Key Events That Affected Native Americans in the Late 1800s In the early 1800s, Americans longed for lands in the American West. Western settlement focused on the Ohio River, parts of the Southeast and lands west of the Mississippi River. These expansionist ambitions -- fueled by a need for fertile farmland, new economic opportunities and a sense of manifest destiny -- reached full fruition during the 1840s, the decade during which the United States would see its fastest territorial growth. In essence, three methods for acquiring new lands existed: Native American treaties, purchase from foreign empires and war. The Effects of Western Expansion on American Politics What Led to the Creation of the Nation's First Political Parties? These methods culminated in the broad concept of Manifest Destiny, or the idea that it was inevitable and morally acceptable for the United States to extend from the Atlantic to the Pacific Oceans. But by the 1830s, American settlers were clamoring for land in Mexican-owned Texas, pushing ahead of their government into these territories. After battling Mexico, Anglo settlers in Texas won independence in 1836, but tensions remained high. A similar situation occurred during the 1830s in Oregon Territory, which was claimed by both the United States and Great Britain.
This proposed expansion required encroaching on land that then belonged to Native American tribes, England, Mexico and Spain. As American settlers began pouring into the fertile Willamette Valley, Britain and the United States sought for a negotiated solution to the problem. The Whig Party was a "big tent" party, designed to appeal to a wide variety of voters who were united in their opposition to the policies of Democratic President Andrew Jackson in the 1830s.
During the course of his four years as chief executive, he set most of the United States’ present borders as a nation. In the first half of the 19th century especially, Americans were mainly farmers who needed arable land for their crops and livestock, land that was not available in the overcrowded and farmed-out east.
As such, different Whigs had different reasons for opposing Manifest Destiny and opposed it with varying degrees of fervor. There were, as well, financial panics (in 1818 and 1839) that uprooted people and sent them west seeking a fresh start.

In 1846, he went to war with Mexico and ended up with a stunning victory in which Mexico ceded the U.S.
In 1803, to Jefferson’s surprise, an overextended Napoleon actually offered the entire Louisiana Territory to the United States for about $15 million dollars. Others feared that too much expansion would make the still-new practice of self-government too difficult for the young United States. Thomas Jefferson’s 1803 Louisiana Purchase added 530,000,000 acres to America and the Lewis and Clark expedition of 1804-1806 revealed a land rich with promise for settlers. Some Whigs also opposed expansionism because they feared that much of the territory the United States would gain would become open to slavery. The United States aggressively continued it expansion by negotiating an 1846 agreement with Great Britain to cede the Oregon Territory (which included the present-day states of Oregon and Washington) to the United States.
President Jefferson immediately sent Meriwether Lewis and William Clark on an expedition to the Missouri River and onward to the Pacific coast to explore the new territory. Others opposed expansion because of concerns that adding new states would decrease the political power of the states they lived in and represented. However, the Louisiana Purchase contained tens of thousands of Native Americans, who varied culturally, linguistically and in their friendliness to the United States. Many groups resisted American settlement, and it would be decades before the United States controlled these lands. O’Sullivan coined the term “manifest destiny” in 1845, meaning that it was the God-given destiny of America to control all the land within the American continent. O’Sullivan in 1845, which meant Americans were destined to control all the continental lands west to the Pacific, south to the Rio Grande, and north to Canada. During Andrew Jackson’s administration in the 1830s, Americans acquired a renewed sense of nationalism, and in conjunction with the Monroe Doctrine, they came to believe that it was the United States' destiny to dominate the American continents and extend from coast to coast. After Polk’s territorial acquisitions, Americans flocked to the new lands opened up, heading in large numbers for California during the Gold Rush of 1849. In 1845, editor John O’Sullivan gave this idea a name, "Manifest Destiny." Others like Henry Clay, worried about how territorial acquisition would create more tension over the issue of slavery.
It wasn’t only land that Americans sought, but the business opportunities that would be found in the Californian ports, for American imperialism in the 1840s also took the form of maritime expansion in the Pacific.

Manifest Destiny and the extension of slavery immediately faced a test with the annexation of Texas in 1845. California was known for its fertile land and, later, its rich gold fields, but American merchants wanted to acquire it for its Pacific ports. After failing to resolve the Texas border dispute and Mexico’s refusal to sell New Mexico and California for $30 million, President Polk and Congress declared war in May 1846. Within sixty years, America would be a major world power in the Pacific with important territorial holdings and commercial interests. Many believed the Mexican-American War was simply a land grab, in essence a territorial conquest to extend the United States through the Southwest and on to California. By the Spanish-American War of 1898, having reached its borders, America was now ready to turn its expansionist ambitions abroad. View Article See What's Trending this Fashion Season Explore a range of cool greys with the year's top colors.
Thus by the mid-1800s, the goals of the advocates of Manifest Destiny had largely been achieved.
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