Manifest Destiny and Western Expansion
Most of your topics will be in the main U.S. History section, but some books will be in other sections as well:
- 973's: U.S. history (events and acts)
- 325.32: Manifest Destiny (although there are only a couple of books here)
- 917: History of Exploration
- 976: History of Mexican
You can always use the library catalog to look up books. And remember, the reference section on the balcony is a fantastic place for all of these topics.
*New Perspectives on the West
This is the website for a PBS documentary on westward expansion. The archives are broken down by year, and include lots of different resources that will probably cover every topic in the assignment. There are also lots of different types of media here (images and audio as well as text). Keep clicking around and exploring; there’s a lot here and you don’t want to miss any of it!
*Digital History: Pre-Civil War Era
This is actually an online history textbook. Each era has several articles about important events, biographies of influential people, photos and other media, as well as lots of primary sources. Scroll down the page for the Westward Expansion section. Also, click through the other tabs at the top of the page for different types of information. There is an absolutely enormous amount of information here, and it covers every topic for this assignment.
John O’Sullivan on Manifest Destiny in 1839
This article helped to inspire the movement west. Read carefully to see what O’Sullivan’s words say about the ideas behind manifest destiny.
Cultural Maps in American Studies
This website from the University of Virginia has a huge collection of maps from throughout American history. Click around to find maps of all stages of westward expansion.
American Memory Project: History of the American West
You do have to search through this collection, but it’s well worth your time.
Aaron Arrowsmith: A Map Exhibiting all the New Discoveries in the Interior Parts of North America
An 1802 maps of the American West from after Lewis and Clark’s journey. There’s also a lot of information about how the map was made, which is very interesting.
Paintings and Photos of Manifest Destiny
Mainly paintings, these works show what manifest destiny literally looked like to earlier Americans.
This website from a professor at CUNY can be a little confusing to navigate at first. Instead of looking for navigation links on the lefthand side, look for them on the right. Click on a topic to see more information (usually an essay or article and some images). There are links to many different topics about westward expansion, focusing more on daily life on pioneers than anything else.
Floripedia: Seminole Wars, Beginning of
An overview of the events that led to the Seminole Wars. If you click on to the next entry at the bottom of the page, you can also see short entries for each war.
Floripedia: Seminole Wars
Also from the Floripedia, a great introductory article to the Seminole Wars.
History Engine: Soldier’s Perspective on the Second Seminole War
The diary and letters of a soldier fighting in the Second Seminole War.
University of Connecticut: First Seminole War
On the lefthand side of this page, you’ll notice lots of links to government documents about the war. They’re speeches, Congressional resolutions, Bills, etc.
The actual text of the treaty.
University of Oklahoma: Adams Onis Treaty
A good overview of the treaty and it’s impact.
Mexican Cession and the Mexican American War
U.S. Mexican War
This is the website for a PBS documentary, and it is packed with tons of information. There’s a section about the leadup to the war, the war itself, and then the Mexican cession afterward. There’s also a nice timeline, biographies, and lots of video as well as text.
*The Mexican-American War
There’s some basic history on this website, but the real draw is the amazing collection of primary sources. There’s a gallery of texts (newspaper articles, speeches, etc.), images, maps, and audio. You can either search through them or click the link at the bottom of each page to “Browse All”.
Maps Etc.: Growth of the Nation
There are lots of different maps here, mainly highlighting territorial disputes, borders of Texas at different times, and the territory ceded by Mexico.
Mapping History: The Mexican War
This is actually a really neat website. There’s some background information, and then a simulation of the war you can click through. See each battle, with information about where and why it happened, as well as the outcome.
Mexican American War
A very short synopsis of the war, but with a really detailed, easy to read map.
Annexation of Texas: Joint Resolution of Congress
Read the actual text of the resolution that Congress passed in 1845 to annex Texas.
Annexation of Texas: John O’Sullivan
This is another article by John O’Sullivan (see his article on manifest destiny in the first section of links) describing why the Unites States should annex Texas. A great window into what the reasoning behind this historical event was.
Gadsden Purchase Treaty
The actual text of the treaty.
Desert Diary: Gadsden Purchase
A brief overview of the purchase, as well as an easy to read map.
The Virtual Museum of the City of San Francisco: Gold Rush Chronology
This is a great, detailed timeline of the gold rush in San Francisco. This website is full of great information - when you’re done with the timeline, make sure you click through the related links on the lefthand side of the page.
The American Experience: The Gold Rush
This is the website for a PBS show about the Gold Rush. The website has lots of great ifnromation on it, including some videos from the show that you can watch for information. There’s also a detailed map, a timeline, and lots of information about people and events from the time period.
The Oregon Trail
This website was developed by two history teachers who made a documentary about the Oregon Trail. The website is ful of materials they came across in their research for the documentary. There are lots of primary sources, fun facts, and information about places along the trail.
Historic Oregon City: Oregon Trail History Library
From the end of Oregon Trail, this website has lots of historical information, maps, primary sources, and images for you to check out.
National Oregon / California Trail Center: Historical Trails
Lots of information, not only about the Oregon trail, but about pioneer trails to California as well.
The Prairie Traveler by Rudolph Barnes Marcy
This is actually a book - and a pretty amazing one. It’s a how to manual for pioneers, describing every aspect of cross-country travel. It has instructions for how to pack, which routs to take, how to hunt, and every other thing pioneers would need.
The Donner Party Diary
The Donner Party is one of the most famous tragedies of the pioneer era. Trapped for an entire winter, many of the party starved (and those who survived did so by... well, you’ll see. This website has an enormous amount of information about the Donner party, including diaries of the people involved. Also, his bibliography has lots of helpful resources, in case you’re looking for more information.
Heritage Gateways: Life on the Trail
This website is run by a school district in Utah, and it focuses on Mormon pioneers. Nevertheless, it’s a great resource for learning about what happened every day on the trail and how people got through their days.
The Louisiana Purchase: A Heritage Explored
A lengthy, detailed account covering all aspects of the Louisiana Purchase - lot’s of background information, lots of information about the aftermath.
Encyclopedia of the Great Plains: Louisiana Purchase
Great introductory information and a nice overview.
Louisiana Purchase in the Age of Revolution
This is actually a video about the Louisiana purchase - so give your reading eyes a rest and watch something instead.
From a New Orleans history site, this is a good, brief overview of the Louisiana Purchase. It has a great map, and good basic information.