The contrasts between the American West and East in the nineteenth century range from a new start to the adventure of the living in the Wild West. The east had become overcrowded and did not allow much opportunity for people of lesser wealth. “In 1893, the historian Frederick Jackson Turner gave a celebrated lecture, “The Significance of the Frontier in American History,” in which he argued that on the western frontier the distinctive qualities of American culture were forged: individual freedom, political democracy, and economic mobility. The West, he added, acted as a “safety
During the “Gilded Age” period of American history, development of the Trans-Mississippi west was crucial to fulfilling the American dream of manifest destiny and creating an identity which was distinctly American. Since the west is often associated with rugged pioneers and frontiersmen, there is an overarching idea of hardy American individualism. However, although these settlers were brave and helped to make America into what it is today, they heavily relied on federal support. It would not have been possible for white Americans to settle the Trans-Mississippi west without the US government removing Native Americans from their lands and placing them on reservations, offering land grants and incentives for people to move out west, and the
In the article by Anthony F. C. Wallace, “The Hunger for Indian Land in Andrew Jackson’s America,” the reasons for America's need for Indian land is discussed. The purpose of this article is to explain the Indian removal that occurred under Andrew Jackson’s presidency. The thesis of this essay states that Americans kicked the Natives off of their land to fulfill a selfish desire to expand the cotton industry. The first point Wallace uses to support his thesis is how Jackson’s financial interest in the land affected the removal of Natives.
Following the great explorative successes, some Americans would soon venture westwards which was largely supported by rhetoric, law and the vision of the founding fathers to have a far-reaching territory. As the manufacturing industry rose in New England, the westward expansion was both timely and economically viable. The American settlers were moving rapidly to what is referred to as the Midwest today and this necessitated the development of infrastructure through the development of canals, roads, and railroads. The rapid expansion of infrastructure, more specifically the railroads, would then purge the country into a new era of medicine, manufacture, and agricultural inventions (Neil, 1964). The Midwest became an inspiration that saw the symbolic development of the American identity in the 19th century with development of acting, painting, and writing.
During the 1800s, America was a prospering and powerful country so the People felt that it was their Manifest Destiny, or obvious fate, to settle from coast to coast. Therefore, they set out to get all lands in the West, and were determined to do so, no matter how much they had to give up. However, when the Americans started moving westward, they kicked Native Americans out along the way. They had no respect for other people’s ownership of the land and did anything they needed to obtain it. The idea of Manifest Destiny divided the nation in several controversial topics like Indian territories and slavery.
During the late 1800’s, many settlers were expanding to the West and the Transcontinental Railroad helped them move from the East to the West. Some wanted to gain 160 free acres of land known as the Homestead Act. The Transcontinental Railroad connected the East and the West. The Union Pacific Railroad and Central Pacific Railroad were the companies that built the Transcontinental Railroad; however, the companies were run by greedy men and felt no guilt as they asked the government to pass special bills for them. The railroad cut through many lands and affected the Native Americans in a perilously way.
In addition to railroads, Congress passed numerous acts and laws to encourage people to move west. One of the first acts was the Homestead Act of 1862. Which “gave 160 acres of land to anyone who would pay a $10 registration fee and pledge to live on it and cultivate it for five year” (Divine, Breen, Fredrickson, and Williams 502). Passing this law forged a “mass migration of land-hungry Europeans” (Divine, Breen, Fredrickson, and Williams 502), amazed that a country would relinquish millions of acres for free. Between 1862 and 1900, close to 600,000 families made their way west from free homesteads.
The harsh conditions the Indians underwent “encouraged the emigration of rural laborers from Mexico to the southwestern part of the United States” (New York: American Geographical Society, 1923). Diaz intervention in the administration of justice sided with the indians (162). He was aware that a large majority of territory was taken from the indians and so, made negotiations with corrupt companies which profited off of these lands. Part of this plan was to give the Indians sale on easy payment terms, irrigation, and education (Eder, 35). Indians were part of the rural population, they had their land taken from them and therefore were repressed.
In 1893 Frederic Jackson Turner a historian, introduces the “Frontier Thesis” in Columbian Exposition, he explains from this thesis about the importance of American history. Frontier thesis remarks the end of a great historic society. Because Frederic Jackson argues that continuous western settlement had an extraordinary impact on American social, political and economic development throughout 20th
After the Civil War ended many people were in hope of finding land since population was increasing. Since the West was underdeveloped and uncivilized, many decided to expand the land. First the Louisiana Purchase increased the opportunity of expansion. Then industrialization and the Homestead Act also caused many companies encouraged to move West due to the low cost of land and that the transportation was provided through the railroads. In order to complete such goals, something had to be done with the Natives since it conflicted with their home area.
(pg. 686) As America expanded westward to pursue a “special ‘destiny’ to settle, develop, and dominate the entire continent,” they invaded the territory promised to Native Americans. (pg. 680, pg. 686) Promises made to Indians that they would keep and own their land in the West without worrying about trespassers were consistently broken by “buffalo hunters, miners, ranchers, farmers, railroad surveyors, and horse soldiers.”
Turner hesitates to mention anyone in his essay who is not male or Germanic or at least European, leaving out huge demographics of people who heavily influenced the West. The lack of recognition for the people who actually built the country, with or without choice, is detrimental to history and representation later on in America. The Europeans that came to America had very oppressive laws of property which they carried over with them. The Natives who had been living there for years had a very different concept of property; many believed that the land was gifted to everyone and no one person could own any part of that land.
Turner 's proposition depends on the possibility that "easterners … in moving to the wild agitated grounds of the outskirts, shed the trappings of progress … and by reinfused themselves with an energy, an autonomy, and an innovativeness that the wellspring of American vote based system and national character." (Cronon) While this thought appears like a delightful hypothesis of why Americans are extraordinary, it depends on the idea that the Frontier was "a zone of free land," which isn 't the situation, undermining the hypothesis ' validity. (Turner) The scene of precolonial America was not so inadequately populated the same number of think.