There were tremendous social, economic, political, and cultural changes during the time period of the 1400s to the end of the Civil War that shaped American history. The four centuries saw changes in all areas of life on what is now called North America. There were so many important events that took place during these centuries. Some of these changes that shaped American history started with the voyages of Christopher Columbus and his search for precious metals that expanded the exploration of the new world and conquering of its native people. New cultural groups settled in the Americas.
Grasso 1 Michael Grasso Ms. Vargas 20TH US HI. 21 September 2014 Westward Expansion in the 1800s After the Louisiana Purchase in 1803, which was the United States buying the huge territory known as Louisiana from the French, the country doubled in size. This gave the country great opportunity due to the abundance of land and natural resources. Some citizens believed in manifest destiny which is the belief that the American settlers were destined to expand as a country throughout the continent. In the 1860s when the Civil War was coming to an end the west was still greatly undeveloped and rural.
Ellis Island’s Historical Significance to New York and the United States “The study of past events,” as stated by Merriam-Webster is the definition of History.  Now, let us ask ourselves: What is the history of New York City? This answer can go back to several different decades and towards even centuries, and therefore we should thus specify our time and landmark of New York City. For this purpose, let us zoom in on a specific place that holds memories of many Americans from past to present. Let us look at Ellis Island, and its historical context in relevance to New York City.
In the years following the Revolutionary War the United States would begin to expand, although not popular among all citizens, it helped shape the country into what we know today. The first acquisition of territory would be as a result of the Treaty of Paris with Great Britain ending the Revolutionary War. This treaty marked the boundaries between the British colonies still located in North America and ceded the thirteen American colonies to a newly recognized country known as the United States of America. This would not be the only acquisition of territory that the United States would complete between the years of 1789 and 1815 but it would be the initial acquisition of territory that would develop this newly formed nation.
During the 1840s-1850s Americans saw a huge increase in the number of immigrants arriving in America, and this only lead to white American citizens fearing them during that period. There was fear for many reasons, the main reason being Americans feared that immigrants would steal their jobs. Namely these jobs were in New York city and other large coastal
For some, it was destiny to move west. Although there were many conflicts and disagreements between ourselves and others, it was destiny to move west because of overpopulation, new inventions of transportation methods, and new opportunities. In the 19th Century, overpopulation was one of the major reasons for Westward Expansion. Immigrants were flooding into America for new opportunities and new ways of life and there was just not enough land to suffice the needs for all of the people. These immigrants were arriving in America in the port cities on the East Coast.
There were both positive and negative components of westward expansion from 1800 to 1875. By the late of 1800s, the land of the United States was mostly purchased. In seventy five years, the United States continuously expanded westward, which was encouraged by the idea of Manifest Destiny. New land in the United States led to more economic, social, and political opportunities. Gaining more land also led to disputes between the states and wars with other countries.
Native Americans flourished in North America, but over time white settlers came and started invading their territory. Native Americans were constantly being thrown and pushed off their land. Sorrowfully this continued as the Americans looked for new opportunities and land in the West. When the whites came to the west, it changed the Native American’s lives forever. The Native Americans had to adapt to the whites, which was difficult for them.
Starting in the early 1600’s settlers from England came to “The New World.” England and Spain were competing to claim this new undiscovered land. The English were the first to claim the land by sending the first group of settlers, the Chesapeake settlers. They settled in present day Virginia and Maryland. The Chesapeake settlers came for commercial and profit.
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
Jamestown was the first colony in America and it was the first glipse of what America would become U.S. history began with the first settlement in Jamestown because it was the first time people began to identify as American. At the most difficult times, the American people were motivated by their desire to create an ideal society. The principles that they held to be true are used as a basis for American society. The people of Jamestown continue to influence our nation today. According to Jamestown and Yorktown Settlement and Victory Center, “The government, language, customs, beliefs and aspirations” that were part of the early Virginian’s lifestyles continue to play a role in American society.
In conclusion, the westward expansion was one of the most important times in American history but one of the hardest for those who made the journey. The settlers had to go through a lot of hardships to get a new life in the west. The Gold Rush helped bring people to the west and populate California so it became a state. People such as Sacagawea helped Lewis and Clark helped explore the new terrain and make maps so people could live there. Even though the pioneers got diseases, had conflicts with the Native Americans, and had to travel for long periods of time in a ship or covered wagon, they never gave up hope.
People were drawn to the West because it was scene as the last resort to make a living when all else failed in the East. Communication with friends and family who had moved west led these pioneers to believe the journey would be easy and the reward for getting west would be best. And the greatly available land was the strongest pulling factor to people interested in adventuring west. Migration was a personal choice that depended on several key factors, “Age of the head of household; economic status; personal attitudes; and projected costs and benefits of the resettlement.” Most historians agree that the majority of the people who migrated west were middle class and mostly immigrants to the US.
Many people in the early 1600s were moving to the New World to start a new life. Different groups settled in America to have freedoms not found in their country. They came for religious freedom, political freedom, or for new opportunities. For example the Quakers came and settled in Pennsylvania to have religious freedom. These groups came seeking a new life, but it was not always easy.