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- Discuss the Oregon Trail and the migration of Americans westward.
- Learn about the Texas annexation problem.
- Describe the sectional concerns and American expansion that resulted from John Tyler's presidency.
- Take a look at American expansion during James K. Polk's presidency.
- Learn about the Mexican-American War.
- Discuss the California Gold Rush.
- Explain the aims of the Compromise of 1850.
- Describe the politics and economic policies of President Franklin Pierce.
1. The Oregon Trail: Westward Migration to the Pacific Ocean
Throughout the first half of the 19th century, the United States expanded its borders all the way to the Pacific Ocean, fulfilling its manifest destiny. Find out about the reasons people wanted this land, the path that took them there and the politicians who supported it all.
2. Manifest Destiny's Texas Annexation Problem
Find out why it took five presidents (Jackson, Van Buren, Harrison, Tyler and Polk) to get Texas annexed into the U.S. and added as a state during the era of Manifest Destiny.
3. President John Tyler: American Expansion and Sectional Concerns
In the presidential election of 1840, 'Tippecanoe and Tyler, Too!' prevailed. But with President Harrison's death just a month later, Vice President John Tyler took the oath of office. Was 'His Accidency' really as bad a president as some critics suggest?
4. President James K. Polk's Accomplishments in the Lower 48 States
President James Polk may be obscure, but he wasn't insignificant. Learn about his controversial territorial acquisitions that define most of what Americans today call the 'Lower 48' states.
5. The Mexican-American War, Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo & the Wilmot Proviso
The controversial Mexican-American War lasted from 1846-1848. In this lesson, discover how the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo expanded the southern part of the United States all the way to the Pacific Ocean.
6. Election of 1848 and the California Gold Rush
General Zachary Taylor was elected president in 1848, hoping to see the peaceful addition of land from the Mexican cession. 'Old Rough and Ready' wasn't prepared for the California gold rush.
7. President Fillmore and the Compromise of 1850
Following President Zachary Taylor's death, Millard Fillmore took office. He supported the Compromise of 1850 that added new states from the Mexican cession and attempted to resolve long-standing controversies over slavery.
8. President Franklin Pierce's Politics and Economics
In the wake of the Compromise of 1850, President Franklin Pierce pursued an aggressive agenda of expansion. In this lesson, find out why it inflamed sectional tensions, and why he wasn't re-nominated for a second term.
9. Impressment: Definition & Overview
In this lesson, we'll define the term 'impressment' and explore how and why this policy was carried out. We'll also place this policy in historical context by identifying its effects.
10. Sam Brannan and the Gold Rush: Biography & History
Sam Brannan was a Mormon businessman, journalist, and entrepreneur who made a fortune during the California Gold Rush. He is touted as California's first millionaire. Learn about the man and then test your knowledge with a quiz!
11. Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo: Terms & Summary
The Treaty of Guadalupe- Hidalgo was the document that ended the Mexican-American War. Learn about the terms included in the treaty as well as its impact on the sectional crisis in the United States.
12. Who Was Sacagawea? - Facts, Biography & Quotes
Experience the life and times of Sacagawea. Learn how this great interpreter affected the discoveries made by American explorers, Lewis and Clark. Then, take the quiz to evaluate your knowledge!
13. The Donner Party: Facts & Summary
One of the most tragic episodes in the history of the American frontier involves the Donner Party and their ill-fated journey west to California. In this lesson, you'll learn about the pioneers who joined the Donner Party, the disaster they faced and the desperate steps they took to survive.
14. The Donner Party: Route & Timeline
In 1846 a group of pioneers left Illinois looking for a shorter route west. Unfortunately, the Donner Party, as they became known, found fame from their tragic story and deaths.
15. The Donner Party Members
Unwisely choosing to travel to California on an untested shortcut, the Donner Party became trapped by blizzards a short distance from their destination. The delay cost of the lives of almost half the 87-member party. Learn more about the people who traveled with this ill-fated wagon train.
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