Oregon Treaty 1846

Oregon Treaty

The Oregon Treaty between the U.S. and British. Signed by President James K. Polk on June 15th, 1846. 

The Oregon Treaty was one of the first successes of Manifest Destiny. The Oregon Territory, was valuable to both the U.S. and Britain. At first, the territory was split among both nations. Drawn by the Willamette Valley and its vast resources, settlers moved west to the Oregon territory (U.S.). President James K. Polk made it his goal to enforce manifest destiny, no matter what the cost. He told the British the Oregon Territory would not be shared and this ultimately led to the Pig War (U.S.). The signing of the treaty in 1846 was important to Manifest Destiny because it showed the U.S. was willing to fight for westward expansion. 

Savannah Georgian Paper on Oregon Territory

19th century newspaper on the importance of the new territory 1829

By The Savannah Georgian 



This piece from the Savannah Georgian talks about the Oregon Territory. It mentions that the territory is useless because it would cause conflict with other nations while the other side says that the soil is rich and it would be a great place to farm and have new territory to live. Although there are conflicting thoughts on the matter, the manifest ideals would win due to the aggressive nature the U.S. would take on gaining the territory from the British. 

Map of Oregon Territory

Map of the Oregon Territory showing what the U.S. claimed and what both the U.S. and Britian claimed 1845-1846

By http://flashmedia.glynn.k12.ga.us

Oregon Country

Map of Oregon Territory after Treaty of Oregon 1846

By trevormorine.weebly.com

This map on the left shows what parts were claimed by both the U.S. and Britain, and what the U.S. themselves claimed. The territory consisted of present day Washington, Oregon, Idaho, and British Columbia. The green area under the British-America Boundary became the major disputed area with the coined term "54-40 or Fight" by the U.S. to push their claims to the boundary.

The map below shows how the land ended up after the Treaty of Oregon. With this new land, the U.S created several new territories that would soon turn into the states of Washington, Oregon, Idaho, and Montana. Due to manifest destiny, President Polk was willing to go to war with Britain in order to obtain this land and warding off British influence in the area. Manifest destiny made Americans bold and willing to push boundaries in order to obtain what they wanted.

Source of the Columbia River

Painting by Sir Henry James Warre showing the Oregon Territory 1848

This painting is by Sir Henry James Warre depicting the Oregon Territory. It is showing the last part of the U.S. that was not fully explored yet. This untouched land would be a new place for farming and a place for Americans to settle out West. The Western Frontier was the last great place to be settled by the U.S., and U.S. Citizens wanted that land to be theirs. The land was optimal for farming and had plenty of space to spread out from the over populated cities.

Map of States and Territory Created from Oregon Treaty

U.S. Congress Document of Territorys created after the Oregon Treaty 1859

By The U.S. Congress

U.S. Congressional Map on states that had formed from the Oregon Treaty. Several states like Washington, Oregon, Montana, Idaho, and parts of Minnesota were created due to this treaty. The settling of the new states and territories were important for U.S. politics. Bringing in northern states would allow southern states to come in at the same time for the balance of power of U.S. free states and slave states in the senate. Without manifest destiny, the U.S. may not have expanded as much as it did. It could have also had an effect on foreign relations with Britain. If they did not stand up to British aggression, the U.S. could have less power in the world community and taken advantage of by other powers that had an interest in western colonies. The Oregon Treaty is an important part of manifest destiny in the U.S.