Amtracs

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On their arrival in Oregon, most of these settlers settled south of the Columbia River. By 1846, about 5,000 Americans had arrived in the territory and settled south of the ­Columbia. The British could not ignore such numbers. Nor could the Hudson’s Bay Company hope to reestablish itself south of the Oregon The Oregon Trail, which spanned over half of North America through land later to be known as Missouri, Kansas, Nebraska, Wyoming, Idaho, Oregon, and Washington, expanded the nation from the Atlantic to the Pacific.

In 1824, the United States concluded an agreement under which Russia renounced all claims south of 54°40' north latitude. A year later, under the terms of the ­Anglo-­Russian Treaty, Russia gave up its remaining claims to land within Oregon. The United States and Great Britain now were the only nations with the potential to inherit the large Oregon ­Country. British ­Claims Great Britain first laid claim to parts of Oregon in 1579, when Sir Francis Drake landed north of San Francisco Bay. The explorer claimed the land for Queen Elizabeth, but he was far more interested in engaging Spanish galleons than in founding a settlement.

The Founders apparently viewed the American West as land that ultimately would become part of the United States. The American Constitution was unique because it provided for John Quincy Adams as secretary of state, a role in which Adams ­excelled. Although he lost the popular vote, John Quincy Adams won the controversial election of 1824 and became the first son of a president to win the presidency. Despite the lack of support, Adams still pursued his domestic agenda aggressively. He sought to link the nation together through a system of canals and highways.

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