Expanding West

james polk

America had a fascination with the West. It represented cheap land, new opportunities, and a better life. Mountain men trapping beaver for fur companies later made a living guiding pioneers across the Lousiana Territory into Oregon Territory on the Pacific coast. Eventually, Britian and the United States signed a treaty establishing permanent boundaries between America and Canada. To the South, Americans poured into the Mexican state of Texas in search of cheap land. However, disputes with the Mexican government led to a rebellion and independence for Texas. James K. Polk became president in 1844 on a promise of westward expansion. He annexed Texas causing friction with Mexico that eventually led to war. By 1848, the United States had also annexed the Mexican territories of California and New Mexico. Finally, John Marshall's discovery of gold in the American River near Sacramento sparked a migration that swelled the population of California practically overnight.

Westward Migration

After the Louisiana Purchase, Americans began moving into the West to make a better living. Some trapped beaver, some started farms, and others searched for gold.

Downloadable Worksheets

Click on a link below to bring up the .pdf file containing most of the notebook and textbook worksheets that will be used in this chapter. You may print some or all of the given pages.

Notebook Materials

These are worksheets used for all U.S. History classes. Since most of these activities are cut out and pasted into the notebook, print using only one side of the paper.

Information Worksheets

These are sheets that contain information for students to use to complete specific assignments.