The Men Who Built America episode 4 – Empire or Liberty
The Men Who Built America episode 4 - Live Free or Die

The Men Who Built America episode 4 – Empire or Liberty

The Men Who Built America episode 4 – Live Free or Die: In 1836, General Santa Anna and his Mexican army defeat the Texian uprising at the Alamo, along with Davy Crockett, who was one of the last survivors. This spurs on Sam Houston to form an army and avenge the celebrated frontierman’s death. President James Polk wants to further expand the United States to the Pacific. In 1842, Polk assigns surveyor John Frémont and his guide Kit Carson to chart a path to the Northwest; creating the Oregon Trail.

 

 

They are tasked to secretly incite a rebellion to take California, which later ignites a war with Mexico. Gaining this 31st state proves fruitful with the discovery of gold. A look at the lives of iconic pioneers such as Daniel Boone, Lewis and Clark, Tecumseh, Davy Crocket and Andrew Jackson as they traveled across America, starting in The Men Who Built America episode 4 with Daniel Boone.

 

The Men Who Built America episode 4 – Empire or Liberty

 

Battle of the Alamo

The Battle of the Alamo (Men Who Built America episode 4) was a pivotal event in the Texas Revolution. Following a 13-day siege, Mexican troops under President General Antonio López de Santa Anna reclaimed the Alamo Mission near San Antonio de Béxar (modern-day San Antonio, Texas, United States), killing the Texian and immigrant occupiers. Santa Anna’s cruelty during the battle inspired many Texians, both legal Texas settlers and illegal immigrants from the United States, to join the Texian Army. Buoyed by a desire for revenge, the Texians defeated the Mexican Army at the Battle of San Jacinto, on April 21, 1836, ending the rebellion.

Several months previously, Texians had driven all Mexican troops out of Mexican Texas. About 100 Texians were then garrisoned at the Alamo. The Texian force grew slightly with the arrival of reinforcements led by eventual Alamo co-commanders James Bowie and William B. Travis.

On February 23, approximately 1,500 Mexicans marched into San Antonio de Béxar as the first step in a campaign to retake Texas. For the next 10 days, the two armies engaged in several skirmishes with minimal casualties. Aware that his garrison could not withstand an attack by such a large force, Travis wrote multiple letters pleading for more men and supplies from Texas and from the United States, but the Texians were reinforced by fewer than 100 men because the United States had a treaty with Mexico, and supplying men and weapons would have been an overt act of war.

Sam Houston – Men Who Built America episode 4

Samuel Houston (March 2, 1793 – July 26, 1863) was an American soldier and politician. An important leader of the Texas Revolution, Houston served as the first and third president of the Republic of Texas, and was one of the first two individuals to represent Texas in the United States Senate. He also served as the sixth governor of Tennessee and the seventh governor of Texas, the only American to be elected governor of two different states in the United States.

Born in Rockbridge County, Virginia, Houston and his family migrated to Maryville, Tennessee, when Houston was a teenager. Houston later ran away from home and spent about three years living with the Cherokee, becoming known as Raven. He served under General Andrew Jackson in the War of 1812, and after the war, he presided over the removal of many Cherokee from Tennessee. With the support of Jackson and others, Houston won election to the United States House of Representatives in 1823. He strongly supported Jackson’s presidential candidacies, and in 1827, Houston was elected as the governor of Tennessee. In 1829, after divorcing his first wife, Houston resigned from office, and moved to Arkansas Territory.

John C. Frémont – Men Who Built America episode 4

John Charles Frémont or Fremont (Men Who Built America episode 4) was an American explorer, military officer, and politician. He was a U.S. Senator from California, and in 1856 was the first Republican nominee for President of the United States. A native of Georgia, he was an opponent of slavery and a contributor to Native American genocide.

During the 1840s, Frémont led five expeditions into the Western United States. During the third expedition he and his men committed a number of massacres against Native Americans in California. During the Mexican–American War, Frémont, a major in the U.S. Army, took control of California from the California Republic in 1846. Frémont was convicted in court-martial for mutiny and insubordination after a conflict over who was the rightful military governor of California.

After his sentence was commuted and he was reinstated by President Polk, Frémont resigned from the Army. Afterwards, Frémont settled in California at Monterey while buying cheap land in the Sierra foothills. When gold was found on his Mariposa ranch, Frémont became a wealthy man during the California Gold Rush. Frémont became one of the first two U.S. senators elected from the new state of California in 1850. Frémont was the first presidential candidate of the new Republican Party, carrying most of the North. He lost the 1856 presidential election to Democrat James Buchanan when Know Nothings split the vote.

Kit Carson – Men Who Built America episode 4

Christopher Houston Carson (Men Who Built America episode 4), better known as Kit Carson, was an American frontiersman. He was a fur trapper, wilderness guide, Indian agent, and U.S. Army officer. He became a frontier legend in his own lifetime by biographies and news articles, and exaggerated versions of his exploits were the subject of dime novels. His understated nature belied confirmed reports of his fearlessness, combat skills, tenacity, and profound effect on the westward expansion of the United States. Although he was famous for much of his life, historians in later years have written that Kit Carson did not like, want, or even fully understand the celebrity that he experienced during his life.

Carson left home in rural Missouri at 16 to become a mountain man and trapper in the West. In the 1830s, he accompanied Ewing Young on an expedition to Mexican California and joined fur-trapping expeditions into the Rocky Mountains. He lived among and married into the Arapaho and Cheyenne tribes.

Oregon Trail

The Oregon Trail was a 2,170-mile (3,490 km) east-west, large-wheeled wagon route and emigrant trail in the United States that connected the Missouri River to valleys in Oregon. The eastern part of the Oregon Trail spanned part of what is now the state of Kansas and nearly all of what are now the states of Nebraska and Wyoming. The western half of the trail spanned most of the current states of Idaho and Oregon.

The Oregon Trail was laid by fur traders and trappers from about 1811 to 1840, and was only passable on foot or by horseback. By 1836, when the first migrant wagon train was organized in Independence, Missouri, a wagon trail had been cleared to Fort Hall, Idaho. Wagon trails were cleared increasingly farther west, and eventually reached all the way to the Willamette Valley in Oregon, at which point what came to be called the Oregon Trail was complete, even as almost annual improvements were made in the form of bridges, cutoffs, ferries, and roads, which made the trip faster and safer. From various starting points in Iowa, Missouri, or Nebraska Territory, the routes converged along the lower Platte River Valley near Fort Kearny, Nebraska Territory, and led to rich farmlands west of the Rocky Mountains.

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The Men Who Built America episode 4 - Live Free or Die
Title
The Men Who Built America episode 4 - Live Free or Die
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The Men Who Built America episode 4 - Live Free or Die: In 1836, General Santa Anna and his army defeat the Texian uprising at the Alamo

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