico in 1853; took Nicaragua to develop a proslavery empire but collapsed when he was killed by Honduran authorities

Clayton-Bulwer Treaty (1850)

GB and US said that neither nation would or could attempt to take exclusive control of any future canal route in Central America

Gadsen Purchase (1853)

Pierce added a strip of land to the American Southwest for 10 million; South New Mexico and Arizona

Great American Desert

arid area between the Mississippi Valley and Pacific Coast

Mountain men

fur traders; first real settlers in Far West

Overland trails

Oregon, California, Santa Fe, and Mormon trails

Mining frontier

California, Colorado, Nevada, Black Hills of the Dakotas, where gold or silver rushes began; boomtowns started up

Urban frontier

San Francisco, Denver, Salt Lake City created because of gold rush or natural resources

Industrial technology

industrialization of 1840s on created shoes, sewing machines, ready-to-wear clothing, firearms, precision tools, and iron products for railroads, etc.

Elias Howe

invented sewing machine

Samuel F.B. Morse

electric telegraph inventor; sped up communication and transportation

Railroads; federal land grants

railroads became America's largest industry, required immense amounts of capital and labor and gave rise to complex business organizations; local and state governments gave tax breaks and special loans to finance growth of railroads; 1850, US gave 2.6million acres of federal land to build the Illinois Central railroad from Lake Michigan to Gulf of Mexico, first land grant

Foreign commerce; exports and imports

Clipper ships to steamships

Matthew C. Perry; Japan

sent the Commodore to Japan to get the country to open up its ports to trade with Americans; got a treaty that opened two Japanese ports to US vessels

Panic of 1857

economic boom ended with a panic because of a serious drop in prices, especially for Midwestern farmers, and increased unemployment in northern cities; South was less affected because cotton prices remained high; encouraged thoughts of southern independence

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