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See the fact file below for more information on the Oregon Boundary Treaty or alternatively, you can download our 26-page Oregon Boundary Treaty worksheet pack to utilise within the classroom or home environment.
Key Facts & Information
- For both nations, the joint control of United States and Great Britain had grown to be less tolerable for both.
- The Americans had proposed a northern boundary at the 51st parallel and in which the British had countered with an extension of the 49th parallel to the Columbia River.
- To preserve the interests of British commercial on fur trade, Britain wanted to retain the northern area of Columbia.
- These negotiations were unsettled.
- This issue was kept unresolved until it became a political issue on the 1844 US presidential election.
- James K. Polk, a democratic party candidate, won the election on an expansionist platform that included the Republic of Texas’s annexation.
- President James K. Polk believed that he had to satisfy the demands of people for the region.
- According to some American experts, the rightful US claim extended as far as the border with Russian Alaska at latitude 54 degrees and 40 minutes.
- Thus, the popular slogan “Fifty-four Forty or Fight!” showed the position of some expansionists that the United States must go into war with Great Britain if they had proposed anything other than total American control of the region.
- Another complication that arose was the annexation of the Republic of Texas as a “slave state”.
- President Polk was pressured to not accept compromises but the annexation of Texas had caused a decline in the Mexico-US relations.
- There was an emerging war with Mexico and the Polk administration knew that it couldn’t afford to be engaged in two simultaneous conflicts.
- The Americans had then contacted British representatives to lay out a deal.
- As both nations refused to fight a war over the territory, Britain and United States had agreed to the terms of Oregon Treaty.
- Under the agreement, it extended the border along the 49th parallel to the Pacific Ocean but kept Vancouver Island under British North America.
- It was also said that British subjects who were living in the Oregon Territory south of the 49th parallel would retain their navigation rights on the Columbia River.
- British representatives to the United States James Buchanan and Richard Pakenham negotiated the treaty.
- For the Parliament, George Hamilton-Gordon, Foreign Secretary Earl of Aberdeen, was responsible for it.
- The problem on the border was not completely resolved by the Treaty of Oregon.
- The statement “channel which separates the continent from Vancouver Island” made the treaty vague.
- The ownership of the San Juan Islands remained questionable as there are several navigable waterways between Vancouver Island and the mainland.
- Settlers on San Juan island had been suspicious of each other and were in minor disagreements since 1855.
- A pig that wandered from the British-Canadian side going to the American side was found in an American settler’s garden in the year 1859.
- The pig was shot and the British had demanded compensation for it.
- The American troops were also sent to inhabit the island as the British warships patrolled offshore.
- The tension had been high but it never went into an actual war.
- After a decade of confrontation and military threats, the dispute was peacefully resolved.
- German Kaiser Wilhelm I acted as an arbitrator and the dispute on the San Juan Islands was not resolved until 1872.
- The US was given the San Juan Islands and this had completed the setting of the border between British Columbia and the US.
Significance in the Modern Time
- States such as Washington, Oregon, Montana, Idaho, and some parts of Minnesota were created due to this treaty.
- For U.S. politics, the settling of these new territories and states was important.
- With the northern states brought in, this would allow the 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 having the manifest destiny, the U.S. might not have expanded as much as it did.
- This may have an effect on the foreign relations of Britain as well.
- The Oregon Treaty was formally established on August 14, 1848, and had embraced the present-day states of Washington, Oregon and, Idaho.
Oregon Boundary Treaty Worksheets
This is a fantastic bundle that includes everything you need to know about the Oregon Boundary Treaty across 26 in-depth pages. These are ready-to-use worksheets that are perfect for teaching students about the Oregon Boundary Treaty which ended the joint of occupancy of the Pacific Northwest for 28 years. This agreement formalized the border between the United States and Canada at the 49th parallel west of the Rocky Mountains.
Complete List of Included Worksheeets
- Treaty of Oregon Facts
- Fill in the Box
- A or B?
- True or False
- Draw a Map
- Make a Treaty
- Hot Issue
- Boundaries and Peace
- What Do You Think?
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Link will appear as Oregon Boundary Treaty Facts & Worksheets: https://kidskonnect.com - KidsKonnect, September 6, 2021
Use With Any Curriculum
These worksheets have been specifically designed for use with any international curriculum. You can use these worksheets as-is, or edit them using Google Slides to make them more specific to your own student ability levels and curriculum standards.