The Westward Expansion all started when America made the Louisiana Purchase of 1803. There were many benefits from the purchase for the US that the French didn’t realize before they sold it. The purchase gave the US access to the Mississippi river which allowed for expansion of river trade to the North and South from the center of the US. The port city of New Orleans was bought by the US and its prosperity benefited the US greatly. The US sent Lewis and Clark west to investigate the land they purchased. After their exploration, many people started to take interest in moving West. There were many different reasons why people moved, including a search for a fresh start at life, a chance at starting an economic success through agriculture and
George Rogers Clark once said: “If a country were not worth protecting, it was not worth claiming.” Nearly everyone knows how the United States gained recognition as an independent nation after the Revolutionary War. George Washington and his men fought to free the States in the East; however, few people know the story of how the country swelled in size. During the Revolutionary War, the actions of George Rogers Clark’s expedition, west of the Appalachian mountains, would later prove necessary for peace and expansion of the country’s frontiers.
What would it be like to have everything common and normal in life taken away within a moments notice? The film Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee explores this question through the historical events that took place during the Indian removal era. Furthermore, the film reveals the motives of the U.S. government through the many scenes in which they attempt to negotiate for land with the Sioux Indians. The Sioux refuse to sell their land, so the United States forces the Sioux to pay for the western expansion with life, land, and freedom.
The late 19th century was a time of exploration, innovation, and continued westward expansion. The West, however, was not as glorified as people today like to think it was. Westward expansion had many benefits, the main being lots of new land for both the Americans and immigrants, but many ideas of the West have been altered throughout the years. The West was romanticized in many ways, people moved to the West in the pursuit of happiness, but today many hardships of westward expansion have been ignored. Cowboys and homesteads are two major concepts that have been romanticized today about the West.
The westward expansion of of the U.S. began to happen around the 1800s. during that time the social opportunities increased since many people moved to the west because the government was paying them or giving them free land. The political opportunities did not increased as much since most of the people moving westwards were poor or immigrants and only white males had the right to participate in those events. The economic opportunities increased for the people who moved westward because of the gold rush and the opportu tires that were provided.
People in America during this time seeking for opportunities out west that they did not think they had in the east. During this time, gold was discovered in California that attracted many people not just from America, but all over the world. Plus, the government encouraged people to go mining for gold by giving miners cheaper land to live on out west. As stated in the Homestead Act of 1862, United States Congress, a law providing free land for citizens of the United States in western territories. This act encouraged people to mine for gold in California so they could have cheaper land than they would anywhere else. Another opportunity people had moving west, was a different lifestyle than they already had. As shown in (Image Bank: 19th-Century Population), in 1860, most of the Western United States had fewer than 2 people per square mile. Whereas in most of the Eastern United States, there were 18-89 people per square mile. This new lifestyle they had was a more isolated, and not so crowded lifestyle. The opportunities seemed endless. That is just one of many reasons there was Westward Expansion.
When the Europeans began colonizing the New World, they had a problematic relationship with the Native Americans. The Europeans sought to control a land that the Natives inhabited all their lives. They came and decided to take whatever they wanted regardless of how it affected the Native Americans. They legislated several laws, such as the Indian Removal Act, to establish their authority. The Indian Removal Act had a negative impact on the Native Americans because they were driven away from their ancestral homes, forced to adopt a different lifestyle, and their journey westwards caused the deaths of many Native Americans.
“Once we became an independent people it was as much a law of nature that this [control of all of North America] should become our pretension as that the Mississippi should flow to the sea” –John Quincy Adams (Henretta, p. 384). In the 1840s, Americans had a belief that God destined for them to expand their territory all the way westward to the Pacific Ocean. This idea was called Manifest Destiny. In the nineteenth century, Americans were recognized for coming together and building up one another for one cause: westward expansion. The time of Manifest Destiny was a time of true American brotherhood and comradeship. With Andrew Jackson and James K. Polk being the leading presidents of the cause during this time, it not only led to continental expansion but homicide as well. While the Americans believed they were expanding into free land, Native Americans had already settled the land centuries earlier. This led to the dark side of Manifest Destiny. Native Americans were forced to pick up their homes and resettle in areas that were less than sufficient to meet their basic needs. If Native Americans were not compliant, Americans would murder them. Although Manifest Destiny was seen as an inevitable movement among Americans and resulted in the formation of the American West in the Nineteenth century, it was truthfully an act of invasion and subjugation against peoples who had settled the land for hundreds of years earlier. Manifest Destiny led to an obvious upsurge in racial
Territorial expansion was not always commendable, the greatest example of this was the Trail of Tears. “By 1835, some 46,000 Indians had been relocated across the Mississippi River at government expense.”(Shi and Tindall, 331) Cherokee rights were originally fought for, Georgia had made the Cherokee part of the state, instead of a nation inside of a nation, but in response Andrew Jackson sent military to force them out by force. America gained approximately one hundred million acres throughout all the southeast territory which was previously occupied by Native Americans. “In 1817, Americans burned a Seminole village on the border (Florida), killed five Indians, dispersed the rest.” (Shi and Tindall, 306) This comes to show that the trail of tears was not the first ruthless obtainment of territory on America’s part, and as shown throughout History, it was not the last. Territorial expansion helped raise the population and diversity of white men and women, but through the expansion of America in unscrupulous ways millions of Native Americans and black slaves were killed. America’s hunger for more territory was not always satisfied by the thieving of other ethnic group’s territories, soon America began pioneering west once more. “Our manifest destiny, is to overspread the continent allotted by providence for the free development of our yearly multiplying millions.” (O’Sullivan, 420) From 1841 to 1867 more than 350,000 men, women, and children migrated to California, and many others settled in territories along the way such as Texas and New Mexico. Nearly every migration was over 2,000 miles in a wagon, so the reasons for migrating were great. Originally it was for families to own more land, but once gold was discovered the number of migrants skyrocketed. The ethical expansion of territory through migration west for the chance
This “think piece” will be covering the Westward Expansion from 1860 to 1890. During that time a lot of changes occurred to the American land. One of the major impacts, that was noticed, was the increase in railroads and cities. Without these railroads, traveling time to the west could to up to 6 months and the small cities were growing because of the railroads that were being created and were being called “Railroad Towns”.
When Amerigo Vespucci first “discovered” America, he was surprised to find inhabitants there who already had a developed culture. When the Spaniards, French, and English came and began to inhabit the area, the long history of injustices against Native Americans began. Starting from the encomienda system, to the Indian Removal, the settlers began to subjugate the Native Americans. Soon, when America began to obtain lands in California and Texas, settlers began to believe in the idea of Manifest Destiny. This idea convinced the settlers into believing that they had a right to the land in the West and began to industrialize there. When more Americans settlers began moving West during the 1850s, the Americans began to divide Native American land
During the 19th century, there was a period of time where white settlers in the United States thought expanding throughout all of North America was justified. The Americans also thought it was their divine right to expand and that it was inevitable. This is just another instance where the Americans took the Native Americans for granted. The Native Americans shouldn 't have been kicked out because they had nowhere else to go, the settlers had peace treaties with the tribes and the reasons for pushing them out were illogical.
In the twentieth century, the United States of America held the position of one of the largest navies in the world, had a tremendous, extensive international empire, and the right to call itself a major world power. To acquire this reputation, America both went through a continuity of the past and a change in their expansionistic motives. Its imperialistic actions included a rapid and extensive colonization and expansion, and competition with many of the world’s largest and strongest world powers. This role of an imperialistic power was not immediate, however and was the result of much continuity and change of the past. While the United States expansionism of late nineteenth- and early twentieth-centuries had a clear social and cultural continuity, its political and economic motives were changed.
As well as knowing the exact events that led to the Native American downfall, it is important to know to what extent the events have damaged how Native Americans lived. Some actions might be more crucial to justifying Native communities than others. The biggest way the United States government has damaged the native way of life is by stealing their land through means of tricking them and unfair treaties. Returning land back to native peoples would bring a great amount of justice back to the Native community. In addition to returning stolen land, repaying tribes with promised money and goods they never received during treaties would help the tribes heal from the unethical ways of the government. However, it would not bring the same amount of
When a small tribe of Cheyenne Indians that had been moved from their area in the Wyoming country to a bleak area in the southwest decided they had had enough of the white man 's evasions and broken promises, they started a painful trek back to their homeland, 1,500 miles away. They start on their way, and face the struggle of the white man 's continual attempts to suppress them. Since the Cheyennes ' trek is in defiance of their treaty, Captain Thomas Archer, who agrees with the Indians in principle, reluctantly leads his troops in pursuit of the tribe. Throughout the movie, there are a few notable themes, and even sub themes, that can be expanded upon and discussed once they have been identified and analyzed.