Annexation of Western Lands
During the early 1800's, an abundance of land and other natural resources lured American pioneers westward. Fur traders, cattle ranchers, farmers, and miners led the push to the west. Merchants and other business people followed. These hard-working men and women faced great dangers, endured severe hardships, and suffered loneliness and boredom in the hope of making a better life for themselves and their children. Some of them looked to the west for wealth or adventure. Others sought to improve their social position or increase their political power (Schlesinger, p1-2). These settlers by the thousands moved westward over the Appalachian Mountains into new states and territories. Many of these pioneers even settled beyond the country's western boundary. They flocked into Texas, California, and other western lands belonging to Mexico. Americans also settled in the Oregon Country, a large territory between California and Alaska claimed by both the United Kingdom and the United States (Boorstin-Kelly, p290-291).
During the mid-1800's, the United States gained control of the Mexican lands and the southern part of the Oregon Country, and the nation extended from coast to coast (Schlesinger, p1). The annexation of these western lands caused positive as well as negative feelings.
For example, many people opposed the annexation of Texas. By the time Mexico gained independence, the United States had reached the Mexican frontier. Mexico needed to protect its northern borders. To protect the border region, Mexico needed to populate the area. Mexico continued the policy started by Spain of allowing Americans to settle Texas. The Americans had to follow Mexican law, religion and customs. The settlement of Texas played into the United States' expansion plans. Eventually Mexico City closed Texas from more Americans from entering. This angered the Americans wanting to enter and Americans already...