Feb. 6: European Immigration and National Expansion in Early 19th Century America

Overview of Pre-industrial Migrations (1790-1870)
-One of the largest periods of international migration in U.S. history in proportion to the U.S. population. From 1820-1880: 10M immigrants from diverse origins come to the U.S., especially Northern and Western Europe
-National expansion and "opening" of the West = conquest and removal of indigenous peoples and land

Manifest Destiny and American Expansionism
-Coined by NY newspaper editor John O'Sullivan in 1845 to describe U.S. expansion westward as God's will
-Justified and inspired U.S. expansion for economic reasons
-Based on pervasive belief in American cultural and racial superiority in comparison to inferior and uncivilized Native Americans
-"American Progress" painting by John Gast (1872)
-"Mapping History" (University of Oregon) on U.S. territorial expansion
-1862 Homestead Act

Colonizing the U.S. Southwest
-Mexico declares independence from Spain in 1821
-By the 1830s, American-born "Texians" outnumber the Mexican-born by 3:1
-Texas declares independence in 1836 and requests admission to the U.S. as a slave state
-U.S.-Mexico War (1846-1848) results in annexation of northern half of Mexico (CA, AZ, NM, NE, UT, CO)
-1848 Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo: Treaty guaranteed Mexicans the right to vote, but certain districts denied them the right to vote or granted only limited participation (victims of conquest)

European Immigrants and National Expansion
-German and Scandinavian immigrants to the Upper Midwest, 1840s-1870s
-"Emigrant Settlers" pioneering, colonizing, and settling newly acquired land
-"America Fever" spreads: letters and return visits by immigrants highlight economic opportunity and encourage migration
-Migration is a "radical attempt to conserve:" migrants make a radical move to the U.S. in order to conserve traditional agriculture-based family economy. Irony is that immigration brings immeasurable change

Dakota Conflict, 1862 (MN) - see "Dakota Conflict" film
-1851 Treaty of Traverse des Sioux treaty between the Dakota and the U.S. ceded most of what would be come MN to the U.S. for 5 years in exchange for a reservation, schools, trade, annual payments
-Payments to be made through white traders who did not transfer all funds to the Dakota
-White settlement increases by land-hungry settlers and speculators
-1858: Dakota Sioux travel to Washington, DC to be told that their 5 year lease had expired and that the government would take ½ of their land


-In 1862, payments were late and Dakota began to starve
Trader Andrew Myrick:  "So far as I am concerned, if they are hungry, let them eat grass."
-Broken treaties and threat of starvation led to Dakota raids on white settlers, leading to open warfare, including 600 Sioux and 1400 person MN army
-Open warfare begins in fall of 1862: 500 white settlers killed; 303 Dakota found guilty
-Dec. 26, 1862: thirty-eight Dakota Indians were hanged in Mankato in the largest mass execution in U.S. history
-First in the Indian Wars for control of the Great Plains (to 1890 Battle at Wounded Knee)

"Minnesota's Uncivil War," Minnesota Public Radio

About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by erikalee published on February 4, 2013 4:13 PM.

Feb. 4: Nation and Citizenship in the Age of Revolution was the previous entry in this blog.

Feb. 11: Irish Immigration and Anti-Catholic Nativism is the next entry in this blog.

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