Manifest destinies : America's westward expansion and the road to the Civil War / Steven E. Woodworth.
By: Woodworth, Steven E.Material type: TextPublisher: New York : Alfred A. Knopf, 2010Edition: 1st ed.Description: xiv, 412 pages,  pages of plates : illustrations, maps ; 25 cm.Content type: text Media type: unmediated Carrier type: volumeISBN: 9780307265241; 0307265242.Subject(s): United States -- Territorial expansion | Manifest Destiny | Mexican War, 1846-1848 | United States -- History -- 1815-1861 | United States -- History -- Civil War, 1861-1865 -- CausesDDC classification: 970.04
Includes bibliographical references (pages 359-394) and index.
A sweeping history of the 1840s that captures America's enormous sense of possibility that inspired it's growth and shows how the extraordinary expansion of territories forced the nation to come to grips with the deep rift that would bring war just a decade later. The author gives us a portrait of America at its most vibrant and expansive. It was a decade in which the nation significantly enlarged its boundaries, taking Texas, New Mexico, California, and the Pacific Northwest; William Henry Harrison ran the first modern populist campaign, focusing on entertaining voters rather than on discussing issues; prospectors headed west to search for gold; Joseph Smith founded a new religion; railroads and telegraph lines connected the country's disparate populations as never before. When the 1840s dawned, Americans were feeling optimistic about the future: the population was growing, economic conditions were improving, and peace had reigned for nearly thirty years. A hopeful nation looked to the West, where vast areas of unsettled land seemed to promise prosperity to anyone resourceful enough to take advantage. And yet political tensions roiled below the surface; as the country took on new lands, slavery emerged as an irreconcilable source of disagreement between North and South, and secession reared its head for the first time. This book is an account of a crucial decade that forged a young nation's character and destiny.
The two-party system. The log cabin and hard cider campaign ; Tyler, Clay, and the durability of the two-party system ; Abolitionism -- Westward expansion. The Oregon Trail ; The allure and the danger of California ; The Mormons and their migration -- The politics of expansion. Tyler and Texas ; The election of 1844 ; Texas annexation -- War with Mexico. Armies along the Rio Grande ; The Monterrey campaign ; New Mexico, Chihuahua, and California ; Buena Vista ; Veracruz, Cerro Gordo, and the politics of expansion ; To the gates of Mexico City ; A conquered capital and a negotiated peace -- The political system and the controversies of expansion. The election of 1848 ; The California gold rush ; California and the expansion of slavery ; The struggle for compromise.