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Transcript of Manifest Destiny
and the West
Several events led up to the huge influx of people searching for gold. Among them:
was the discovery of gold in California by James Marshall, which went mostly unnoticed by the public.
a publicity stunt by shopkeeper Sam Brennan in which he walked through the streets of San Francisco, shouting about his bottle of gold dust.
and finally the official declaration by President James K. Polk of gold in California in December.
By this time, forty-niners were coming in droves. They came by ship, through Panama's jungles and mostly by wagon train, expanding the network of trails as they came. The mining lifestyle was notorious for the hard work, gambling, drinking and vigilante justice. Native Americans were especially impacted; deprived of their natural food sources, they resorted to raiding mining towns. This resulted in the Indenture Act.
The California Gold
Rush (circa 1849)
James K. Polk
"54-40 or fight"
served as president from 1845-1849
set the border of the Oregon Territory with Britain at the 49th parallel
set the borders of Texas through the Mexican -American War, acquiring about 525,000 square miles of land in the process
James K. Polk
born into a poor family as the ninth of eleven children
The signing of the Treaty of Guadalupe-Hidalgo ceded California, Nevada, Utah, and parts of other states shown here.
Brigham Young (1801-1877)
By the end of 1949, the population of California was (approx.) 80,000, triple the numbers previously.
At age 16, he left home and worked as a carpenter, painter, farmer and handyman.
By 1841, he was second in command only to Joseph Smith, founder of the church.
He converted from Methodism in 1832 to the Mormon church.
He married his first wife in 1824.
After the death of Joseph Smith, Young moved the Mormon church to Winter Quarters, Nebraska, and finally to Salt Lake Valley, Utah in 1847.
Between 1847 and 1869, about 70,000 Mormons migrated west on the Mormon Trail.
By 1857, there were over 90 settlements in the area.
He established colonies throughout Utah, Nevada, Arizona and Idaho. Young emphasized self-sufficiency and the production of goods by locals.
Young strongly encouraged immigration into Utah, mostly for the purpose of strengthening the church. He financed wagon trains and for a time handcarts so that people could journey on foot. The journey was 1,400 miles long.
The Santa Fe Trail
(cc) image by jantik on Flickr
The Santa Fe Trail was a 900 mile commercial highway connecting Missouri and Santa Fe, New Mexico.
Up until 1880, the trail was used by American and
The Mexican-American War begins, and Mexican traders no longer use the trail. The Army of the West uses it to invade and capture New Mexico.
commercial & military freighting
gold seekers in CA and CO
Trail is used for/by:
The railroad reaches
Santa Fe and the trail
Goal: to settle the frontier by allowing people to homestead up to 160 acres of land
Male or female, any one age 21+ could file a patent
If the settler developed the land (house, plowed, etc.) and lived on it for 5 years, then the title was passed down to the settler.
Homestead Act of 1862
1873: Timber Culture Act- 160+ acres of land if trees were planted, thinking trees would increase rainfall
Some problems with drought in Midwest
1900s: land increased to 640 acres as settlers pushed into the SW and deserts
Results of Homestead Act
Hundreds of thousands of Americans from the east migrated.
Millions of Europeans immigrated, mostly Northern and Scandinavians, because of the scarcity of land and a depressed economy.
Fraud was common, with much of the best land going to railroad and other companies.
The act was repealed in 1976, when the government decided to stop accepting homesteading applications.
By Teagan Roberts