America 1830-1850 (Members Only)

History of America 1830-1850

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Perspective


Our digital history of America 1830-1850 begins when Andrew Jackson won re-election in 1832. With that, Jackson made good on his threat to close the Bank of the United States. This happened as a consequence of his hatred of the Bank, which stemmed from his belief that central banking was a tool of the elite to take advantage of ordinary people. In fact, he believed he had been treated unfairly as a speculator in Western lands in earlier years. Accordingly, 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. While some Native American tribes resisted, they were overwhelmed by settlers and the United States army. They were forcibly relocated to the desolate Indian Territory after 1830. As a result, 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. While the Mexican residents of these areas were given full American citizenship, Native Americans became wards of the federal government. Then 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. As a result, 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. With that, 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 to reach California.

That said, here’s our assortment… please enjoy! When you’re done perusing a map, click the ⇠ back arrow link in the upper left of your screen (not the < link), and you’ll be back here. Any problems, please get in touch at [email protected]


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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