Westward Expansion

By: Ashlee B.

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Manifest Destiny Painting

Manifest Destiny is a term for the attitude prevalent during the 19th century period of American expansion that the United States not only could, but was destined to, stretch from coast to coast. The Manifest Destiny painting creates the idea of American progress and Westward expansion using the advancement of the transportation system with the people heading westward who are protected and guided by a goddess known as Columbia, in this painting she is known as the symbol of America. She also represents Destiny and Progress, as she is guiding the nation through a series of events that will eventually happen in the future. While the goddess holds the wires, she is showing the enabling communication across the disperse nation. The painting shows the history of the past and the alteration of the present and the visions of the future.

Picture Timeline

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Trails West Map

*The Santa Fe Trail Followed an ancient trading route used by Native Americans. They traded cloth and other manufacturing goods for horses, mules, and other sliver from Mexican traders. Dangerous, but lucrative profits. U.S. Army was sent to protect traders from Native Americans.

*The Oregon Trail crossed the Rocky Mountains. It was $600 for a family to travel west, which was extremely expensive- most made $1.50/day. Wagon Trains numbered between ten and a few dozen wagons; the trip was usually 6 months. People mainly used this trail for gold.

*The California Trail went from western Missouri across the Great Plains into the Rocky Mountains to the gold fields of northern California. The length of the trail went from the Missouri River to Sacramento, California was about 1,950 miles. It normally took four to six months to get through the length of the California Trail with covered wagons pulled by Oxen. About 250,000 pioneers, the most of any American emigration trail, used it to reach California. This trail was usually taken for gold and land.

*Morman Trail- Joseph Smith founded the church of Jesus Christ of Latter- Day saints in western New York- became known as Mormons. Their group grew quickly, but were often persecuted for beliefs and practices. They moved to Independence, Nauvoo, Illinois, and Ohio. The Mormon Trail, or the Pioneer Trail is the 1,300 mile route that members of the Church from 1846 to 1868. People used this trail so they could have their religious freedom.

Texas Revolution

Why did settlers move to Texas: The settlers moved to Texas because in order to settle Texas in the 1820's, the Mexican government allowed speculators, also known as empresarios, to acquire large tracts of land if the promised to bring in settlers to populate the region.


The Battle of the Alamo: For Texans, the Battle of the Alamo became an enduring symbol of their heroic resistance to oppression and their struggle for independence. On February 23,1836 a Mexican force, led by General Antonio Lopez of Santa Anna's, began a attack on the fort. Although they were greatly outnumbered, the Alamo's 200 defenders lead by James Bowie and Davy Crockett. The were out for about 13 days before the Mexican invaders had overpowered them.


The Battle of San Jacinto: During the Texas War of independence, the Texas militia under Sam Houston launches a surprise attack against the forces of Mexican General Santa Anna along the San Jacinto River. Hundreds of these Mexicans were later taken prisioner, including the General Santa Anna himself.

Mexican-American War

*Texas gained its independence from Mexico in 1836. The United States declined to incorporate it into the union, mainly because northern political interests were against the addition of a new salve state.

*The Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo, officially entitled the Treaty of Peace, Friendship, Limits and Settlement between the United States and the Mexican Republic. Signed February 2, 1848

*From June to July in 1864, a small group of American Settlers in California rebelled against the Mexican government and proclaimed California and independent republic. The republic was short- lived because soon after the Bear Flag was raised, the U.S. military began occupying California, which went on to join the union in 1850. The bear flag became the official state flag in 1911

*The Gadsden Purchase, or Treaty, was an argument between the United States and Mexico, finalized in 1854, in which the United States agreed to pay Mexico $10 million for a 29,670 square mile portion of Mexico.

Gold Rush performance writing

Levi Strauss:


I see more people leaving day by day. I have been working hard on getting my shop in order. By tomorrow, I should have it open. All the people around here are buying goods like crazy. They are buying water, food, pick axes, and clothes. All these people are going to California to mine for gold and start a new life. I have also seen people packing extra clothes and food, just in case something happens to their clothes or food. People have been fighting over the land in California trying to claim their land, so they can mine for gold and live on with their families.