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The Expansion of the United States, 1846-48

Lessons in this issue of Smithsonian in Your Classroom introduce students to events in the brief two years when the United States gained a million square miles of new territory. The students interpret historical maps and timelines in this study of westward expansion in the 1840s.

Below is a gallery of portraits of some of the players, including some who opposed the divisive Mexican War.

John Tyler

National Portrait Gallery

James K. Polk

National Portrait Gallery

Samuel Houston

National Portrait Gallery

Zachary Taylor

National Portrait Gallery

Winfield Scott

National Portrait Gallery

Henry Clay

National Portrait Gallery

Daniel Webster

National Portrait Gallery

Henry David Thoreau

National Portrait Gallery