The Frontier, Manifest Destiny, and The American West

The expansion of the United States and the displacement of Native Americans were bound up in the idea of Manifest Destiny.

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The Mexican-American War
The Mexican-American War

There is no memorial to the Mexican-American War in Washington, D.C.—a war in which more than 15,000 American soldiers lost their lives.

Teaching guide<br>Thomas Moran, <em>Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone</em>
Teaching guide
Thomas Moran, Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone

Thomas Moran's painting of Yellowstone exemplifies the complex factors that characterized U.S. westward expansion and economic development after the Civil War. Railroads, government policies, and violence against Native American communities were all intertwined with the creation of the first national park.
APUSH: KC-6.2.II.A, KC-6.2.II.D

The painting that inspired a National Park
The painting that inspired a National Park

Painting, photography, and the railroad come together to preserve a topography unique in the world

Envisioning Manifest Destiny
Envisioning Manifest Destiny

Pioneers and frontiersmen, creating an American mythology amidst the Civil War

Business, art, and the American West
Business, art, and the American West

Business or pleasure? Watkins could photograph both beautifully.

American brilliance
American brilliance

This dazzling, prismatic, brilliant cut glass creates a universe of pattern and reflection.

Teaching guide<br>Titus Kaphar, <em>The Cost of Removal</em>
Teaching guide
Titus Kaphar, The Cost of Removal

Kaphar’s painting uses defacement as a way of critiquing Andrew Jackson and his role in the Trail of Tears. It makes us consider the role of presidential power, both past and present.
APUSH: KC-4.3.I.B, KC-9.2.II.C
TEKS:113.41.(24)(A)

Settling the American Eden, <em>The Oxbow</em>
Settling the American Eden, The Oxbow

Not content to merely paint the land, Cole elevated the landscape to approach the status of historical painting.

Custer’s Last Stand — a Lakota view
Custer’s Last Stand — a Lakota view

What most American students learn about as Custer's Last Stand was the last great victory for the Lakota people.

<em>The White Cloud, Head Chief of the Iowas</em>
The White Cloud, Head Chief of the Iowas

This dignified portrait of a Native leader belies the cruel treatment he endured at the time of its painting.

The Trail of Tears and <em>The Cost of Removal</em>
The Trail of Tears and The Cost of Removal

Kaphar takes a violent history and renders it visible in this modified portrait of Andrew Jackson.

The closing of the frontier
The closing of the frontier

Remington mourns the decline of the cowboy by depicting the very thing that destroyed his iconic lifestyle.