History of America 1830-1850
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The history of America 1830-1850 began 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.
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1830-1850 Index | Society: Class: Middle Class | Communities: Cities • Rural Life • Utopian | Family | Immigration | Leisure | Reform: Education • Indian Reservations • Philosophy of Reform • Public Health • Rehabilitation • Temperance Movement | Abolitionism: Factions • William Lloyd Garrison • Anti-Abolitionism • Political Abolitionism • Black Abolitionism | Culture: Art • Literature • Philosophy: Transcendentalism | Science and Technology | Religion | Power: Governance • Political Parties • Law • Martin Van Buren: Panic of 1837 | William Henry Harrison | John Tyler | James Polk: Governance • Foreign Affairs | Zachary Taylor | Sectionalism: Far West | Mexican-American War: Prelude • Progression | Economy: California Gold Rush • Industry and Technology: Machine Tools • Manufacturing • Factory System: Artisanal Obsolescence | Infrastructure • Inventions • Labor Supply | Merchant Capitalism
Society: Middle Class
Communities: Rural Life
Reform: Indian Reservations
Reform: Philosophy of Reform
Reform: Public Health
Reform: Temperance Movement
Abolitionism: William Lloyd Garrison
Abolitionism: Political Abolitionism
Abolitionism: Black Abolitionism
Culture: Science and Technology
Power: Political Parties
Power: Martin Van Buren
Governance: Panic of 1837
Power: William Henry Harrison
Power: John Tyler
Power: James Polk
Governance: Foreign Affairs
Power: Zachary Taylor
Power: Sectionalism: Far West
Power: Mexican-American War
Mexican-American War: Prelude
Mexican-American War: Progression
Economy: California Gold Rush
Economy: Science and Technology
Science and Technology: Machine Tools
Economy: Factory System
Factory System: Artisanal Obsolescence
Economy: Labor Supply
Economy: Merchant Capitalism