Territorial Expansion 1850

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Map Code: Ax00721

Between 1845–1850 American expansionist sentiment revived and there was a strong movement to extend the nation’s borders to the Pacific coast. Many Americans wanted to own the entire continent and to be able to travel westwards without crossing foreign-occupied land. There was also a desire to settle in unchartered terrain and to make money from the rich arable lands and ports in the far west. In 1845, after Mexico’s repeated refusal to sell Texas to the US, America sent in troops. After a two-year war, Texas was annexed by the US, which also took possession of California, New Mexico, Utah and Oregon. In 1848, the Minnesota Territory was carved out of land belonging to Wisconsin and Iowa. The Unorganized Territory in the interior was sparsely populated and lacked local government. It was not until much later in the 19th century that this region was organized into states.

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