Adams-Onis Treaty
May K.
US History E
August 26, 2009

I've done both toondoo and written work to explain what the Adams-Onis Treaty is. You can choose to learn what the Adams-Onis Treaty is through whichever way you choose. Enjoy!

Toondoo Comic Strips

-- Click the center to view full screen.


1. What were the dates of the expansion?
A: February 22, 1819

2. Give a brief explanation of how and why the U.S. acquired the territory. Include discussion of conflicts that arose as a result of this expansion.
A: Because the Louisiana purchase failed to set a clear boundary, John Adams, who was the Secretary of State in 1817, wanted to expand the territory and set the borders between the Spain and US clear. So Adams and Onis, the Spanish Minister, negotiated and came up with the Adams-Onis Treaty. In the Adams-Onis Treaty, the Spain received $5 million for giving up Florida.

3. Did the ruling governments of the territories approve of the deals? Why or why not?
A: Spain had no choice but to sign the treaty. Spain was exhausted by many European wars of Napoleon, did not have power to stop seminole warriors from constantly raiding US properties, and could not seek help from Britain. Britain refused to help them. In addition, Spain was no longer interested in Florida, but only concerned about the border between the US and Spain; they wanted to make the borders clear. As a result, the treaty was not signed quickly by the Spain. Although US approved of it on February 24, 1819, Spain delayed to approve of it until 1821.

4. What was the impact on the inhabitants of the territory?
A: According to Article 5 and 6, US was supposed to treat the inhabitants of the territory just like any other Americans. However, the Indian tribes were deprived of shelter once the land fell under US’s control. This later leads to the Second Seminole war, which forces US to write another treaty called the Moultrie Creek Treaty that provided Native Americans with a reservation area.

5. What was the effect this expansion had on the U.S.?
A: Adams was especially satisfied with the fact that Spain gave up its claim on the Oregon Country, because he thought that the gain of this territory will enable the country to trade with the Orients and the Pacific and gain economic power. However, not everyone was happy with the treaty. The native Indians were deprived of their shelter and enraged. They later caused the Second Seminole War. In addition, the population increased, because all the Native Americans were now included as Americans.

6. Overall, was the addition of this piece of land positive or negative? Consider all parties involved when developing your answer to this question.
A: The US was able to gain Florida with just $5 million. This was possible because Spain was in an unfair circumstances. As mentioned before, Spain had too many other problems to deal with and no other countries were willing to help Spain. Thus, US was able fulfill their needs quite easily.


Visuals #1: Adams-Onis Treaty Map


Visuals #2: Eagle Map drawn in 1833 (Florida is the eagle's claw)


Visuals #3: Adams-Onis Treaty Paperwork

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