Manifest Destinies

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Manifest Destinies

Author: Steven E. Woodworth
Publisher: Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group
Copyright: 2010
Pages: 448
Cover Price: $ 30.00

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A sweeping history of the 1840s that captures America's enormous sense of possibility and shows how the extraordinary expansion of territories forced the nation to come to grips with the deep rift that would bring civil war not much more than a decade later. Steven Woodworth paints a vivid and panoramic portrait of America at its most vibrant and expansive: the annexations of Texas, California, and the states of the Pacific Northwest; prospectors heading west in search of Gold; the founding of the Church of Latter-Day Saints and the eventual migration of the Mormons; railroads and telegraph lines connecting populations as never before; William Henry Harrison waging the first modern populist campaign for president, focusing on entertaining voters rather than discussing issues.

Throughout the book, Woodworth traces the path of what had been the "local" issue of slavery as it grew into a central national issue that divided religions, political parties, and, ultimately, the nation itself. An absorbing, animated re-creation of a decade that forged our nation's character and destiny.

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Background Information

After Texas gained independence, its annexation to the United States created diplomatic problems with Mexico and internal controversy over slavery. Discovery of gold at Sutter's mill near Sacramento was reported ito the world in 1848 and resulted in a rush of men seeking their fortunes in California. Founded by Joseph Smith and later led by Brigham Young, the Church of Latter Day Saints is better known as the Mormons. The telegraph was the first form of telecommunications, using spaced electrical impulses to transmit information over electrical wires.