Study Guide: Manifest Destiny, Slavery, and the Coming of the Civil War
1. What justifications for expansion comprised Americans’ belief in manifest destiny? - Americans were destined by God to expand over entire continent and possible South America
2. Who were the first American settlers in Texas? Mexicans invited Americans to Texas. Moses and a group of families from Tennessee (known as Austin contingent). Sent over to farm and tend to land.
3. How did Texas gain its independence from Mexico?
New immigrants continued to enter Mexico. They grew riches and traded to America instead of Mexico. This lead to tensions with Mexico. Mexicans tried to close off the border, which lead to the Texan Revolution (1830s). Alamo Goliad was in charge of battle in a little christian missionary, he decided to go against the immigrants and suspended the Texican government (San Houston). He put down Martan law. Santa Anna (dictator) was winning by a landslide when one day San Houston caught him off guard and forced him to sign over independency of Texas. (Battle of San Jacinto)
4. Why was the annexation of Texas politically toxic in the 1830s?
It would disrupt the sectional balance of power in the Senate, between free and slave states. Biggest issue is whether to allow slavery or make it a free state.
5. What was the dominant issue of the 1844 presidential election?
(‘Texas of Disunion’)
6. How was Texas annexed? joint resolution (both houses of congress supported it under President Tyler)
7. How did Polk provoke war with Mexico?
After the annexation of Texas, Polk set his sights out on California. He set up a scheme. He sent John Slidell to negotiate a buy for Cali, but it doesn’t work. He then sends Zach Taylor to observe the area along with John C. Fremont, Stephen Kearney, and Stockton (he observed the coastal areas). Taylor and Fremont were told to start a rebellion in California and Kearney was told to start an uprising in Santa Fe.
8. Who called the Mexican War, “Mr. Polk’s War”?
9. What were the terms of the Treaty of Guadalupe-Hidalgo? - California, Texas, and other areas given to US - 15 millions goes to Mexico - all territory seceded by mexicans to US will be known as the Mexican Cession
10. How was opposition to slavery changing at the time of the Mexican War?
- The Mexican War triggered the debate over slavery; should the Mexican Cession be admitted as free or slave areas.
North based their arguments off of ethics and morality
South based their arguments off of the Constitution
11. From where did most support for the Wilmot Proviso come?
Free-Soil Party and northerners
12. What was John C. Calhoun’s counter proposal?
Neither Congress nor any territorial government had authority to ban slavery from a territory or regulate it in any way.
13. What event bought turmoil to the Taylor administration? discovery of gold in California
14. What was popular sovereignty?
Principle that the authority of the government is created and sustained by the consent of it’s people, through their elected representatives.
People were entitled to vote for a slave or free state
15. How did President Taylor enrage Southerners?
Taylor let California bypass territorial requirements and become a free state. Southerners did not approve of this and went to Clay for a compromise.
16. Why did Californians vote to exclude slavery?
Prospectors wanted sales for themselves and lots of gold diggers (no need for slaves)
17. What were the issues debated that led to the Compromise of 1850?
- boundary issues
- status of territory issues
18. Which components of the Compromise of 1850 were the most controversial? Why?
Fugitive Slave Act was most controversial because it denied freedom and required people to aid in the returning of slaves
19. Why did many northern states pass personal liberty laws?
- counteract the provisions of the Fugitive Slave Acts and to protect