Westward Expansion

  • Northwest Ordinance

    U.S. passes the Northwest Ordinance. Allows expansion North and West of Ohio River. Sets precedent for adding new states instead of expanding current states.
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    Brigham Young

    Brigham Young:
    What: Leader of the Mormon religion, migrating them from the Burned Over District to Utah. Had 27 wives and fathered 56 children.
    When: 1801 - 1877 (migration in 1846)
    Where: Salt Lake City, Utah
    Why: No one knows...
    Significance: The belief in polygamy forced the supreme court to pass the Edmunds Act, which granted freedom of belief but not the freedom of practice.
  • Louisiana Purchase

    Louisiana Purchase
    Napoleon sells Louisiana Territory to U.S. for $15 million. 828 thousand square miles. Encompasses 15 current states. This greatly increased the amount of property owned by the U.S.
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    Lewis and Clark Expedition

    Comissioned by Thomas Jefferson to explore the Missouri River and Oregon Territory. The two describe and map much of the region en route to the Pacific Ocean.
  • Clermont Steamboat

    Clermont Steamboat
    Robert Fulton and Robert Livingston demonstrate their steamboat along the Hudson River going from New York City to Albany in 32 hours.
  • American Fur Company

    American Fur Company
    Jon Jacob Aster takes over French and Spanish fur traders, expanding his own American Fur Company along the Missouri River.
  • National Road

    Construction of National Road begins in Cumberland, Maryland.
  • Spanish Cession of Florida

    Spanish give U.S. Florida after Andrew Jackson invades Floridian Forts.
  • Mexican Independence

    Mexico wins independence from Spain after Mexian Revolution. Mexico takes control of NM and CA.
  • Erie Canal Completion

    Erie Canal Completion
    Erie Canal links Hudson River to Lake Erie, opening NY to NW Territory. Causes huge increase in domestic trade. Reduces transportation time. Most successful of "internal improvements" canal projects.
  • Indian Removal Act (1/2)

    Indian Removal Act (1/2)
    Who: President Andrew Jackson, Congress, and Native AmericansWhat: A measure that allowed state officials to override federal protection of Native Americans. It appropriated funds for relocation, by force if necessary to federal territory west of the Mississippi River in exchange for their homelands. Where: The United StatesWhen: 1830
  • Indian Removal Act (2/2)

    Indian Removal Act (2/2)
    Why: Jackson wanted to separate the Indians from immediate contact with the settlements of the whites. He wanted to free them from the power of the States and also wanted their valuable land they were occupying. Significance: This act established US policy towards Indian relations for the future. The act showed the Indians that the white man could not be trusted as this was the first major treaty violation of the US.
  • Worcester vs. Georgia

    Supreme Court rules that Cherokees are a domestic dependent nation, and therefore deserve protection from harassment. Andrew Jackson refuses to abide by this decision.
  • Texas Rebellion Begins

    Group of leaders in Texas draw up provisional government and declare independence from Mexico.
  • Alamo (1/2)

    Alamo (1/2)
    Who: 187 Texans (including Davy Crockett and Jim Bowie), and 5,000 Mexican troops led by General Antonio Lopez de Santa Anna
    Where: Modern day Texas; part of Mexico at the time
    When: Mexican-American War; February and March 1836
    Significance: Today, the Alamo, in San Antonio, is one of the most cherished historic shrines in the United States. Americans around the country remember how the Americans, vastly outnumbered, stood up to the Mexicans and killed about nine Mexicans per one Am. death.
  • Alamo (2/2)

    What: The Mexican troops attacked the mission fortress known as Alamo in order to take back their land. The 187 Texan troops defended the fortress for 13 days, claiming over 1,500 Mexican lives. Eventually, all the Americans were killed and Santa Anna reclaimed the fort. However, two months later the cry "Remember the Alamo!" rallied American troops to route the Mexican army and force Santa Anna to grant independence to Texas.
  • Trail of Tears (1/2)

    Who: Cherokee IndiansWhat: The forced march of the Cherokee Indians from their homelands in Georgia to their territory in Oklahoma. A 7,000 man-army escorted them and watched thousand die along the way, about a quarter of the Cherokee population. Where: Georgia to Oklahoma
  • Trail of Tears (2/2)

    When: 1838Why: The Indian Removal Act forced relocation of Indians to territory West of the Mississippi River. Significance: This was the last and most infamous Indian removal. This was another attempt by the white man to clear out the Native Americans. The Trail of Tears is the most negative aspect of Andrew Jackson’s presidency.
  • First Wagon Train to California

    47 people depart Independence, Missouri on first wagon train headed for California and arrive Nov. 4th.
  • Proposed annexation of Texas

    Jon Tyler's Treaty proposing the annexation of Texas is defeated in the Senate. Congressmen are wary of causing major sectional conflict.
  • James K. Polk

    Who: 11th president of the US during Mexican-American WarWhat: In the Democratic Party, added the territories of Oregon, Northern provinces of California and New MexicoWhen: Elected in 1844Sig: With the Texas annexation, US had added 1.5 million square miles of territory (70% increase) in 3 years; called the “manifest destiny” president; last significant Jacksonian president.
  • John C. Fremont Maps the West

    John C. Fremont (a later presidential candidate) Maps the West
  • Manifest Destiny (1/2)

    Manifest Destiny
    Who: John O’Sullivan (journalist for Democratic Review)
    What: “Our manifest destiny to overspread the continent allotted by Providence for the free development of our yearly multiplying millions”
    Where: Annexation essay for TX annexation
  • Maifest Destiny (2/2)

    When: 1845Why: With a vast expanse of land to the west of the Mississippi, a new generation of American entrepreneurs and settlers looked to the west as the next frontier.Significance: As millions of Americans moved west, both in search of fame/fortune and opportunity, the Native population was slowly confined and exterminated.
  • Legislation to Annex Texas

    James K. Polk beccomes president in Jan. 1845. Congress passes measure to annex Texas.
  • Texas Statehood

    Texas admitted to the union as the 28th state.
  • Mexican-American War Begins (1/2)

    Mexican-American War Begins (1/2)
    Mexican-American WarWho: President James K. PolkWhat: War of conquest with MexicoWhere: present-day TX/NM/AZWhen: 1848 (Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo)
  • Mexican-American War Begins (2/2)

    Mexican-American War Begins (2/2)
    Why: President James Polk ran on an expansionist platform in the 1844 election, and narrowly defeated Henry Clay. Polk and Democrats called for the re-occupation of OR and annexation of TX at the earliest possible date. Polk strategically placed troops on the southern border of TX to provoke a Mexican assault, and declared war immediately after the first skirmishes. Significance: The Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo, signed in 1848, gave the U.S. all of CA, NV, UT, NM, AZ, CO, and parts of TX.
  • Oregon Treaty

    Great Britain and America agree on boundaries of Oregon territory.
  • Donner Party

    Donner Party becomes snowbound in Sierra Nevada mountains and resorts to cannibalism to survive. Less that half the party arrives in CA.
  • Mormons Migrate to UT

    Brigham Young leads Mormons from Nauvoo, IL to Salt Lake City, UT.
  • Mexican-American War

    Mexican-American War
    Who: President James K. Polk
    What: War of conquest with Mexico
    Where: present-day TX/NM/AZ
    When: 1848 (Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo)
    Why: President James Polk ran on an expansionist platform in the 1844 election, and narrowly defeated Henry Clay. Polk and Democrats called for the re-occupation of OR and annexation of TX at the earliest possible date. Polk strategically placed troops on the southern border of TX to provoke a Mexican assault, and declared war immediately after
  • Gold Discovered in CA

    Gold found at base of Sierra Nevada mountains at Sutter's Mill. More than 80,000 people migrate to CA in 1849. CA accelerates toward statehood.
  • U.S. pays Mexico for Land

    U.S. pays $15 million for Arizona, California, Nevada, New Mexico, Texas, Utah, and parts of Colorado.
  • Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo (1/3)

    Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo (1/3)
    Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo
    Who: United States and Mexico. Negotiators: Nicholas Trist (Chief clerk of the State Department) and General Winfield Scott (President Polk’s representative), Don Bernardo Couto, Don Miguel de Atristain, and Don Luis Gonzaga Cuevas of Mexico.
  • Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo (2/3)

    What: Mexico ceded its northern provinces of California and New Mexico and accepted the Rio Grande as the boundary of Texas. Additionally, the United States agreed to pay Mexico $15 million and about $2 million in individual claims against the nation. Where: Boarder states with Mexico, California and New Mexico. When: Signed February 2, 1848Why: Mexico could not match the American military and was defeated, along with the fall of their capital. This was the treaty that officially ended the w
  • Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo (3/3)

    Significance: There was a lot of tension involved in this treaty. Polk was angry at settling at California and New Mexico. He was in favor for further expansion. Two groups opposed expansion. The group made up of former northern Whigs said “Mexico will poison us”. The other group composed of Southerners realized Mexicans could not be kept as conquered people. John C. Calhoun was afraid that admitting Mexicans into the United States would ruin the “equality with people in the United States”.
  • 49ers (1/2)

    49ers:
    Who: Mostly Americans, but 13% were Mexican, and 7% came from Europe and Asia
    What: Men in search of California's gold. Dubbed "49ers" because gold was first discovered in Sutter's Mill in late 1848, sending a huge wave of gold miners in 1849.
    When: 1849
    Where: California, specifically San Francisco
  • 49ers (2/2)

    Why: The gold craze sent men from all over the world in search of riches
    Significance: This sent a mass migration to California, expanding the west (especially San Francisco). In addition, people started to realize that more money was in feeding, clothing, housing, and entertaining the miners than the actual gold.
  • Compromise of 1850

    Compromise of 1850
    CA is admitted to Union as part of compromise of 1850, in addition to Fugitive Slave Law, Texas giving land to NM territory, and the end of the slave trade in D.C.
  • Indian Appropriations Act

    Consolidated western tribes on agricultural reservations. A series of treaties signed with the Lakota, Cheyenne, Arapaho, Crow, and other Plains tribes dissolves the borders of their territories and allows passage across them in exchange for payments.
  • Gadsden Purchase

    Who: James Gadsden-railroad agent and prompter, hired by President Franklin PierceWhat: Gadsden was told to purchase the Mexican land immediately south of the Gila River and Lower California (Southern New Mexico and Arizona)When: 1853Why: US wanted to build the transcontinental railroad and needed to know the boundaries of the US so they could decide where to build the railroadSig: US gained 30,000 square miles (Mesilla Valley south of the Gila River) and gave Mexico $10million in return
  • Kansas-Nebraska Act

    Allowed the slavery question to be decided by popular sovereignty; triggers bloody battles between pro- and anti-slavery groups in Kansas.
  • Chinese Immigration

    13,000 Chinese immigrants enter U.S.
  • Third Seminole War

    Colonel Loomis declared an end to the Third Seminole War and the government believed that only about 100 Seminole were left in Florida. In December 1858, the US recruited two bands totaling 75 people, who agreed to removal to the West; they were shipped out on February 15, 1859.
  • Pennsylvania Oil Well

    Edwin Drake drilled the first productive commercial oil well in Pennsylvania. This led to further expansion in the southwest in search of fertile oil fields.
  • Pony Express

    Pony Express begins overland mail from Missouri to California. Discontinued in 1861 due to the transcontinental telegraph.
  • First Transcontinental Telegraph Line

    Communication improves across the U.S. with the completion of the first transcontinental telegraph line.
  • Union Pacific Railroad Authortized

    Union Pacific Railroad authorized to build a line from NB to UT to meet the Central Pacific from CA
  • Dakota War

    Sioux (or Santee) Uprising (or Dakota War) in Minnesota. Number of Indians killed is unknown, white deaths estimated at between 300 and 1,000.
  • Homestead Act

    Homestead Act
    Who: Prospective white farmersWhat: Act that granted 160 acres to any settler who lived on land for 5 years and improved itWhen: 1862Where: Greatest success in MidwestWhy: To open the Great Plains to wide-scale agriculture, expand westSig: Sparked the largest migration in American history; however, half of the farmers lost their claim because they did not improve the land
  • Gold Discovered in MT

    Gold is discovered in Bannack, MT.
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    Transcontinental Railroad

    Transcontinental Railroad
    Who: Construction by the Central Pacific Railroad and Union Pacific Railroad
    What: 1,928 mile “Pacific Railroad” connecting Omaha, NB and San Francisco, CA
    Where: Across the western U.S.
    When: 1863-1869
    Why: The railroad was view, rightly, as an integral part of the transportation revolution that occurred in the 1820s-1840s. Railroads provided fast, efficient and reasonably safe transportation over long distances. Railroads proved to be one of the most important transpo
  • Sand Creek Massacre

    Sand Creek Massacre in eastern CO by Cheyenne/Apache Indians triggered the wider American war with the Plains Indians.
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    Red Cloud's War

    Red Cloud (Indian chief) fought to close off the Bozeman Trail running from Fort Laramie to the MT gold fields.
  • Chinese Importation

    Thousands of Chinese men imported to work on Central Pacific Railroad in CA.
  • Treaty of Medicine Lodge

    T.he largest such gathering in U.S. history. Members from the Arapaho, Cheyenne, Apaches, Comanches, and Kiowas supposedly agree to move onto reservation lands, but the treaty was disavowed by other tribal leaders.
  • Wyoming Territory Formed

    WY Territory formed.
  • Nez Perce Treaty

    Treaty was last with Indians ratified by U.S. government.
  • Fort Laramie Treaty (1/2)

    Fort Laramie Treaty
    Who: United States and Sioux Indian tribes
    What: This treaty put an end to Red Cloud’s war by removing government troops from the Sioux territory. This granted the Sioux the right to occupy their sacred lands, Black Hills or Paha Sapa.
    When: 1868
    Where: Guaranteed the Sioux land and hunting rights in South Dakota, Wyoming, and Montana.
  • Fort Laramie Treaty (2/2)

    Why: The Sioux fought the U.S. Army from 1865-1867. The conflict reached a stalemate, but soon enough the government abandoned their forts, allowing the Sioux to capture and burn them to the ground.
    Significance: Fort Laramie Treaty acknowledged U.S. defeat in the Great Sioux War. This treaty between the government and Indian tribes did not resolve the conflicts, but merely restored a temporary peace to the region.
  • Wyoming Grants Women Suffrage

    WY granted women suffrage.
  • Transcontinental Railroad Completed (1/2)

    Transcontinental Railroad Completed (1/2)
    Transcontinental RailroadWho: Construction by the Central Pacific Railroad and Union Pacific RailroadWhat: 1,928 mile “Pacific Railroad” connecting Omaha, NB and San Francisco, CAWhere: Across the western U.S.When: 1863-1869
  • Transcontinental Railroad (2/2)

    Why: The railroad was viewed as an integral part of the transportation revolution that occurred in the 1820s-1840s. Railroads provided fast, efficient and reasonably safe transportation over long distances. Significance: The Transcontinental Railroad was the first of its kind in the world. The crossing time of the U.S. was shortened to 8 days and was much more predictable than wagon trains. In addition, the U.S. government gave extensive land grants. alternate sections of government–owned lan
  • Indian Appropriation Act

    Congress passeed a new version of the Indian Appropriation Act, claiming that Native Americans would no longer be considered an independent nation, but subject to U.S. laws. The Act ends the treaty system and mandates that all future relations will be conducted by congressional statutes or executive orders.
  • Gold Discovered in Black Hills

    Gold discovered in the Black Hills, ND, the most sacred lands of the Lakota. Gold rush prompts the Second Sioux War.
  • Custer's Last Stand (Battle of Little Big Horn) (1/2)

    Custer’s Last Stand (Part 1)
    Who: Lieutenant Colonel George Armstrong Custer
    What: Colonel Custer decided to move into Montana to Little Bighorn, providing the Cheyenne and Sioux warriors with the ability to cut of Custer’s support. Custer’s troops, about 700 men, were completely wiped out by an assembly of 2,000-4,000 Indians.
    When: June 25th and 26th 1876
    Where: Little Bighorn, Montana
  • Custer's Last Stand (Battle of Little Big Horn) (2/2)

    Why: The discovery of gold in the sacred Indian territory, Black Hills, drove many white prospectors to rush to the site to find wealth. Thousands of Sioux, Cheyenne, and Arapaho warriors moved into war camps to prepare themselves to fight to protect their lands.
    Significance: Victory for the Indian tribes fueled the fire for U.S. troops’ hatred towards the native peoples. The U.S. Army continued to fight, ultimately prevailing and forcing the Indian tribes to surrender.
  • Nez Perce War

    Nez Perce War
    Chief Joseph of Nez Perce leads a 1,500-mile flight to avoid forced relocation to reservations.
  • Chinese Exclusion Act

    Revisions made in 1880 to the Burlingame Treaty of 1868 with respect to Chinese immigration. Those revisions allowed the U.S. to suspend Chinese immigration, a ban that was intended to last 10 years. This law was repealed by the Magnuson Act on December 17, 1943.
  • Dawes Severalty Act (1/2)

    Dawes Severalty Act (1/2)
    Dawes Severalty Act
    Who: Congress
    What: This act divided communal tribal land. The act granted the right to petition for citizenship to Indians who accepted the individual land allotment of 160 acres
    When: 1887
    Where: Indian territories, no longer under the ownership of Indian tribes.
  • Dawes Severalty Act (2/2)

    Where: Indian territories, no longer under the ownership of Indian tribes.
    Why: This act weakened tribal independence. Most people resisted incorporating Indians into the American lifestyle, although their culture continued to be ripped away from them.
    Significance: This act established federal Indian policy for decades to come. While some land was allotted to Indians looking for citizenship, most of the land was opened up for more white settlement.
  • Oklahoma Land Rush

    Indian Territory (OK) opened to white homesteaders. 50,000 settlers move across the land and claim all 1.92 million acres by sunset.
  • Enabling Act

    The United States added additional areas of ND, SD, WA and MT after passing the Enabling Act.
  • Massacre at Wounded Knee (1/2)

    Massacre at Wounded Knee (1/2)
    Who: Sioux Indian Ghost Dancers and the US Seventh Cavalry What: Local whites were fed up with the Ghost dancers and called upon the US Seventh Calvary to stop them. The Sioux rushed to hide in the Bad Lands. After a skirmish, the great leader Sitting Bull and his son were dead. The US Cavalry expected the Sioux to surrender their remaining weapons, but an accidental gun shot lead to massive firing on both sides. Within minutes, 200 Sioux were dead, including many women and children.
  • Wounded Knee Massacre (2/2)

    Wounded Knee Massacre (2/2)
    Where: Wounded Knee Creek on the Pine Ridge Reservation, South Dakota When: December 29, 1890Why: White Americans viewed the Ghost Dance as a warning of tribal retribution instead of a religious ceremony. Local Whites demanded the practice to be stopped as thousands of Sioux danced to exhaustion. Significance: This massacre took place almost 400 years after Columbus “discovered” the new world. This massacre seemed to mark the final conquest of the North America’s Native People.