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American History
4.6 Growth of America Since the Revolution

We had been at war with Mexico for two years (1846-1848), because Texas and Mexico could not agree about the western boundary line of the new state. Texas wanted to push that line as far west as possible so as to have more land; Mexico wanted to push it as far east as possible so as to give as little land as she could. This dispute soon brought on a war between the United States and Mexico. Soon after gold was discovered at Coloma, the war ended (1848); and we got not only all the land the people of Texas had asked for, but an immense deal more; for we obtained the great territory of California and New Mexico, out of which a number of states and territories have since been made. In May, 1848, a man came to San Francisco holding up a bottle full of gold-dust in one hand and swinging his hat with the other. As he walked through the streets he shouted with all his might, "Gold! gold! gold! from the American River." Then the rush for Coloma began. Every man had a spade and a pick-axe. In a little while the beautiful valley was dug so full of holes that it looked like an empty honeycomb. The next year a hundred thousand people poured into California from all parts of the United States; so the discovery of gold filled up that part of the country with emigrants years before they would have gone if no gold had been found there. Captain Sutter lost all his property. He would have died poor if the people of California had not given him money to live on. Marshall was still more to be pitied. He got nothing by his discovery. Years after he had found the shining dust, some one wrote to him and asked him for his photograph. He refused to send it. He said, "My likeness ... is, in fact, all I have that I can call my own; and I feel like any other poor wretch: I want something for self."

Long before Captain Sutter died, the United States bought from Mexico another great piece of land (1853), marked on the map by the name of the Gadsden Purchase. A number of years later (1867) we bought the territory of Alaska from Russia. The Revolution ended something over a hundred years ago; if you look on the map in paragraph 187, and compare it with the maps which follow, you will see how we have grown during that time. Then we had just thirteen states which stretched along the Atlantic, and, with the country west of them, extended as far as the Mississippi River. Next (1803) we bought the great territory of Louisiana, which has since been divided into many states; then (1819) we bought Florida; then (1845) we added Texas; the next year (1846) we added Oregon territory, since cut up into two great states; then (1848) we obtained California and New Mexico. Five years after that (1853) we bought the land then known as the Gadsden Purchase; last of all (1867) we bought Alaska.

If you count up these additions, you will see that, beginning with Louisiana in 1803, and ending with Alaska in 1867, they make just seven in all. There is a story of a giant who was so tall that at one long step he could go more than twenty miles; but "Brother Jonathan" (a name given in fun to the people of the United States, just as "John Bull" is to the people of England.) can beat that, for in the seven steps he has taken since the Revolution he has gone over three thousand miles. He stands now with one foot on the coast of the Atlantic and with the other on that of the Pacific.

Andrew knew that he and his mother lived in constant danger. Part of the people in his state were in favor of the king, and part were for liberty. Bands of armed men, belonging sometimes to one side, and sometimes to the other, went roving about the country. When they met a farmer, they would stop him and ask, 'Which side are you for?' If he did not answer to suit them, the leader of the party would cry out, Hang him up! In an instant one of the band would cut down a long piece of wild grapevine, twist it into a noose, and throw it over the man's head; the next moment he would be dangling from the limb of a tree. Sometimes the band would let him down again; sometimes they would ride on and leave him hanging there.



Directions: Answer the following multiple choice questions. Also, answer the following questions on a sheet of paper:
  1. How did Captain Sutter lose his property?
  2. Sketch the growth of America since the revolution

Q 1: What happened to Colamo after people started digging for Gold?
It became an empty sieve
It looked like an empty container
It became like an empty honey comb.

Q 2: 1853: Gadsden Purchase :: 1867 : ---------
Purchase of Alaska
Purchase of Texas
Purchase of Florida

Q 3: What had Brother Johnathan done?
Since the revolution he has gone over 300 miles.
Since the revolution he has gone over 30 miles.
Since the revolution he has gone over 3000 miles.

Q 4: Brother Johnathan : America :: ---------- : England
John Bull
Michael Bull
Steve Bull

Question 5: This question is available to subscribers only!

Question 6: This question is available to subscribers only!


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