Chapter 17 Manifest Destiny Manifest Destiny and Its Legacy, 1841–1848

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Text of Chapter 17 Manifest Destiny Manifest Destiny and Its Legacy, 1841–1848

  • Chapter 17Manifest Destiny and Its Legacy, 18411848

  • p367

  • Introduction to the PresidentsWilliam Henry HarrisonA Whig, was elected in 1841 and John Tyler elected Vice-PresidentCabinet: Secretary of StateDaniel WebsterHenry Clay spokesman in the Senate, the uncrowned king of the Whigs.Harrisons election considered first full blown political campaign Harrison contacted pneumonia after giving 2 hr long inaugural address and dies only four months in office. By far the shortest administration in American history .

  • Introduction to the PresidentsJohn Tyler:Vice President, the Tyler too party of the Whig ticket, assumes presidencyHis enemies accused him of being a Democrat in Whig clothingHe was stubbornly attached to principle; forsook the Democrats for the Whigs because of King AndrewWas at odds with the majority of his adoptive Whigs

  • Introduction to the PresidentsTyler, abandoned by Whigs does not run for reelection The two major parties nominated their presidential standard-bearers in May 1844:Henry Clay chosen by the Whigs at BaltimoreJames K. Polk of Tennessee chosen by the DemocratsAmericas first dark horse

  • Introduction to the Presidents Election results:Dark Horse Polk nipped Clay 170 to 105 votes in the Electoral College1,338,464 to 1,300,097 in the popular voteClay would have won if he had not lost New York State by a scant 5,000 votes:There the tiny antislavery Liberty Party absorbed nearly 16,000 votes that would have gone to Clay.

  • Introduction to the PresidentsThe Democrats campaign was an expression of Manifest Destiny:Polk in Jacksons footsteps as an expansionist Democrat:Strongly swayed by Manifest DestinyPlatform:All of Oregon or None (The slogan Fifty-four forty or fight was not coined until two years later)The Democrats proclaimed they received a mandate from the voters to take Texas.

  • Map 17-1 p363

  • Maine The Maine boundary dispute:The St. Lawrence River, main waterway in land, is icebound several months of the year:As a defensive precaution the British wanted to build a road westward from the seaport Halifax to QuebecThe road would go though disputed territory claimed by MaineThe Aroostook War threatened to widen the dispute into a full-dress shooting war.

  • Maine Britain sent to Washington a nonprofessional diplomat, Lord Ashburton, who established cordial relations with Secretary WebsterThey finally agreed to compromise on the Maine boundaryA split-the-difference arrangement, the Americans retained some 7,000 square miles of the 12,000 square miles of the wilderness in disputeBritain got less land but won the desired Halifax-Quebec route.KEY: BEGINS PROCESS OF LONGEST CONTINOUS UNGUARDED BOARDER IN THE WORLD

  • Map 17-1 p363

  • Map 17-2 p368

  • Oregon Oregon Country:GeographyFrom the Rockies to the Pacific Ocean, north of California to the line of 54-40, the present southern tip of Alaska panhandleThis land was claimed at one time or another by: Spain, Russia, Britain, and the United StatesTwo claimants dropped out of the scramble: Spain through the Florida Treaty of 1819 Russia retreated to the 54-40 line by treaties of 1824 and 1825.

  • Oregon British claims to OregonThey were based on:Prior discovery and explorationTreaty rightsActual occupationColonizing agency Hudsons Bay CompanyEspecially the portion north of the Columbia River

  • OregonUnited States ClaimThe famed Lewis and Clark expedition of 1804-1806Presence of missionaries and other settlers, some of whom reached the grassy Willamette River valleyThese men and women of God, in saving the soul of the Indians, were instrumental in saving the soil of Oregon for the United StatesThey stimulated interest in a faraway domain that countless Americans had earlier assumed would not be settled for centuries.Scattered Americans and British pioneers continued to live peacefully side by side.

  • Oregon The Anglo-American Convention of 1818The United States sought to divide at the forty-ninth parallelThe British wanted the Columbia River as the lineA scheme for peaceful joint occupation was adopted, pending future settlementThe handful of Americans in the Willamette Valley was multiplied in the early 1840s by the Oregon fever

  • Oregon Fever Populates OregonOver the 2,000 mile Oregon Trail (1846) five thousand Americans had settled south of the Columbia RiverThe British could only muster seven hundred north of the Columbia RiverActually only a relatively small segment was in controversy by 1845:The Americans offered the forty-ninth parallelThe British repeated offering the line of the Columbia RiverThe whole issue was now tossed into the presidential election of 1844, where it became overshadowed by the question of annexing Texas.

  • Oregon as Part of Polks PlanPolks four-point program:To lower the tariffSecretary of the Treasure, Robert J. Walker, devised a tariff-for-revenue bill that reduced the average rates of the Tariff of 1842 from 32% to 25%The restoration of the independent treasury:Pro-bank Whigs in Congress raised a storm of opposition, but victory at last rewarded the presidents effort in 1846.Settlement of the Oregon disputeAcquisition of California

  • Settling OregonSettlement of the Oregon dispute:Reoccupation of the whole had been promised to northern Democrats in 1844 campaign54 40 or fight!Southern Democrats, once Texas was annexed, cooled offPolks feeling bound by the three offers of his predecessor to London, proposed the compromise line of 49. Britain in 1846 proposed the line of 49 as anti-expansionists were now persuaded that the Columbia River was not the St. Lawrence.

  • Map 17-3 p371

  • Texas as an Independent Country

    Faced threats from Mexico.refused to recognize Texass independenceregarded the Lone Star Republic as a province in revolt to be reconquered in the futurethreatened USA with war if it intervenedRequest for annexation into US snubbed Absence US annexations, it sought alliances with other foreign powersIn 1839 and 1840, the Texans concluded a treaty with France, Holland, and Belgium.

  • Texas as an Independent CountryBritain was interested in an independent TexasTexas would serve as a check for Americans moving South, possibly into British territory British abolitionists were busily intriguing for a foothold in Texas British manufacturers perceived the Texas plains for great cotton-producing in the future relieving Britain of chronic dependence on American fiber.

  • VI. The Belated Texas NuptialsTexas became a leading issue in the 1844 presidential campaign:The foes of expansion assailed annexationSouthern hotheads cried, Texas or DisunionThe pro-expansion Democrats under James K. Polk finally triumphed over the WhigsLame duck president Tyler interpreted the narrow Democratic victory as a mandate to acquire Texas.Tyler deserves credit for shepherding Texas into the fold.

  • VI. The Belated Texas Nuptials(cont.)Tyler despaired of securing the needed 2/3 vote for a treaty in the SenateHe arranged for annexation by a joint resolutionAfter a spirited debate, the resolution passed in 1845 and Texas was formally invited to become the 28th star on the American flagMexico angrily charged that the Americans had despoiled it of TexasMexico left the Texans dangling by denying their right to dispose of themselves as they chose

  • VI. The Belated Texas Nuptials(cont.)By 1845 the Lone Star Republic had become a danger spot:Inviting foreign intrigue that menaced the American peopleThe continued existence of Texas as an independent nation threatened to involve the United States in warsThe United States can hardly be accused of haste in achieving annexation.

    Westward the Course of Empire Takes Its Way This romantic tribute to the spirit ofManifest Destiny was commissioned by Congress in 1860 and may still be seen in theCapitol.*Map 17.1 Maine Boundary Settlement, 1842*Map 17.1 Maine Boundary Settlement, 1842*Map 17.2 The Oregon Controversy, 1846*Map 17.3 Major Campaigns of the Mexican War*