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AP United States History


  • pg 1
									Chapter 18: Manifest Destiny and It's Legacy, 1841-1848

IDENTIFICATION TERMS: John Tyler, the Caroline, Creole incident, “The Aroostook War”, Ashburton-Webster Treaty, James K.
                      Polk, Manifest Destiny, 54 40’ or Fight, Liberty Party, “Young Hickory”, James Slidell, John C. Fremont,
                      General Winfield Scott, Treaty of Guadalupe-Hidalgo, Wilmot Proviso

1.   John Tyler, the Accidental President….
     a) Tippencanoe kicks the bucket.
                     William Henry Harrison, "Old Tippecanoe" died four weeks into office from pneumonia.
                     John Tyler ascends to the presidency
                     Henry Clay was running the show in the Senate
                     Secretary of State Daniel Webster intent on running the executive branch
                     Harrison had been a figurehead, but Tyler would not be so easy to control.
      b)  Whigs were a catch-all party…they were basically a collection of the various factions opposed to Jackson
                     Tyler was an adherent to the Jeffersonian states' rights faction of the Whigs
                     in direct opposition to the Clay-Webster group which was pro-bank, pro-tariff, and pro-internal improvements.

2.   John Tyler, the President without a party…
     a) a showdown between Tyler and Clay emerged:
                     The Whigs proposed two bills authorizing a new national bank; both were vetoed
                     Similarly, Tyler vetoed a nationalistic spending bill which would have created a high tariff and redistributed funds from the
                      sale of western lands to the states.
                     He did sign a compromise tariff which reduced rates to the 1832 level of about 32% -- a moderate protective measure.
     b) Tyler was formally expelled from the Whig Party by congressional caucus, and the House attempted to impeach him. His entire cabinet
         resigned en masse.

3.   Troubles with Britain
     a) Anti-British sentiment was running high. British travel journals often ridiculed the "rustic republic" of America, jeering at its tobacco-
         spitting, eye-gouging, slave auctioneering, etc.
     b) Defaulting on debts
                       The Panic of 1837 had caused many Americans to default on loans to British creditors. (American with it's canal-building
                        and other projects was a debtor nation…Britain was a creditor nation).
     c) Canadian Insurrection and the Caroline.
                       In 1837, a short-lived insurrection in Canada was started.
                       Many Americans, despite the attempt of Washington to enforce its neutrality regulations supported the Canadian
                       To make matters worse, the Caroline--an American ship ferrying supplies to rebels across the Niagra River in NY--was
                        attacked and burned by British forces on the New York side of the river.
                        This sparked protests from the American government.
     d) Creole incident
                       In 1841, Britain once again chafed America when it offered 130 slaves asylum in the Bahamas after they had revolted and
                        captured the American ship Creole.
     e) Maine Boundary Dispute: "The Aroostook War" – 1842:
                       This involved a bit of disputed territory left over from peace of Paris signed in 1783 between GB and the US
                       The issue was pressed by GB's desire to construct a road from Halifax (Nova Scotia) to Quebec, which would pass through
                        this territory.
                       A lumberjack war erupts involving local militia from both Canada and Maine.
                        The issue was resolved when GB sent a a diplomat to negotiate (Lord Ashburton) with Sec. of State Daniel Webster in the
                        Ashburton-Webster Treaty.
                              o     The disputed territory was split roughly in half--with the US getting about 7,000 of 12,000 acres and GB getting
                                    their road. The Caroline incident was also patched up in these proceedings.

4.    Texas & the 1844 Election.
     a) Texas, Britain, and Foreign Fears.
                    Not knowing when Mexico--which has superior military strength--will strike, Texas is forced to maintain its military defense
                     by negotiating treaties with foreign nations, which it does successfully with France, Belgium, and Holland.
                    Britain and other European powers have a certain interest in keeping Texas independent as a protection against American
                     expansion south and a buffer for their holdings in the New World.
                     British merchants want access to Texas markets since their goods are subject to tariffs in American ports, hope to find a
                     place to grow cotton for British mills, and British abolitionists seek to drive a wedge in southern slaveholding by
                     emancipating slaves there.
                    As a result of this, Texas becomes an issue in the 1844 election
                           o    Whigs under Henry Clay opposing annexation
                           o    Democrats under James K. Polk wildly supporting admission of Texas to the Union with cries of "Texas or

5.   "Manifest Destiny!" and the 1844 Election.
     a)  The Manifest Destiny
                     Expansion was the issue in the 1844 election. The American impetus for expansion stemmed from a growing sense that
                      Americans were destined (presumably by God) to expand across the hemisphere. In the process, Americans would spread
                        our "superior" ideals and institutions (democracy, Christianity, individualism, capitalism) across the North American
                        continent, and perhaps to South America too.
     b)   The Democratic platform:
                       The Democratic platform in 1844 called for the annexation of Texas and the complete occupation of the Oregon Territory
                        (which had been jointly occupied with Great Britain since 1818.)
                       The rallying cry of this desire for annexing Oregon would later become "54°40' or Fight!" since the border negotiated
                        with Russia set the southern-most claim of Russia at 54°40'.
     c)   The Whig Platform -- an attempt to straddle the fence:
                       Henry Clay’s contradictory statements were designed to appease both the proslavery south and the antislavery factions of
                        the north:
                             o     Told Southerners he favored the annexation of Texas
                             o     Told Northerners he wanted to "postpone" the annexation of Texas.
                             o      In the end, he wound up alienating the ardent antislavery factions who flocked to the anti-slavery (and anti-
                                   Texas) Liberty Party.
     d)   Polk nudged past Clay by a slim margin
                       Electoral votes: 170 to 105
                       Popular votes: 1,338,434 to 1,300,097.
     e)   John Tyler, who was still president, saw this as a mandate by the voters and Texas became the 28th state in 1845

6.   James K. Polk's Presidency
      a)"Young Hickory"
                    He was a Tennessean who ran with Andrew Jackson's blessing
                    methodical, and hardworking
                    Rather than a man of bold vision like Jackson, he established four goals and stuck to them:
                   o     Lower the Tariff
                               Walker Tariff of 1846 lowered the rates of the 1842 Tariff from 32% to 25%.
                   o     Restoration of the Independent Treasury
                               Accomplished in 1846.
                   o     Acquisition of Oregon
                               This was done by virtue of a compromise with Great Britain which set the Oregon border at the 49° parallel in 1846.
                   o     Acquisition of California
                               Why did Polk want to acquire California?
                                        In 1845, the region was home to about 7,000 Mexicans, about 70,000 Indians, and less than 1,000
                                            Americans of questionable reputation. Yet the promise of California, with its verdant valleys, and--more
                                            importantly--splendid harbor at San Francisco led many expansionists to believe (correctly) that California
                                            was America's future gateway to the Pacific.
                               Acquisition was accomplished with a bit more difficulty…the Mexican War and the Treaty of Guadalupe-Hidalgo
                                ceded California along with other Mexican territory to the US in exchange for $15 million.
                                        Prior to the Oregon Treaty of 1846, rumors were circulating that Britain was about to buy or seize
                                            California from Mexico--a direct violation of the Monroe Doctrine.
                                        As a preemptive measure, Polk sent James Slidell to Mexico to offer $25 million for California and some
                                            territory east in late 1845.
                                        Mexico, angered by the United States' recent annexation of Texas and involved in a prolonged boundary
                                            dispute with the US over the southern border of Texas (the original border had been at the Nueces River,
                                            but land-hungry Texans claimed their border lay on the more southerly Rio Grande instead), rejected the
     b)   Polk fabricates a war with Mexico
                   To force a showdown, Polk ordered General Zachary Taylor ("Old Rough and Ready") into the disputed territory between the
                    Nueces and the Rio Grande, provocatively close to Mexican troops
                   Mexican troops crossed the Rio Grande and clashed with American forces, resulting in 16 US soldiers killed and wounded.
                   Polk immediately sent a war message to Congress declaring "that 'despite all our efforts' to avoid a clash, hostilities had been
                    forced upon the country by the shedding of 'American blood on American soil.'
                    An inflamed Congress declared war on Mexico.
     c) Mexican-American war strategy:
                  Intrigue with Santa Anna
                         o    America wanted California, not a war, and was willing to do anything it could to quickly achieve its objective.
                         o    Initially, America plotted with General Santa Anna (who had been deposed and was exiled in Cuba with his teenaged
                              bride) to slip him back into Mexico (past the American naval blockade) so he would retake power and make peace
                              with the United States.
                         o     Once in Mexico, however, Santa Anna proceeded to rally his countrymen to fight the hated
                  Take California out of play
                         o    Captain John C. Fremont was dispatched to California to support the Americans’ rebellion against the Mexican
                              government there.
                         o     This rebellion resulted in the short-lived Bear Flag Republic established in 1846
                  Take Mexico City
                         o   America forces under General Winfield Scott ("Old Fuss and Feathers") landed at Vera Cruz in early 1847 and
                             battled its way toward the Mexican capital, which was reached by Sept. 1847.
     d) The Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo:
                  The terms were as follows:
                         o   Recognize the US title to Texas – and the southern boundary of the Rio Grande
                         o   The US gains California and all of American territory south of Oregon including current-day Arizona and New Mexico.
                         o   The total gains from the Mexican war (if you include Texas) provided an addition of territory larger than that of the
                             Louisiana Purchase…an increase of about 1/3.

7.   The Mexican War and the Slavery Issue
a)    The Wilmot Proviso
            stated that "neither slavery, nor involuntary servitude" shall ever exist in any of the territories gained from the Mexican War.
             This was an effort to quell the fears of anti-slavery factions that the Mexican War was being fought by the southern slavocracy
             simply to gain more territory for the slaveholding states.
            The division caused by the Wilmot Proviso foreshadowed deepening sectional divisions within the United States.

a)   Significant Results of the Mexican War.
             In addition to territorial gains, the Mexican war had other long term consequences:
                   o     More Manifest Destiny! A sharp increase in the spirit of expansionism followed in the wake.
                   o     A dress rehearsal for Civil War leaders - The Mexican War has been called the "blood-spattered schoolroom of the
                         Civil War" because it provided important field experience for officers who would become leading generals in the next
                         great conflict (R.E. Lee and U.S. Grant, for instance).
                   o     Increased prestige among European nations - the war increased international respect for the Yankee fighting ability,
                         particularly Britain.
                   o     Lowered prestige among Latin American nations - America becomes the "Colossus of the North" in the eyes of Latin
                         American nations. Suspicion of America as a greedy bully takes hold.
                   o     Rearoused the slavery issue

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