Archive for October, 2011

MC practice 18:2

Bring the answers with you on Tuesday!

1. According to the concept of popular sovereignty, the status of slavery in each territory would be decided by
A. the vote of the House of Representatives.
B. a national election.
C. congressional legislation.
D. the Supreme Court.
E. the vote of the people in each territory.

2. Which of the following is TRUE about the Kansas-Nebraska Act?
A. It led to the disintegration of the Democratic party.
B. It was a measure the South had been demanding for decades.
C. It resulted in the formation of the Republican party.
D. By applying popular sovereignty to formerly free territories, it eased the tensions between North and South.
E. It assured its main sponsor of the Democratic nomination for president in 1856.

3. The man who opened Japan to the US was
A. William Walker.
B. Franklin Pierce.
C. James Gadsden.
D. Matthew Perry.
E. David Schwimmer.

4. The Gadsden Purchase was made in order to enable
A. a transcontinental railroad line to be built in the South.
B. Santa Anna to remain in power in Mexico.
C. the staking of gold claims by US citizens.
D. the US to then trade the land for Cuba.
E. Mexico to pay off its debts to American citizens.

5. The final rupture of the Whig party in 1852 occurred over
A. the nomination of Winfield Scott or Daniel Webster.
B. the admission of California as a free state.
C. protective tariffs.
D. homestead laws.
E. slavery.

6. The Know-Nothing Party opposed
A. slavery.
B. Manifest Destiny.
C. compulsory school attendance.
D. immigration.
E. compromises.

7. For a short time in the 1850s, an American named William Walker seized control of what area in the hopes of turning it into part of a “golden circle” of slaveholding territory?
A. El Salvador
B. Cuba
C. Panama
D. Baja California
E. Nicaragua

8.____________ were southern radicals who pushed southern interests at all costs and favored secession from the Union.
A. Copperheads
B. The Young Guard
C. The Old Guard
D. Bulldogs
E. Fire-eaters

Read the excerpt to answer questions 9 and 10.

“But I will allude to the other complaints of the South, and especially to one which has in my opinion just foundation; and that is, that there has been found at the North, among individuals and among legislators, a disinclination to perform fully their constitutional duties in regard to the return of persons bound to service who have escaped into the free States. In that respect, the South, in my judgment, is right, and the North is wrong. Every member of every Northern legislature is bound by oath, like every other officer in the country, to support the Constitution of the United States; and the article of the Constitution which says to these States that they shall deliver up fugitives from service is as binding in honor and conscience as any other article. No man fulfills his duty in any legislature who sets himself to find excuses, evasions, escapes from this constitutional obligation.”

9. The author of the passage is
A. John C. Calhoun.
B. Henry Clay
C. Abraham Lincoln.
D. Roger Taney.
E. Daniel Webster.

10. To correct the complaint of the South, the author supported the passage of
A. the Kansas-Nebraska Act.
B. the Ostend Manifesto.
C. the Fugitive Slave Law of 1793.
D. the Fugitive Slave Law of 1850.
E. “personal liberty laws.”

Images from a slave society


Slaves working in a cotton field

Despite slaveowners’ protests, all ages were often expected to work.


working in a rice field

Working conditions were often brutal.

One of the practices ended by the Compromise of 1850 was the slave trade in Washington DC. As a southern city, slavery had been legal in our nation’s capital from its founding. Here is a description of a slave pen used to hold slaves before they were sold, by E. S. Abdy:

One day I went to see the “slaves’ pen”–a wretched hovel, “right against” the Capitol, from which it is distant about half a mile, with no house intervening. The outside alone is accessible to the eye of a visitor; what passes within being reserved for the exclusive observation of its owner, (a man of the name of Robey,) and his unfortunate victims. It is surrounded by a wooden paling fourteen or fifteen feet in height, with the posts outside to prevent escape and separated from the building by a space too narrow to admit of a free circulation of air. At a small window above, which was unglazed and exposed alike to the heat of summer and the cold of winter, so trying to the constitution, two or three sable faces appeared, looking out wistfully to while away the time and catch a refreshing breeze; the weather being extremely hot. In this wretched hovel, all colors, except white–the only guilty one–both sexes, and all ages, are confined, exposed indiscriminately to all the contamination which may be expected in such society and under such seclusion. The inmates of the gaol [jail], of this class I mean, are even worse treated; some of them, if my informants are to be believed, having been actually frozen to death, during the inclement winters which often prevail in the country. While I was in the city, Robey had got possession of a woman, whose term of slavery was limited to six years. It was expected that she would be sold before the expiration of that period, and sent away to a distance, where the assertion of her claim would subject her to ill-usage. Cases of this kind are very common.

This excerpt is from the excellent pbs companion website called Africans in America at .

Sometimes slaves received their manumission, or freedom. As the Civil War approached, most southern states passed laws forbidding free blacks to reside within their borders– those that did not immediately leave risked being re-enslaved. Many of these slaves moved to Washington, DC, and by 1860, free blacks outnumbered slaves in Washington by a ratio of 4 to 1. Here is a certificate of manumission:


Resource on the Overland Trails

Click here for a well-done pdf document about all the overland trails heading westward from the Mississippi:

Review Questions for tomorrow’s discussion

Place these in order: the annexation of  California, Oregon, and Texas. Know the dates.

What treaty ended the war between Texas and Mexico?

Why did some British people support an alliance between Britain and Texas?

Which group of people was most determined to gain ALL of the Oregon country?

What group was most instrumental in saving Oregon for the US?

What were Mexico’s goals during its war with the US?

Who were the main candidates in the election of 1844 and their party affiliations?

What president presided over the annexation of Texas?

Why did Southerners in particular support the annexation of Texas?

Why and how did settlers get to the Willamette Valley?

From readings:

What were 5 reasons why the US was driven to expand during the 1830s and 1840s?

Why were Mexico’s northern territories so thinly populated?

What were some justifications used by Americans to support why Manifest Destiny would actually benefit the people we would conquer?

How was Manifest Destiny a Romantic movement?

What innovation became a Romantic metaphor for American expansion? Why?

MC practice 17:2

Given in class 10/25:
MC Practice 17:2
1. The earliest known use of the term Manifest Destiny was by
A. Mark Twain
B. James K. Polk
C. John Tyler
D. John L. O’Sullivan
E. Ralph Waldo Emerson 396

2. Although a Democrat at heart, John Tyler joined the Whig party because he
A. could not stomach the dictatorial policies of Andrew Jackson.
B. believed it better represented Virginia’s interests.
C. was forced to resign from the Senate.
D. thought it was the easiest way to become president.
E. believed in its pro-bank, pro-tariff positions. 397

3. The Whigs chose John Tyler as their vice presidential nominee to
A. have him rather than Harrison actually run the executive branch.
B. attract the vote of states’ rightists.
C. win northern votes.
D. reward him for his strong support of the party platform.
E. respond to the Democrats’ expansionist appeal. 397

4. The main leaders of the Whigs in 1840 were
A. William Henry Harrison and John Tyler.
B. Daniel Webster and William Henry Harrison.
C. John Calhoun and Robert Haynes.
D. James Polk and Henry Clay.
E. Henry Clay and Daniel Webster. 396

5. Relations between the British and the US in the 19th century could basically be characterized as
A. harmonious at the diplomatic level but full of popular resentments on both sides.
B. generally peaceful, with occasional periods of tension.
C. generally tense, with periods of violence alternating with peaceful resolutions.
D. constantly on the brink of war.
E. marked by growing American economic supremacy. 398-403

6. Which group would be most likely to support Manifest Destiny?
A. Whigs
B. Abolitionists
C. Northern manufacturers
D. Democrats
E. Native Americans 404

7. The slogan “54° 40’ or Fight!” dealt with the disputed US area’s border with which other nation?’
A. Maine- Canada
B. Oregon-Canada
C. Alaska- Canada
D. Texas- Mexico
E. California- Mexico 403

8. All but one member of Tyler’s cabinet resigned in protest over
A. his support for Peggy Eaton.
B. his attempts to go to war with Mexico.
C. his refusal to approve a new bank of the US.
D. his veto of the Maysville Road Bill.
E. his approval of the annexation of Texas. 397

9. Britain invaded the US and burned an American ship
A. during the Aroostook War.
B. in the Oregon country.
C. off the coast of Alaska.
D. during the Canadian insurrection.
E. in the Creole incident. 399

10. The Battle of the Alamo was significant because
A. it was an overwhelming victory by Texans seeking independence.
B. Texans obtained much-needed supplies in their fight for independence.
C. it made Jim Bowie a national figure and enabled him to win a Senate seat.
D. it convinced the US government to support the Texas independence movement.
E. it served as a rallying cry to recruit more popular support for the Texas independence movement. 294

New Series on AMC on the building of the Transcontinental Railroad

November 6 will be the first episode of the new original series Hell on Wheels at 9 pm on AMC. From the previews, this looks like a very interesting historical drama. Even though we will not talk about the building of the transcontinental railroad until  the beginning of next semester, the show starts in 2 weeks. Here is the link to the companion website:

MC practice review for Chapter 17

Given in class on 10/24

Review Questions pre- Chapter 17

1. William Henry Harrison, the Whig party’s candidate in 1840, was
A. a true common man.
B. a very effective chief executive.
C. made to look like a poor western farmer.
D. born in a log cabin.
E. the first military officer to become president.                                    298

2. Most of the early American settlers in Texas came from
A. New England.
B. the Ohio Territory.
C. the Old Northwest.
D. the Middle Atlantic states.
E. the South and Southwest.                                                                        298

3. One reason for the Anglo-American rebellion against Mexican rule was
A. the Mexicans opposed slavery.
B. the Mexican government refused to allow the “Old Three Hundred” to purchase land.
C. Anglo-Texans wanted to break away from a government that had grown too authoritarian.
D. Anglo-Texans objected to the Mexican government’s execution of Stephen Austin.
E. Mexicans tried to establish slavery among the Texans.                        297

4. Texans won their independence as a result of the victory over Mexican armies at the Battle of
A. San Jacinto.
B. Goliad.
C. the Alamo.
D. Santa Anna.
E. the Rio Grande.                                                                                    295

5. Texas gained its independence in 1836 with
A. help from Britain.
B. no outside assistance.
C. the blessing of the Spanish government.
D. help from the French.
E. help from Americans.                                                                        295

6. Spain ceded its (insubstantial) claims to the Oregon Country in
A. the Adams-Onis (Florida Purchase) Treaty of 1819.
B. the Convocation of 1938.
C. the Vallee- Mendoza Treaty of 1822.
D. the Hay- Pauncefote Agreement.
E. the Mesabi- Webster Treaty of 1842.                                                d, 266-7, 401

7. The US and England agreed to do what in the Anglo-American Convention of 1818 (Choose ALL that apply)?
A. Finalize the boundary between Maine and Canada.
B. Set the northern boundary of the Louisiana Purchase at the 49th parallel.
C. Jointly occupy the Oregon Country.
D. Repatriate the Acadians to Canada.
E. Share valuable fishing rights off the coast of Newfoundland.            d, 265-6; 402

8. The doctrine of noncolonization in the Monroe Doctrine was
A. incapable of being enforced by the United States at the time the doctrine was created.
B. greeted with enthusiasm and gratitude by Latin Americans who believed the Americans could be more cooperative than the Spanish and the British.
C. universally acclaimed in Great Britain as an act of statesmanship.
D. mostly a symbolic gesture of goodwill to the Latin American republics.
E. opposed by both Whigs and Democratic-Republicans.                        267, d

9. Which of the following is a country that claimed some rights to the Oregon Country in the 19th century, besides the US, Britain and Spain?
A. Denmark
B. Russia
C. Japan
D. Mexico
E. France                                                                                                401-2

10. Britain’s claims to the Oregon country rested predominantly upon
A. the explorations sponsored  under Prince Henry Longshanks.
B. Indian treaties with the British from the 1650s.
C. the defeat of the French (and their Canadian interests) during the French and Indian War.
D. the trade relationships between the Indians there and the Hudson’s Bay Company
E. the voyages and explorations of John Cabot.                                    401