Correction American Frontier

Topics: Native Americans in the United States, Manifest Destiny, American Old West Pages: 29 (1668 words) Published: November 26, 2014
MEEF1-Dossier 2
The American Frontier
Doc A - Excerpts from Speech by Senator
John F. Kennedy, Valley Forge Country Club,
Valley Forge, PA October 29, 1960
Doc B – Manifest and Other Destinies:
Territorial Fictions of the Nineteenth-Century
United States. Stephanie Lemenager University of Nebraska Press. Lincoln, NE. 2004.
DOC C – American Progress by John Gast
(1872)

Westward Expansion
• Land Ordinance 1785/Northwest Ordinance 1787
• 1821 – Revolution overturned Spanish rule in
Mexico, U.S. recognized Mexico as a republic
• The Gold Rush, 1849
• American expansionists – those who favored U.S.
territorial growth – looked at Texas, New Mexico,
California as targets for American expansion
• Few people living there
• Rich in resources
• Mexican government and economy weak after
revolution
• Mexicans did not deserve to keep territory Americans
needed

Reasons behind expansionism
• Population Increase
• Economic
depressions—1818 and
1839
• Abundance of cheap (or
free) land in West.
• Expansion offered
opportunities for new
commerce.
• People began moving
over new trails like Santa
Fe Trail and Oregon
Trail.(1836)

Chronology
• Westward expansion = 19th c
• Jefferson : 1804-06 commissioned the Lewis
and Clark exp=spread democracy…
• Madison: the War of 1812 ≠GB (1814= treaty
of Ghent)
• Monroe: 1823, the Monroe Doctrine = no
European intrusion on the American continent
• Jackson: 1830, Indian Removal Act
• Polk: expansionist policy (1844 campaign)Mexican war (1846-48) • Taylor/Pierce/ Buchanan=struggle with slavery
• 1860: Lincoln, anti-slavery policy

US Territorial Expansion
When?
•1776
From Where?
•Great Britain

A - 13 Original
Colonies

Why?
•US declared
independence
from Great
Britain

A

B - Western Lands
When?
•1783
From Where?
•Great Britain
Why?
•Part of
results of
Treaty of
Paris (ended
Revolutionary
War)

A
B

When?
•1803
From Where?
•France

C - Louisiana
Purchase

Why?
•Napoleon
needed $
•Jefferson
wanted to buy
New Orleans
•He got all of
Louisiana
instead

C

A
B

When?

D - Florida

•1819
From Where?
•Spain
Why?
•Andrew
Jackson
invaded
•Spain then
sold it to us
for $5 million
•Treaty of
Adams-Onis

C

A
B

D

E - Texas

When?
•1845
From Where?
•Republic of Texas
(Independent Country)

Why?
•Texas independent from
Mexico in 1836
•Northerners feared it
would become a slave
state
•Fears finally overcome in
1844 Presidential election

A
C

E

B
D

When?
•1846
From Where?
•Great Britain
Why?
•Claimed by four
countries (G. Britain,
Russia, Spain, & US)
•Americans
demanded “54° 40’ or
fight!”
•Britain compromised
49° & US accepted

F - Oregon Territory

F
C

E

A
B

D

When?
•1848
From Where?
•Mexico

G - Mexican Cession

F

Why?
•Polk offers to buy
G from Mexico &
they refuse
•War
•US wins
•In Treaty of
Guadalupe
Hidalgo, US offers
$15 million for G

C
G
E

A
B

D

The myth of the Frontier
• Frederick Jackson Turner (historian / teacher)
• « The Significance of the Frontier in American History » (1893)
• "The frontier is the line of most rapid Americanization." • "that coarseness and strength combined with acuteness and acquisitiveness; that practical inventive turn of mind, quick to find expedients; that masterful grasp of material things... that restless, nervous energy; that dominant individualism »

• The Frontier was closed in 1890
• "And now, four centuries from the discovery of America, at the end of a hundred years of life under the Constitution, the frontier has gone, and with its going has closed the first
period of American history. »
• Glorification of the frontier contested by historians

Doc A - Excerpts from Speech by Senator
John F. Kennedy, Valley Forge Country Club,
Valley Forge, PA October 29, 1960

• cold and bitter frontier / freedom
• challenging… dynamic …...
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