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Western Expansion

After Napoleon's defeat and the Congress of Vienna in 1815, an era of relative stability began in Europe. U.S. leaders paid less attention to European trade and more to the internal development in North America.

What do you know about Western Expansion? Try this US History Made Easy Quiz. "Check Your Answers" at the end of the page.

Trivia powered by Prof. Walter1) Manifest Destiny is a term that is used in the 19th century to designate the belief that the United States is destined, even divinely ordained, to expand across the North American continent, from the Atlantic seaboard to the Pacific Ocean.

  • True or False?

2) The term, which first appears in print in 1839, is used in 1845 by a New York journalist, to call for the annexation of Texas. Thereafter, it is used to encourage American settlement of European colonial and Indian lands in the Great Plains and the West. Who is the New York journalist?

  • Marvin Blank
  • Mark Reynolds
  • John L. O'Sullivan
  • Jeffrey Smith

3) Some American "filibusters", unauthorized volunteer soldiers often motivated by a belief in Manifest Destiny, go to Canada to lend aid to the rebels, but President Martin Van Buren sends an American general to arrest the filibusters and keep peace on the border. Who is the American general?

  • Robert Hayes
  • William Sherman
  • Robert E. Lee
  • Winfield Scott

4) Manifest Destiny plays its most important role in, and is coined during the course of, the Oregon boundary dispute with Great Britain. The Anglo-American Convention of 1818 has provided for the joint occupation of the Oregon Country, and thousands of Americans migrate there in the 1840s. What route did they use.

  • Pacific Trade Route
  • Interstate Oregon
  • Oregon Trail
  • Pacific Highway

5) President Polk renews the earlier offer to divide the territory along the 49th parallel, to the dismay of the most ardent advocates of Manifest Destiny. When the British refuse the offer, American expansionists respond with slogans such as "The Whole of Oregon or None!" and "Fifty-Four Forty or Fight!", referring to the northern border of the region.

  • True or False?

6) When Polk moves to end the joint occupation agreement, the British finally agree to divide the region along the 49th parallel, and the dispute is settled by a treaty. What is the treaty?

  • Vancouver Accords
  • Ottawa Peace Treaty of 1850
  • Louisiana Treaty of 1845
  • Oregon Treaty of 1846

7) Many Americans believe that the Canadian provinces will eventually merge with the United States anyway, and that war is unnecessary, and counterproductive, in fulfilling this destiny.

  • True or False?

8) The annexation of Texas was controversial as it would add another slave state to the Union. Presidents Andrew Jackson and Martin Van Buren declined Texas's offer to join the United States in part because the slavery issue threatened to divide the Democratic Party. What year is Texas annexed into the United States?

  • 1843
  • 1844
  • 1845
  • 1846

9) The United States has an interested in acquiring Cuba from the declining Spanish Empire. As with Texas, Oregon, and California, American policy makers are concerned that Cuba ill fall into British hands, which, according to the thinking of the Monroe Doctrine, will constitute a threat to the interests of the United States. In 1848 President Polk offered to buy Cuba from Spain. What is the amount?

  • $50 million
  • $100 million
  • $150 million
  • $200 million

10) In 1851, The Conspiracy of Pontiac is published. The author writes that Indians are "destined to melt and vanish before the advancing waves of Anglo-American power, which now rolled westward unchecked and unopposed." Who is the historian and author?

  • Reginald Horsman
  • Francis Parkman
  • Marion Morrison
  • Robert W. Johannsen

Check Your Answers


Western Expansion (Answers)

  1. True
  2. John L. O'Sullivan
  3. Winfield Scott
  4. Oregon Trail
  5. True
  6. Oregon Treaty of 1846
  7. True
  8. 1845
  9. $100 million
  10. Francis Parkman

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