Superpower: The Lewis And Clark Expedition

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The Lewis and Clark Expedition of 1804—1806 is arguably one of the most important moments in the creation of the superpower known as the United States of America. Lewis and Clark’s expeditions of the Louisiana Territory and western territories are highly well-known and are considered to be the reason for the growth in American populace in all areas west of the Mississippi River. If it weren’t for President Thomas Jefferson’s decision to buy the Louisiana Territory from Napoleon Bonaparte and to support the expeditions of the land, it is possible that migration in the western regions of the North American continent would be fairly different than it had already transpired. The Lewis and Clark Expeditions mainly saw the rise of American dominance…show more content…
Throughout 1803, Jefferson had talked with Meriwether Lewis, a young army veteran and his private secretary, about the Louisiana Territory. Jefferson wanted Lewis to lead a group of people out into the west to explore as much land as he could. Lewis, an adventurer at heart, accepted Jefferson’s request, and in early 1804, went to Philadelphia to recruit the men he wanted to accompany him on his journey. Among the men that were recruited was William Clark, an old friend of Lewis and the man that would share command of the band of explorers with Lewis. Together, Lewis and Clark decided to call their group “The Corps of Discovery.” Altogether, Lewis managed to recruit up to fifty men to join him in his journey into the west. “While in Philadelphia, Lewis also received a letter from the President with detailed instructions for the upcoming expedition: ‘The object of your mission is to explore the Missouri River, and such principal stream of it, as, by it’s course and communication with the waters of the Pacific Ocean…may offer the most direct and practicable water communication across this continent for the purposes of commerce’” (Snyder 16). With this letter, The Corps of Discovery were taken from Philadelphia to St. Louis, where they would be dropped off to begin their search of the land west of the Mississippi…show more content…
Before The Corps of Discovery’s journeys in the west, no country, not even France or Spain who previously owned the land, had any idea what exactly was in the Louisiana Territory. Everyone knew that new land, resources, and people awaited them, but no one was really sure of the certainties. Thanks to The Corps of Discovery, the western frontier was finally mapped and completed documented in every way possible. This would lead to the migration of Americans from the eastern seaboard to the Mid-West, the Rocky Mountains, and the western seaboard. Cities such as San Francisco, Seattle, Denver, and Kansas City slowly started to develop throughout the west. The migration of Americans to the west was a good thing for innovation and building up the United States as a country, but the Native Americans who lived in these lands were changed forever. Any Native Americans found in lands where United States citizens wanted land was immediately excavated from their land and brought to an Indian reservation of some kind. Overtime though, these Indian reservations began to limit due to the rising population in Americans during the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. “They [Lewis and Clark] provided valuable information about the topography, the biological sciences, the ecology, and ethnic and linguistic studies of the American Indian. The mysteries of
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