The following annotated chapter outline will help you review the major topics covered in this chapter.
Instructions: Review the outline to recall events and their relationships as presented in the chapter. Return to skim any sections that seem unfamiliar.
I. Manifest Destiny: South and North A.
The Push to the Pacific
In 1845, John L. O’Sullivan coined the phrase Manifest Destiny; he felt that Americans had a right to develop the entire continent as they saw fit, which implied a sense of cultural and racial superiority.
The Oregon country stretched along the Pacific coast from the border with Mexican California to the border with Russian Alaska and was claimed by both Great Britain and the United States .
“Oregon fever” raged in 1843 as thousands, lured by reports of fine harbors, mild climate, and fertile soil, journeyed for months across the continent to the Willamette Valley.
By 1860, about 250,000 Americans had braved the Oregon Trail; many died en route from disease and exposure, although relatively few died from Indian attacks.
Some pioneers left the Oregon Trail and traveled south along the California Trail, settling along the Sacramento River in the Mexican province of California.
To promote California’s development, the Mexican government took over the California missions and liberated the 20,000 Indians who worked on them, many of whom intermarried with mestizos and worked as laborers and cowboys on large cattle ranches.
The rise of cattle ranching created a new society and economy as agents from New England firms assimilated to Mexican life and married into the families of the Californios.
Many American migrants in California had no desire to assimilate into Mexican society and hoped for eventual annexation to the United States ; however, at that time American settlers in California were too few. B.
The Plains Indians
As the Pacific-bound wagon trains rumbled across Nebraska, the migrants encountered the Great Plains, a vast sea of grass stretching north from Texas to Saskatchewan in Canada , and west from the Missouri River to the Rocky Mountains.
Nomadic buffalo-hunting Indian peoples roamed the western Plains, while the tall grass lands and river valleys to the east were home to semi-sedentary tribes.
A line of military forts—stretching from Fort Jesup in Louisiana to Fort Snelling in Minnesota—policed the boundary between white America and what Congress in 1834 designated as Permanent Indian Territory.
For centuries, the Indians who lived on the eastern edge of the Plains, such as the Pawnees and the Mandan on the upper Missouri River, subsisted primarily on food crops—corn and beans—supplemented by buffalo meat.
They also exchanged goods with traders and travelers along the Sante Fe Trail, which cut through Comanche and Kiowa territory as it connected Missouri and New Mexico. By the early 1840s, goods worth nearly $1 million moved along the trail each year.
By the 1830s, the Kiowas, Cheyennes, and Arapahos had also adopted this horse culture and, allied with the Comanches, dominated the Plains between the Arkansas and Red rivers.
As European horses enhanced the mobility and wealth of the Plains Indians, European diseases and guns thinned their ranks. A devastating smallpox epidemic spread northward from New Spain in 1779-1781, taking the lives of half of the Plains peoples.
The powerful Sioux, who acquired guns and ammunition from French, Spanish, and American traders along the Missouri River, also remained buffalo hunters. As nomadic people who travelled in small groups, the Sioux largely avoided major epidemics and increased their numbers. C.
The Fateful Election of 1844
The election of 1844 determined the American government’s western policy.
To thwart rumored