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How The Adams-Onís Treaty Affected The Growth Of Our Nation

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How The Adams-Onís Treaty Affected The Growth Of Our Nation


Americans were interested in further expansion and looked to the weak Spanish provinces of East and West Florida. The Spanish were reluctant to give up what is now Florida, but in the end they worked out an agreement called the Adams Onis Treaty. In this essay I will describe how the Americans eventually got these provinces, the set backs of the signing of the treaty, and how it effected the economic growth of our nation.
Americans living in West Florida between the Iberville and Perdido Rivers declared their independence, and President Madison ordered the Governor of New Orleans Territory to take control of the independent land. The Americans now had control over half the territory they wanted but this did not satisfy them, this only made them more eager to gain control of East Florida. Almost two years after this event peace concluded, but Spain still had possession of East Florida. This time Spain only had two solutions to avoid a shameful political break down over this region. One was to gain support of a European ally, and the second was to get some form of honor in this event by winning some of the United States best land else where in North America. The first plan fell through, Britain and other European nations refused to help Spain. They eventually fell to having discussions with the United States.

The American government was entirely willing to have discussion of the East Florida issue become the end result of all Spanish-American boundary questions. John Quincy Adams was the Secretary of State and was the person taking care of all discussions between the U.S. and Spain. He saw that this was a perfect time to try to extend the boundary to the Pacific Ocean.

Luis de Onís was the minister of Spain at the time and he was the Spanish representative to the U.S. His instructions from the Spanish government was to transfer the Florida's to the United States in return for the American settlement west of the Mississippi. Onis was also to get a promise that the United States would not give material aid to, or recognize the independence of Spain's colonies in South America because of their lack of cooperation.

Difficulties came up over negotiating a satisfactory boundary in the West and also over the command to put American military in East Florida in 1818. The first problem made the negotiations last longer, but the second seemed as if it would ruin the negotiations permanently.

The military expedition which interrupted the Adams-Onis conversations was another in a long series of actions to punish border raids by the Seminoles and by escaped slaves. This journey was commanded by Andrew Jackson. Crossing the border with 2,000 men in mid-March 1818, Jackson wiped out the Seminole settlements. He next occupied the Spanish fort St. Marks, and executed two British men, one for supplying ammo to the Seminoles, and the other for convincing the Indians into war. The Americans thought the journey was going to bring up serious international complications.

After negotiations resumed Adams and Onis made use of British Prime, Minister Hyde de Neuville, to work out a compromised boundary. They finally agreed upon a boundary. The line started at the Sabine River and continued along the Red River, zigzagged west along the Red and Arkansas Rivers, followed the Rockies, and then turned west again toward the Pacific. Adams and Onis signed the treaty of February 22, 1819. This made the United States a continental power.

The final article of the treaty provided for ratification within six months. The U.S. Senate gave it's advice and consent immediately, but then more difficulties came up. Apart from doubt about the authorization of lands made in Florida by Ferdinand VII during the final stages of negotiating the treaty, Ferdinand was forced to accept a constitution in 1820, which the national legislature of Spain had to approve any surrender of land to the U.S. There was a long delay but the Adams-Onís Treaty became effective on February 22, 1821.

The Adams-Onís Treaty affected the economic growth of the country during the Industrial revolution. This made the country larger and able to expand more. This made other countries realize the strength and power of the U.S. by making Spain surrender land to this country, but by peaceful negotiations, and making this nation a continental power. Also this treaty helped Americans gain more allies becuase of the peacefull negotiations. Soon after Florida was part of the U.S., it applied for statehood on March 3, 1845. That is how the Adams-Onís Treaty affected the growth of our country.

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