Manifest Destiny: the Oregon Territory, the Mexican-American War, the California Gold Rush, and More
This lesson teaches students about Manifest Destiny and its impact on America. The major themes of this lesson are the dispute over the Oregon Territory, the Mexican-American War, and the California Gold Rush. Other themes include the debate of “slave vs. free states,” the displacement of the Native American Indians, and setting the stage for the American Civil War.
• Review: the Louisiana Purchase, Lewis and Clark Expedition, Sectionalism, The Missouri Compromise, the Trail of Tears
• Themes the dispute over the Oregon Territory, the Mexican-American War, and the California Gold Rush, the expansion of slavery, consequences for Native Americans, road to the Civil War
• American Progress by John Gast painting analysis
• Main destinations of Manifest Destiny: Oregon, Texas, and California
• Reasons for Westward Expansion
• Oregon Territory: claims – Spain, Russia, Britain, and the United States
• Oregon Territory: the American Fur Company
• The Oregon Trail
• Oregon Territory: “54º 40’ or Fight,” the Election of 1844, James K. Polk, 49’ Parallel Compromise
• Texas: Spanish Independence, encouragement of settlers, Santa Anna’s closing of the border, Santa Anna confronts the rebellious Americans
• The Alamo: Davy Crocket & Jim Bowie, hold out for 13 days, “Remember the Alamo”
• Retaliation: The Battle of San Jacinto, Santa Anna’ surrender, The Lone Start Republic
• The Annexation of Texas Debate: Slave States vs. Free States, Andrew Jackson & Martin Van Buren “kick the debate down the road”
• James K. Polk defeats Henry Clay, annexes Texas, “eyes on California & the New Mexican territory”
• Mexican-American War: Zachary Taylor ordered into the disputed territory, Mexico: “shed American blood up the American soil,” first war fought on “foreign territory”, 3 Fronts: Northern Mexico, California, & Mexico City
• Zachary Taylor – Northern Mexico
• California’s Independence: General Stephen Kearny, John C. Fremont, “Bear Flag Republic”
• Winfield Scott captures Mexico City
• Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo
• California Gold Rush: “49ers,” “Boomtowns” – San Francisco, Applies for Statehood,
• Losers: Native American, Mexican Americans
• Manifest Destiny fulfilled
• Preview: Road to the Civil War
• Completed lesson plan with step-by-step instructions and additional activities
• PowerPoint presentation
• Flipped classroom video
• Guided notetaking file
• Additional Activities
Check out the YouTube video that goes with this lesson @ Mr. Raymond’s Civics & Social Studies Academy YouTube channel:
Manifest Destiny: the Oregon Territory, the Mexican-American War, the California Gold Rush, & More
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Benchmarks / Standards:
Florida: SS.8.A.4.1 Examine the causes, course, and consequences of United States westward expansion and its growing diplomatic assertiveness (Texas annexation, Manifest Destiny, Oregon Territory, Mexican American War/Mexican Cession, California Gold Rush, Gadsden Purchase).
California: 8.8.2. Describe the purpose, challenges, and economic incentives associated with westward expansion, including the concept of Manifest Destiny (e.g., the Lewis and Clark expedition, accounts of the removal of Indians, the Cherokees' "Trail of Tears," settlement of the Great Plains) and the territorial acquisitions that spanned numerous decades.
Texas STAAR US8 6B & D: explain the political, economic, and social roots of Manifest Destiny; & explain the causes and effects of the U.S.-Mexican War and their impact on the United States;
New Jersey 6.1.8.A.4.b: Analyze how the concept of Manifest Destiny influenced the acquisition of land through annexation, diplomacy, and war