1830-1850 (Members Only)

Digital History of America 1830-1850

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Perspective


When Andrew Jackson won re-election in 1832, he made good on his threat to close the Bank of the United States. Jackson’s hatred of the Bank stemmed from his belief that central banking was a tool of the elite to take advantage of ordinary people (as he believed he had been, as a speculator in Western lands in earlier years). He replaced the Bank with compliant state banks that became known as his “pet banks”.

The new nation grew rapidly as settlers pushed west, and by 1900 most of the best farmlands and ranch lands in the West had been taken. Some Native American tribes resisted, but were overwhelmed by settlers and the United States army, and were forcibly relocated to the desolate Indian Territory after 1830. The American national character was in large part formed by the lawless environment and self-reliant individualism of the West. The concept of Manifest Destiny held that settlers were destined to expand across the continent, but Whigs like Henry Clay and Abraham Lincoln wanted to develop America’s existing cities and industry, not add more settlement out West. The Democrats, who strongly favored expansion, won the election of 1844, and after bitter debate, the United States annexed the Republic of Texas in 1845. This led to war with Mexico, which regarded Texas, with its large population of Mexican settlers, as a part of Mexico.

The Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo ended the Mexican-American War in 1848. While Democrats wanted to annex all of Mexico, southerners argued that incorporating millions of Mexicans would taint the United States as a white civilization. Instead, the U.S. took Texas, California, and New Mexico. The Mexican residents of these areas were given full American citizenship. and their Native Americans became wards of the federal government. In 1849, gold was discovered in California, bringing on the Gold Rush and more than 100,000 miners who rushed into California within months after the news. San Francisco grew from a village to become the economic center of the Pacific Coast, with a quarter-million inhabitants by 1880.

The United States added to its territories on the Pacific coast when a compromise with Britain gave it the Oregon Territory. The Oregon Trail brought in 300,000 settlers, miners, ranchers, farmers, and entrepreneurs and their families in wagon-trains that took five or six months on foot.

That said, here’s our assortment… please enjoy! When you’re done perusing a map, just close it, and you’ll be back here.


Index

1830-1850 Index | Society: Class: Middle Class | Communities: CitiesRural LifeUtopian | Family | Immigration | Leisure | Reform: EducationIndian ReservationsPhilosophy of ReformPublic HealthRehabilitationTemperance Movement | Abolitionism: FactionsWilliam Lloyd GarrisonAnti-AbolitionismPolitical AbolitionismBlack Abolitionism | Culture: ArtLiteraturePhilosophy: Transcendentalism | Science and Technology | Religion | Power: GovernancePolitical PartiesLawMartin Van Buren: Panic of 1837 | William Henry Harrison | John Tyler | James Polk: GovernanceForeign Affairs | Zachary Taylor | Sectionalism: Far West | Mexican-American War: PreludeProgression | Economy: California Gold RushIndustry and Technology: Machine ToolsManufacturingFactory System: Artisanal Obsolescence | Infrastructure InventionsLabor Supply | Merchant Capitalism



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