James Polk
James Polk
[audio]The United States expands by dominating others

  • The U.S. first expanded its political boundaries in 1783 when the Treaty of Paris was signed, ending the Revolutionary War.

America's Frontier Settlers

Hunters and fur trappers

  • The first white people to settle on the frontier.
  • They sold the fur from animals that they hunted and trapped animals such as beaver and raccoons.
  • Daniel Boone: a famous hunter and fur trapper from North Carolina who helped blaze a trail through the Cumberland Gap into the frontier of what is now known as Kentucky.

The pioneer farmers

  • The pioneer farmers were the second group of frontier settlers.
  • They cleared the land, built log cabins and established farms.
  • They would also dig water wells so they would have a close and constant water supply.
  • The pioneer farmers would also supplement their vegetable supply with meat that they had hunted.
  • The Native Americans were angry at the way the pioneer families used the land because it interfered with them using the land as well, and practices such as fence building scared the game away that the Native Americans relied on for food.
  • Abraham Lincoln: one example of a pioneer farming family. Abraham was born in a log house in Kentucky. In 1860 he was elected President of the United States.

Permanent settlers

  • Permanent settlers were the third group of people to settle the frontier .
  • The permanent settlers were individuals with skills needed to make a community. This group included doctors, lawyers, storekeepers, craftsmen, farmers and others.
  • The permanent settlers built homes, roads, churches, schools and eventually towns were formed and when they kept growing they eventually became cities.

[audio] New American Territory

  • Spain claimed Florida in the 1500s before it was part of the United States. Before the War of 1812, many people believed that the United States should take ownership of Florida from Spain.
  • Andrew Jackson: U.S. Army General who helped the United States obtain Florida from Spain in 1818. He ordered his army to occupy Pensacola. Pensacola was the capital of Florida at the time. The United States used Pensacola as a base for military operations. Spain was not a strong military power and could not stop the United States from occupying Florida. In 1819, Spain agreed to give Florida to the United States in exchange for of a 5 million dollar debt the United States said Spain owed.
  • Conflict in Texas with Mexico: one result of Manifest Destiny. Texas was part of Mexico. Many settlers believed that it was their right and responsibility to continue the expansion of the United States, which included making Texas theirs.
  • Dictator: someone who has complete political control of a country.
  • General Santa Anna: Dictator of Mexico in 1834. He was unpopular with the Tejanos (Mexicans living in Texas) because he made himself dictator and was not elected to office.
  • Americans gain control of Texas: capture of General Santa Anna. After the Texans were beaten at the Alamo in San Antonio by Santa Anna's army, Sam Houston led an army of Texans into Mexico and captured Santa Anna. The Texans made him sign a document that allowed Texas to be self-governing and gave additional land to Texas.
  • Annex: attaching a smaller area of land to a larger area of land. Many people wanted Texas (smaller) to be joined with or attached to the United States. They wanted to annex Texas.
  • Two main reasons why Texas was not annexed: 1) The United States Senate feared that it might cause a war with Mexico. 2) Many Texans had slaves and the Senate thought that if Texas was annexed, it would give the southern slave states control of the Senate.
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  • 1824-1835: Texas population increase. Between 1824-1835 the population in Texas increased from 2,000 to 35,000 settlers.
  • 1836-1846: Texas population increase. Between 1836-1846, the population of Texas increased from 35,000-142,000.
  • No annexation of Texas: Texas governs itself. Texas governed itself for ten years. The United States capability, leadership, resources and motivation created greater advantage in the Mexican War.
  • The United States paid Mexico $15,000,000 for the land it earlier offered to buy for $30,000,000 = The United States won the Mexican War and forced Mexico to sell the land to the U.S. at that price.
  • "54-40 or fight!": Polk's campaign slogan. The phrase referred to the latitude of the northern most part of the Oregon Country. Both the United States and Britain occupied this area. Polk was saying that the United States should have all of it, even if it meant going to war with Britain.