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The Mexican War

Texas had grown very tired of Mexico's harsh rule. So Stephen Austin and Samuel Houston, two Americans who had received large grants of land in Texas, encouraged the people to revolt and form a republic of their own. They did so, and when the Mexicans tried to force them to obey, they won their freedom… Read More

War of 1812

The people in the West agreed with those along the seaboard, in 1812, that it was now time to prove to Great Britain that they would no longer submit patiently to insult and unfairness. So, after all means had been vainly tried to bring about an honorable peace, the “War Congress” directed Madison to begin… Read More

Land Purchased From Mexico

John C. Frémont is one of our national heroes and pioneers. Besides conquering California, he is noted for his explorations, which he had been carrying on more than five years. His guide and friend was the famous trapper, Kit Carson, whose name is now borne by a prosperous city in Nevada. Once when Frémont crossed… Read More

Arbitration Between Britain and America

Two questions arose with Great Britain while Ulysses S. Grant was President, which might have made trouble. But, instead of fighting, some of the best statesmen of both countries made a treaty at Washington (1871), saying that the difficulties should be decided by arbitration. Aboard of distinguished men, therefore, met at Geneva, in Switzerland, to… Read More

Problems With Treaty of Paris

In 1781, several years before Congress took possession of the western lands, the states had all signed “Articles of Confederation,” a system of federal government proposed in 1776. But as this system did not give Congress power to impose taxes, make trade laws, secure money enough to pay government expenses, or make people obey the… Read More

Battles of 1814

Two exciting engagements took place in the North, in 1814. One was the battle of Lundys Lane, or Niagra, so near the falls of that name that the roar of the water rose above the din of battle. Here, one of the officers under General Scott pointed out a battery to Colonel Miller, asking him… Read More

John Adams

It was during Adams's rule that the government officers left Philadelphia and went to settle in their new quarters at Washington. We are told that both Capitol and White House then stood in a sort of wilderness. Besides, there were so few visitors, and life was so simple, that the lights in the White House… Read More

Draft Begins

Until 1863 the President had been able to secure enough soldiers by calling for volunteers; but the time now came when Lincoln had to resort to drafts. That is to say, all the able–bodied men in the country between certain ages were forced to register their names, and from them a certain number in each… Read More

Wilmot Proviso

The old quarrel about the slavery question raged worse than ever. When President Polk, in 1846, asked for money to pay Mexico, a man named Wilmot proposed that it should be granted only on condition that the territory bought with it should be free soil. This is what is known as the “Wilmot Proviso,” and… Read More

Lincoln Wants to Limit Slavery

Lincoln was tall and ungainly, but his homely face was so strong and kind that every one trusted him. He was for several years a member of the Illinois legislature, and was once a member of Congress. Later on, when it came time to elect a senator for his state, some of his friends named… Read More