U.S. Acquisition of Territory and Expansionism History
By 1848, the United States had expanded and extended
its borders from the Atlantic to Pacific oceans. From the signing of the Declaration
of Independence on July 4, 1776, the fledgling 13 Colonies had expanded westward and from sea to shining sea in merely
72 years, and by doing so it had henceforth removed the presence of the global powers of England, Spain, and France.
The nation's territorial acquisitions had not been made without controversy, however. Although
the U.S. Constitution made no such allowances, the actions of President Thomas Jefferson had doubled the size of the recently
formed United States with the Louisiana Purchase of 1803. But it was the result of the war with Mexico (1846-1848) that
the nation would again double its size and also place its western border on the Pacific Ocean.
In the span of only a few years, the United States had increased
its size exponentially with the contentious annexation of Texas in 1845, the 1846 Oregon Treaty with Great Britain
for half of the Oregon Country; and acquired California, Nevada, Utah, and parts of Arizona, Colorado, New Mexico, and Wyoming
as a result of the Mexican-American War in 1848.
US Territorial Acquisitions and Growth Map
Map of US Territorial Acquisitions and Expansionism History
The below list of Related Studies includes the numerous doctrines,
treaties, purchases, agreements, acquisitions, acts, policies, compromises, bills, laws, maps, events, proclamations
and wars relating to the territorial expansion of the United States. (There are more than 500 pages of research.)
The Radicalism of the American Revolution. From Library Journal: Historians have always had problems explaining the
revolutionary character of the American Revolution: its lack of class conflict, a reign of terror, and indiscriminate violence
make it seem positively sedate. In this beautifully written and persuasively argued book, one of the most noted of U.S. historians restores the radicalism to what he
terms "one of the greatest revolutions the world has ever known." It was the American Revolution, Wood argues, that unleashed
the social forces that transformed American society in the years between 1760 and 1820. Continued below...
from a deferential, monarchical, ordered, and static society to a liberal, democratic, and commercial one was astonishing,
all the more so because it took place without industrialization, urbanization, or the revolution in transportation. It was a revolution of the mind, in which the concept of equality,
democracy, and private interest grasped by hundreds of thousands of Americans transformed a country nearly overnight. Exciting,
compelling, and sure to provoke controversy, the book will be discussed for years to come.
Recommended Reading: 1491: New Revelations of the Americas Before Columbus. Description: 1491 is not so much the story of a year, as of what that year stands for: the long-debated (and often-dismissed)
question of what human civilization in the Americas
was like before the Europeans crashed the party. The history books most Americans were (and still are) raised on describe
the continents before Columbus as a vast, underused territory,
sparsely populated by primitives whose cultures would inevitably bow before the advanced technologies of the Europeans. For
decades, though, among the archaeologists, anthropologists, paleolinguists, and others whose discoveries Charles C. Mann brings
together in 1491, different stories have been emerging. Among the revelations: the first Americans may not have come over
the Bering land bridge around 12,000 B.C. but by boat along the Pacific coast 10 or even 20 thousand years earlier; the Americas
were a far more urban, more populated, and more technologically advanced region than generally assumed; and the Indians, rather
than living in static harmony with nature, radically engineered the landscape across the continents, to the point that even
"timeless" natural features like the Amazon rainforest can be seen as products of human intervention. Continued below...
Mann is well
aware that much of the history he relates is necessarily speculative, the product of pot-shard interpretation and precise
scientific measurements that often end up being radically revised in later decades. But the most compelling of his eye-opening
revisionist stories are among the best-founded: the stories of early American-European contact. To many of those who were
there, the earliest encounters felt more like a meeting of equals than one of natural domination. And those who came later
and found an emptied landscape that seemed ripe for the taking, Mann argues convincingly, encountered not the natural and
unchanging state of the native American, but the evidence of a sudden calamity: the ravages of what was likely the greatest
epidemic in human history, the smallpox and other diseases introduced inadvertently by Europeans to a population without immunity,
which swept through the Americas faster than the explorers who brought it, and left behind for their discovery a land that
held only a shadow of the thriving cultures that it had sustained for centuries before. Includes outstanding photos and maps.
Recommended Viewing: The History
Channel Presents The Revolution (A&E) (600 minutes). Review: They came of age in a new world amid intoxicating and
innovative ideas about human and civil rights diverse economic systems and self-government. In a few short years these men
and women would transform themselves into architects of the future through the building of a new nation – “a nation
unlike any before.” From the roots of the rebellion and the signing of the Declaration of Independence to victory on
the battlefield at Yorktown
and the adoption of The United States Constitution, THE REVOLUTION tells the remarkable story of this pivotal era in history.
Venturing beyond the conventional list of generals and politicians, THE
HISTORY CHANNEL® introduces the full range of individuals who helped shape this great conflict including some of the war’s
most influential unsung heroes. Through sweeping cinematic recreations intimate biographical investigations and provocative
political military and economic analysis the historic ideas and themes that transformed treasonous acts against the British
into noble acts of courage both on and off the battlefield come to life in this dramatic and captivating program. This TEN HOUR DVD Features: History in the Making: The Revolution Behind-the-Scenes Featurette; Interactive
Menus; Scene Selections.
Viewing: Lewis & Clark - The Journey
of the Corps of Discovery (1997) (DVD) (240
minutes) (PBS) (September 28, 2004). Review: Another reliably well-crafted, generally engrossing documentary from Ken Burns,
Lewis & Clark employs the director's now-familiar approach to his subjects, from its elegant juxtaposition of period illustrations
and portraits against newly filmed footage of historic sites to Burns's repertory of accomplished actors to provide gravitas
for quotes from the key figures. Granted the formula has become familiar enough to allow parody, but Burns knows how to invest
his historical investigations with movement and drama, making this four-hour journey a worthwhile trip. Continued below…
by Hal Holbrook, Dayton Duncan's script explicates the agenda presented by Thomas Jefferson to Meriwether Lewis and William
Clark, placing it in the context of the young country's gamble in Jefferson's Louisiana Purchase, and the
expedition's goals for opening the West. While preserving the heroic scale of the undertaking, Burns also finds time to delve
into the politics of the venture and the disparate personalities of the two explorers; in particular, Duncan and Burns look
at the career of Lewis, the presidential protégé, his moody demeanor, and his untimely death. The film also looks beyond its
titular leaders to examine the personalities of their corps of soldiers, their boatmen, and the Indians they met and depended
on, most notably their female Shosone guide, Sacagawea. --Sam Sutherland
Founding Brothers: The Revolutionary Generation. Review: In retrospect, it seems as if the American Revolution was inevitable.
But was it? In Founding Brothers, Joseph J. Ellis reveals that many of those truths we hold to be self-evident were actually
fiercely contested in the early days of the republic. Ellis focuses on six crucial moments in the life of the new nation,
including a secret dinner at which the seat of the nation's capital was determined--in exchange for support of Hamilton's
financial plan; Washington's precedent-setting Farewell
Address; and the Hamilton and Burr duel. Most interesting, perhaps, is the debate (still dividing scholars today) over the
meaning of the Revolution. Continued below...
In a fascinating chapter on the renewed friendship between John Adams and Thomas Jefferson at the end
of their lives, Ellis points out the fundamental differences between the Republicans, who saw the Revolution as a liberating
act and hold the Declaration of Independence most sacred, and the Federalists, who saw the revolution as a step in the building
of American nationhood and hold the Constitution most dear. Throughout the text, Ellis explains the personal, face-to-face
nature of early American politics--and notes that the members of the revolutionary generation were conscious of the fact that
they were establishing precedents on which future generations would rely. In Founding Brothers, Ellis
(whose American Sphinx won the National Book Award for nonfiction in 1997) has written an elegant and engaging narrative,
sure to become a classic. Highly recommended.
Recommended Viewing: 500 Nations(372 minutes). Description: 500 Nations
is an eight-part documentary (more than 6 hours and that's not including its interactive CD-ROM filled with extra features) that
explores the history of the indigenous peoples of North and Central America, from pre-Colombian times through the period of
European contact and colonization, to the end of the 19th century and the subjugation of the Plains Indians of North America.
500 Nations utilizes historical texts, eyewitness accounts, pictorial sources
and computer graphic reconstructions to explore the magnificent civilizations which flourished prior to contact with Western
civilization, and to tell the dramatic and tragic story of the Native American nations' desperate attempts to retain their
way of life against overwhelming odds.
word "Indian," and most will conjure up images inspired by myths and movies: teepees, headdresses, and war paint; Sitting
Bull, Geronimo, Crazy Horse, and their battles (like Little Big Horn) with the U.S. Cavalry. Those stories of the so-called
"horse nations" of the Great
Plains are all here, but so is a great deal more. Using impressive computer imaging, photos, location film footage
and breathtaking cinematography, interviews with present-day Indians, books and manuscripts, museum artifacts, and more, Leustig
and his crew go back more than a millennium to present an fascinating account of Indians, including those (like the Maya and
Aztecs in Mexico and the Anasazi in the Southwest) who were here long before white men ever reached these shores. It was
the arrival of Europeans like Columbus, Cortez, and DeSoto that marked the beginning of the end for the Indians. Considering
the participation of host Kevin Costner, whose film Dances with Wolves was highly sympathetic to the Indians, it's no bulletin
that 500 Nations also takes a compassionate view of the multitude of calamities--from alcohol and disease to the corruption
of their culture and the depletion of their vast natural resources--visited on them by the white man in his quest for land
and money, eventually leading to such horrific events as the Trail of Tears "forced march," the massacre at Wounded Knee,
and other consequences of the effort to "relocate" Indians to the reservations where many of them still live. Along the way,
we learn about the Indians' participation in such events as the American Revolution and the War of 1812, as well as popular
legends like the first Thanksgiving (it really happened) and the rescue of Captain John Smith by Pocahontas (it probably didn't).
Recommended Viewing: The History of the United States of America (PBS,
A&E, HISTORY CHANNEL, THE BIOGRAPHY CHANNEL, MILITARY CHANNEL, MILITARY HISTORY CHANNEL, NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC)
Try the Search Engine for Related Studies: United States Maps, Acquisition
of US Territory and Expansionism History of America, Timeline Map, Growth of the United States Map, Maps, Statehood Date,
Dates, List, Order, When Each Every State Entered the Union US.