Positive And Negative Effects Of Westward Expansion

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The Louisiana Purchase of 1803 was the catalyst of a surge of migration to the West, which was sustained by the Homestead Act in 1867, the construction of the Transcontinental Railroad, and the discovery of gold in Colorado and California. Westward Expansion was a period of wealth and prosperity, and many businesses bloomed and thrived as a result of abundant natural resources garnered from the fertile, untamed land. And yet, this prosperity developed at no small expense, and the repercussions of Westward Expansion cost millions of individuals their lives. However, although Westward Expansion damaged relationships between groups that would take centuries to repair, it also created opportunities for amelioration in women’s suffrage. Both the positive and negative aspects of Westward Expansion built the foundation of modern American Civilization. The Transcontinental railroad and industries which accompanied it proved to be a great investment, as it created millions of jobs and general economic advancement. Many innovations …show more content…

Upon first arriving, many settlers were astounded by the sheer number of wild bison which roamed the plains. Buffalo hides were valued and in high demand, and were hunted and often shot for sport, with little regard for replenishing the natural resources. After 10 years of indiscriminate annihilation of the bison, only 89 of 85 million remained. Nomadic Native Americans whose entire lives depended on hunting buffalo abruptly found themselves barely able to provide for themselves, and forced to comply with the federal government. Additionally, all of the Native’s sacred tribal land and hunting grounds were seized by settlers under the Homestead Act, and were forced onto reservations. Tensions between settlers and Natives increased, culminating in violence and bloodshed, such as the Sand Creek Massacre, when 70-163 Native Americans were mutilated and

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