Reasons For Westward Expansion

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In the late 1800’s the Americas began to move westward. Along with moving westward there came struggles and hardships. There were multiple reasons for starting the westward expansion, such as the gold rush and the government bribes of land. While people moved, the ideals of Manifest Destiny occurred. ADD MORE INFORMATION ON THE GOLD RUSH!!!! Westward Expansion took place in the late 1800’s. During this time some of the major reason for moving westward included the chance for gold, the creation of mines, and the availability of land. The trek towards the west created the idea of Manifest Destiny. This was thought to be the destiny for the United States to stretch from the Pacific to the Atlantic ocean. According to O’Sullivan Manifest…show more content…
According to Willa Cather, the life on the plains in the west was difficult and hard. Cather adds that people had issues farming, raising animals, as well as going into debt.(Document 3) Because the farmers bought land from the rail companies, they lost a major amount of money. The cost of the land, as well as the cost of transportation of food, made the living as farmers more difficult. Also, at the time the railroad companies began to have issues, so they increased prices for shipping as well as making the middlemen take more money from the farmers. The farmers then had to mortgage their farms for credit. This created the Panic of 1893. Railroads went bankrupt, stocks fell, businesses and banks collapsed. Life wasn’t easy for anyone living in the west at the time, that included the Native…show more content…
Before the settlers migrated west, the Indians lived a life where nothing was taken granted for, They never wasted anything that could be of use, and they “borrowed” from the land. Native Americans largest food source came from the buffalo. The buffalo not only provided food for the natives but also many of their personal and household items, such as teepees, clothing, utensils, etc. Their lives changed as well when it came to westward expansion. The two cultures of the natives and the settlers collided. Many fight occurred between the two one major fight was the Massacre at Sand Creek. “I want no peace until the Indians suffer more.” (General Curtis) The US army fought against the Cheyenne and Arapaho tribes which consisted 200 warriors and 500 women and children on November 29,1864. Other battles include Death on the Bozeman trail, Red river war, and the battle of Wounded knee. These battles lead the Native Americans to lose their land, homes, and move onto reserves. The map on Document 8 shows the decreasing lands for the Native American tribes. Because of the restrictions put on the Indians, they could not go in certain places to hunt. That includes the buffalo, the settlers however did end up killing a major portion of the population of the buffalo, for meat and fur. Document 6 shows a graph on the declining population of the
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