Westward Expansion Fort Harmar - 1790 Westward Expansion • Western regions present lots of problems to the new government – differing state land claims – Indians – fur trade – settlement – type of government in the new lands. State Land Claims • Overlapping land claims – from the colonial period states had claims to land – Virginia, Carolinas, Georgia, New York, Massachusetts and Connecticut – Quebec Act revokes land claims north of the Ohio river – outbreak of war the states reassume their land claims • Virginia even sends a military expedition to recover her “lost” western territory. Land Cessions • “Haves” vs. “Have-nots” – Maryland refuses to sign Articles of Confederation until land beyond Appalachians is considered property of all thirteen states • 1780 New York (later CT, MA and VA (1781) above Ohio) cede lands to the United States – new law that all ceded lands shall be disposed for the good of all states which: “shall be settled and formed into distinct republican States, which shall become members of the Federal Union, and have the same rights of sovereignty, freedom and independence as the other States”. Dealing with settlers • Increasing numbers of settlers move across the Appalachians • settling in areas wherever they find land. American Forts • Pittsburgh, 1790 • government builds forts to protect Indians – why them? – treaties surrendering land in exchange for protection – 1785-88 is time of bitter race warfare in Ohio region – forts built to regulate fur trade – establish American presence in west - British occupying forts in violation of Peace of Paris. Dealing with settlers • Three land acts passed – Ordinances of 1784, 1785 and 1787 – 1784 passed but not acted upon – Land Ordinance of 1785 establishes the basis of American policy towards lands • rectangular surveys • townships of six miles square, purchase in 640 acre blocs • land offices around nation with land at $1 acre, cash • allotment of lands to Federal Government & public schools. Dealing with settlers • Lands as main source of revenue for Congress • Private land companies do most of the business • Ohio Company – headed by former revolutionary army officers, General Rufus Putnam and Rev. Manasseh Cutler – offer to buy millions of acres if on good terms – cash strapped Congress agrees – 1,500,000 acres at price of 9¢ an acre ~ $135,000 – leads to establishing a working government that would meet with approval of the Ohio Company. Dealing with settlers • Northwest Ordinance – passed in 1787 - one of the few laws supported under the new Constitution in 1789 – principle authors are Nathan Dane, Rufus King, Manasseh Cutler – establishes stages through which a territory has different forms of government and can become a state – most famous for abolishing slavery in its territories “There shall be neither slavery nor involuntary servitude in the said territory.”. Northwest Ordinance in the Old Northwest Foreign Encroachment • British designs – British troops left in forts in American territory – at conclusion of war Britain has more troops inside US boundaries than does the United States – attempt to protect Indians for use as a buffer against American territorial ambitions toward Canada – troops and forts allow control of fur trade. Foreign Encroachment • Spanish designs – Spain controls New Orleans and captures Natchez from British loyalists in 1799 – have total control of lower Mississippi – economic strangulation of settlers in Kentucky and Tennessee – simultaneously stir up Creeks and Cherokee to harass those living in the west – 1786 Congress considers bartering away navigation – settlers consider secession, accept Spanish gold. New Nation in 1790..
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