CH17 – Manifest Destiny & Its Legacy
Time Frame: 1841-1848
Objectives: At the end of this chapter, you should be able to:
- Explain the spirit and meaning of the Manifest Destiny that inspired American expansionism in the 1840s.
- Outline the major conflicts between Britain and the United States over debts, Maine, Canada, Texas, Oregon, and growing British hostility to slavery.
- Explain why the U.S. government increasingly saw the independent Texas Republic as a threat and sought to pursue annexation.
- Indicate how the issues of Oregon and Texas became central in the election of 1844 and why Polk’s victory was seen as a mandate for Manifest Destiny.
- Explain how President Polk’s goals for his administration, especially the acquisition of California, led to the Texas boundary crisis and war with Mexico.
- Describe how the dramatic American victory in the Mexican War led to the breathtaking territorial acquisition of the whole Southwest.
- Describe the consequences of the Mexican War, and especially how the Mexican territorial acquisitions explosively opened the slavery question.