Westward Expansion

Timeline created by wish
In History
  • Robert Fulton and Robert Livingston Demonstrate the Speed of the Clermont

    Robert Fulton and Robert Livingston Demonstrate the Speed of the Clermont
    Fulton and Livingston demonstrate the power of the steamboat by traveling from New York City up the Hudson River to Albany in 32 hours, a trip that would take a sailing sloop four days.
  • Mexico Wins Independence from Spain

    Mexico Wins Independence from Spain
    Mexico wins independence from Spain and takes control of territories of New Mexico and California.
  • The Erie Canal is Opened

    Completing construction begun in 1817, the 363-mile canal connects Buffalo and Albany New York, which then connects to New York City via the Hudson River. The Erie Canal links New York City to the Great Lakes, and thus the West. This begins a period of rapid canal development in the North and Northwest, revolutionizing domestic trade and transportation.
  • The Indian Removal Act is Passed

    Completing construction begun in 1817, the 363-mile canal connects Buffalo and Albany New York, which then connects to New York City via the Hudson River. The Erie Canal links New York City to the Great Lakes, and thus the West. This begins a period of rapid canal development in the North and Northwest, revolutionizing domestic trade and transportation.
  • Worcester V. Georgia

    1832: Chief Justice John Marshall ruled that the Cherokees comprised a "domestic dependent nation" within Georgia and thus deserved protection from harassment. However, the vehemently anti-Indian Andrew Jackson refused to abide by the decision, sneering "John Marshall has made his decision; now let him enforce it."
  • The Texas Rebellion Begins

    A group of Texan leaders convenes to draw up a provisional government and declare independence from Mexico. Shortly after, fighting breaks out.
  • Treaty of New Echota is Signed

    Federal agents persuaded a pro-removal Cherokee chief to sign the Treaty of New Echota, which ceded all Cherokee land for $5.6 million and free transportation west. Most Cherokees rejected the treaty, but resistance was futile. Between 1835 and 1838 bands of Cherokee Indians moved west of the Mississippi along the so-called Trail of Tears. Between 2,000 and 4,000 of the 16,000 migrating Cherokees died.
  • The Alamo is Taken by Mexican Troops

    Antonio Lopez de Santa Anna's Mexican force of 4,000 troops lays siege to the town of San Antonio, where 200 Texans resist, retreating to an abandoned mission, the Alamo. After inflicting over 1,500 casualties on Santa Anna's men, the defenders of the Alamo are wiped out on March 6, 1836. The Alamo becomes a symbol of the Texans' determination to win independence.
  • Congress Passes a Measure to Annex Texas

    After James K. Polk becomes President of the United States in January, Congress passes a measure approving annexation, trusting Polk to oversee Texas' admission more effectively than John Tyler would have.
  • United States Congress votes to annex Texas

    Five months after the United States Congress votes to annex Texas, a Texas convention votes to accept annexation, despite the warning by the Mexican government that any agreement to join the United States will be equivalent to a declaration of war.
  • Texas is Admitted to the Union

    Texas is officially granted statehood and becomes the 28th state.
  • : Polk Receives Word that Mexican Forces Have Ambushed Two American Companies

    Polk, waiting for Mexico to strike the first blow, hears of these attacks and declares the Mexican War begun. He demands that Congress vote for appropriations to carry out the war
  • Gold is Discovered in California

    Gold is Discovered in California
    An American carpenter finds gold at the base of the Sierra Nevada Mountains, sparking a gold rush which brings tens of thousands of new settlers to California, establishing towns and cities, and accelerating the drive toward statehood.
  • The Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo is Signed

    At the close of the Mexican War, the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo cedes Texas, New Mexico, and California to the United States, which now controls land stretching all the way across North America.
  • California is Admitted to the Union

     California is Admitted to the Union
    Under the Compromise of 1850, engineered by Henry Clay, California is admitted to the Union as a free state