Territory Divided At The 49Th Parallel In An Agreement With Britain

Alaska`s southernmost border remains at 54-40 since the purchase of Russia on October 18, 1867 with British Columbia, founded on August 2, 1858 as the Colony of British Columbia. Originally, Spain, Great Britain, Russia and the United States claimed the territory. In 1819, Spain ceded its rights to the United States under the transcontinental treaty. Shortly thereafter, the United States challenged a unilateral Russian measure to grant its citizens a monopoly on fishing, whaling and trade from the Bering Highway to the 51st parallel. In 1823, President Monroe proclaimed his doctrine, which drew Russia`s attention to the fact that the United States did not accept attempts at a Russian monopoly. The U.S. request was based on Lewis and Clark`s research and the installation of commercial posts set up by John Jacob Astors Pacific Fur Company, such as Astoria, at the mouth of the Columbia River. Britain justified its claim in part by James Cook`s exploration of the Columbia River. As the Joint Treaty approached, a second round of negotiations began in 1824. On April 2, U.S.

Secretary of State Richard Rush proposed renewing the agreement with an additional clause. The parallel of the 51 degrees would be a temporary border within the Pacific Northwest, without additional British colonies being built south of the line, nor the American colonies north of the line. [10] Despite Rush`s offer to cross the temporary border at the 49-degree parallel, British negotiators rejected his offer. His proposal was seen as the likely basis for a possible partition of the Pacific Northwest. On 29 June, the British plenipotentiaries William Huskisson and Stratford Canning instead insisted on a permanent line along the 49th parallel west to the main branch of the Columbia River. After the British formally abandoned the claims south or east of the Columbia River, the Oregon question focused on western Washington and the southern part of Vancouver Island. [10] Rush reacted to the British proposal as unfavourably as his own offer, leaving the discussions stalled. Far north and west of Texas, the United States and several other nations competed for the Oregon Country: the country north of California and west of the Rockies. The region was claimed from the 16th century by Spain, Russia, Great Britain and the United States. However, in the mid-1820s, only American and British claims were maintained.

In 1818, the two nations agreed on a “common occupation” of Oregon, in which the inhabitants of both countries could settle; this agreement lasted until 1846. Map shows the area that was claimed by the United States and Great Britain until 1846, including Vancouver Island in the north. The oregon settlers of the United States and the United Kingdom were very different groups. The British were mainly fur traders associated with the Hudson`s Bay Company, while the Americans were a more eclectic lot. American colonization began in the 1830s, when Protestant missionaries moved into the Wilamette Valley. Their reports of the region`s fertile lands quickly spread eastward and spurred a massive migration of thousands of American families west along the Oregon Trail. The resulting demographic inequality, coupled with a general decline in the fur trade, convinced the British government to try to find a negotiated solution to the Oregon issue.