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- Learn about westward migration and the Oregon Trail.
- Discuss the Texas annexation problem.
- Examine the Mexican-American War.
- Take a look at the California Gold Rush.
- Understand the Compromise of 1850.
- Describe the politics and economics of Franklin Pierce.
- Become familiar with the Homestead Act of 1862.
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. 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.
4. 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.
5. 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.
6. 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.
7. Westward Expansion: The Homestead Act of 1862 & the Frontier Thesis
Between the mid-1800s and the turn of the 20th century, the American frontier opened and closed abruptly. What factors influenced this land rush, and how did it help shape American history?
8. Eli Whitney: Inventions & Facts
In this lesson we'll learn about an early American inventor: Eli Whitney. We'll also learn what his inventions and contributions were and why they're important.
9. James Watt: Biography, Inventions & Accomplishments
James Watt was a Scottish mechanical engineer and inventor. Today, he is most remembered for his technological innovations in the development steam engine.
10. Shawnee Chief Tecumseh: Biography & Facts
Learn about the life of Tecumseh, warrior and chief of the Shawnee. A powerful peacekeeper and mediator from his early years, these are some of the events that shaped his life, including his involvement with the pan-Indian movement.
11. The Cotton Gin: Definition, History & Impact
The cotton gin completely revolutionized the cotton industry in America, making cotton a profitable crop in the Southern United States and ultimately leading to a rise in slavery. Find out more about this invention, its impact and its inventor.
12. The Great Plains: Facts & History
One of the most recognizable and iconic landscapes in America is that of the Great Plains. This region has been crucial to the economy, ecology and history of the US.
13. The Louisiana Purchase of 1803: Summary, Facts & Importance
This lesson discusses the Louisiana Purchase. Learn more about the most important real estate deal in American history and how it influenced the growth of the United States. Then test your knowledge with a quiz.
14. War of 1812: Causes & Effects
In this lesson, you'll examine the events that led to the War of 1812, as well as the effects that the war had on a young American nation. Then, you'll be able to test your understanding with a short quiz.
15. Mountain Men: History & Facts
The mountain men were a group of explorers, fur trappers, land surveyors, trail blazers, and army scouts. They are mostly associated with the Trans-Mississippi West.
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