Emmanuel Leutze, "Westward the Course of Empire"(1861).
Smithsonian American Art Museum
I. Background of U.S. Foreign Policy
B. Jefferson's frustrations with the Tripolitan pirates (1801-1804)
C. Monroe Doctrine (1823) signaling America's emergence as a power strong enough to prevent European meddling in western hemisphere's affairs
II. Causes of American Expansion in 1830s and 1840s
2) Effects of the Panic of 1837. Many settlers pushed west as
they faced economic losses.
B. Psychological factors--manifest destiny. Sentiment that the
U.S. should rule from coast to coast (and maybe pole to pole) became a
key part of national thinking.
C. Attractive regions for new settlement--east Texas, California, Oregon
D. Advertising the West
2) Mountain men--fur trappers and traders
B. Mexican independence from Spain in 1821 led to restrictions on American settlers (slavery prohibited; settlers required to convert to Catholicism)
C. Texans remained loyal to US but became increasingly frustrated by Mexican rule
D. Santa Anna abolished local rule and set up himself as dictator (1835)
2) Alamo--defeat of greatly outnumbered Texan forces
3) San Jacinto--Mexicans defeated, Santa Anna captured, Texas independence recognized by Mexico
E. Jackson refused to annex Texas
F. Texas admitted to Union in 1845
IV. Oregon Territory
B. "54 40 or Fight" became the propaganda cry of those wanting war with England
C. Oregon Treaty (1846) set boundary at 49th parallel
V. Mexican-American War
2. Mexican grievances against the U.S.
3. Snub of the Slidell mission to buy New Mexico and California
4. Nueces/Rio Grande River dispute
B. Opposition to the war
2. Enlistments from northeast and southeast were low because of unpopularity of war
3. Thoreau's statement of civil disobedience: he was jailed
for refusing to pay taxes, contending that to do so would support the
war effort and the expansion of slave territory in the South.
3. Mexico City
b) Texas border at Rio Grande accepted
c) U.S. pays Mexico $15 million
2. Renewal of slavery conflict
b) Southerners (led by Calhoun) stated that Congress had no right to restrict slavery's expansion.