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CH18 – Renewing the Sectional Struggle

Time Frame: 1848-1854

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.



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