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Manifest Destinies : America's Westward Expansion and the Road to the Civil War - Steven E. Woodworth

Manifest Destinies

America's Westward Expansion and the Road to the Civil War

Paperback Published: 1st November 2011
ISBN: 9780307277701
Number Of Pages: 412

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A sweeping history of the 1840s, Manifest Destinies captures the enormous sense of possibility that inspired America’s growth and shows how the acquisition of western territories forced the nation to come to grips with the deep fault line that would bring war in the near future.

Steven E. Woodworth gives us a portrait of America at its most vibrant and expansive. It was a decade in which the nation significantly enlarged its boundaries, taking Texas, New Mexico, California, and the Pacific Northwest; William Henry Harrison ran the first modern populist campaign, focusing on entertaining voters rather than on discussing issues; prospectors headed west to search for gold; Joseph Smith founded a new religion; railroads and telegraph lines connected the country’s disparate populations as never before.

When the 1840s dawned, Americans were feeling optimistic about the future: the population was growing, economic conditions were improving, and peace had reigned for nearly thirty years. A hopeful nation looked to the West, where vast areas of unsettled land seemed to promise prosperity to anyone resourceful enough to take advantage. And yet political tensions roiled below the surface; as the country took on new lands, slavery emerged as an irreconcilable source of disagreement between North and South, and secession reared its head for the first time.

Rich in detail and full of dramatic events and fascinating characters, Manifest Destinies is an absorbing and highly entertaining account of a crucial decade that forged a young nation’s character and destiny.

Industry Reviews

"[This] new, magnificent account . . . is full of wonder even for seasoned students of U.S. history." --The Dallas Morning News

"A vivid, episodic pageant of westward-ho empire building. . . . This is narrative history writ large and vigorously--with foreshadowings of tragedy." --Publishers Weekly

"In this balanced political and military history, Woodworth tracks political tensions exacerbated by continental expansion. . . . Woodworth dramatically presages the collapse of political parties in the 1850s by his accessible account of the 1840s." --Gilbert Taylor, Booklist

List of Mapsp. ix
Prefacep. xi
The Two-Party System
The Log Cabin and Hard Cider Campaignp. 3
Tyler, Clay and the Durability of the Two-Party Systemp. 26
Abolitionismp. 40
Westward Expansion
The Oregon Trailp. 57
The Allure and the Danger of Californiap. 78
6p. 91
The Politics of Expansion
Tyler and Texasp. 107
The Election of 1844p. 125
Texas Annexationp. 139
War with Mexico
Armies Along the Rio Grandep. 151
The Monterrey Campaignp. 167
New Mexico, Chihuahua, and Californiap. 89
Buena Vistap. 212
Veracruz, Cerro Gordo, and the Politics of Expansionp. 235
To the Gates of Mexico Cityp. 256
A Conquered Capital and a Negotiated Peacep. 276
The Political System and the Controversies of Expansion
The Election of 1848p. 297
The California Gold Rushp. 312
California and the Expansion of Slaveryp. 329
The Struggle for Compromisep. 341
Notesp. 359
Indexp. 395
Table of Contents provided by Ingram. All Rights Reserved.

ISBN: 9780307277701
ISBN-10: 0307277704
Series: Vintage Civil War Library
Audience: General
Format: Paperback
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 412
Published: 1st November 2011
Publisher: Random House USA Inc
Country of Publication: US
Dimensions (cm): 20.2 x 13.3  x 2.3
Weight (kg): 0.43
Edition Number: 1

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