Westward Expansion in America

Espinosa

Espinosa

 

Student’s Name: Yonis Espinosa

Professor: Carl J Bradshaw

Course:Hist 102

Date: September 14, 2016

Westward Expansion in America

Westside expansion has always been the talk of the United States of America. The expansion began along the Eastern Coast and continued until to the Pacific despite it going through bounds and leaps. This was described by Theodore as a great leap towards the west (Quay and Sara 257). Even before the colonized states in America had not won independence in the Revolutionary war against Britain, settlers had already begun migrating towards the west into the states that are today known by the name Tennessee and Kentucky; they also moved to the Deep Southern part and parts of the valley known as Ohio. The expansion of the Westside was greatly influenced by the Louisiana Purchase which took place in the year 1803. The 1812 war caused the securing of the boundaries of the United States and defeated Old Northwest tribes. The removal act of Indians which took place in 1830 caused the forcefully moving of all Indians to the what are now known as the states of Oklahoma and Arkansas on a journey which was named the Trail of Tears (Quay and Sara 257). The term “Manifest Destiny” a belief that American institutions and Americans are superior and therefore, Americans had the obligations of spreading these institutions with the aim of helping people get freed from the European Colonization, was in 1945 coined by a journalist known by the name John O’Sullivan.

Expansion towards the west side was greatly assisted by the finishing of the Transcontinental Railroad in the year 1869b and the Homestead Act passage which took place in 1862 (Quay and Sara 257). This act was responsible for giving a 160-acre land to someone who would file a claim, build a home on the land for five years and in turn make improvements on the land. The Great Leap Westward as termed by Roosevelt was as a result of the Railway road of the Transcontinental and the act of Homestead, this saw a lot of people along the seaboard of the eastern side go through the Westside expansion all the way to the Pacific (Quay and Sara 257). In the mid-19thcentury, the acquisition of Alaska and Hawaii was an assurance of the expansion of the Westside moving into the 20th century. The Native American Tribes were the great losers of this wave to the Westside. This wave caused them to be displaced by those who newly moved in, therefore, lost their traditions and had to get new settlements in the reserves (Quay and Sara 257). This westward move, however, caused America to get increased number of ports on their coastline, it also caused trade to expand in the area hence bringing in more income, and natural resources were also very beneficial in making America the current superpower in the world today.

Mississippi expanded as a result of the scramble for the gold-rich states in the gold rich states of the United States of America. This was seen in 1848 when gold was discovered in California after a treaty was signed to end the war between America and Mexico (Domnauer and Teresa 158). The Destiny of Manifest as termed by John O’Sullivan was a driving force to America’s expansion in the 19th century. The U.S era of territorial expansion is at times termed as The Age of Manifest Destiny, this, as we have earlier seen, was a notion which made people see the Americans and their institutions to have the obligations of spreading these institutions with the purpose of freeing the world from the European colonies (Domnauer and Teresa 158). A great support was given to this Manifest by the Democrats especially in the areas of the northeastern side of the country. There was a Whig party which emerged to be against this Manifest since the Whigs feared that if America grows then slavery will increase, and this would greatly affect them.

Despite the fact that only non-violent means were used by the Manifest Destiny to accomplish their goals, the expansion of America’s West side move was greatly accelerated by their war against Mexico and the mishandling of the of the native western tribes. This nearly led to a war emerging between America and Britain as they both scrambled for the Territory of Oregon Mexico (Domnauer and Teresa 158). Purchase was made by President Thomas Jefferson whereby the United States bought the Territory of Louisiana and the date cancellation. This purchase almost saw the doubling of the area covered the United States. It also entirely removed France from the northern part of America hence securing access to New Orleans and allowed them to carry out transportation services along the River of Mississippi. This territory covered from the Gulf of Mexico and the New Orleans and ran in the plains all the way to what is today known by the name Canada. It also runs to the west Rockies from the Mississippi River.

America’s Westward development was very important because it made the other colonized states realize their capabilities and resist colonization by the other forces in Mexico (Domnauer and Teresa 158). America’s Westward expansion also resulted to the abolishment of the slave trade which was a very critical issue back then. This expansion also saw the improvement of America’s economy, and this is why America today is a super power.

 

 

Works Cited

Domnauer, Teresa. Westward Expansion. New York: Children’s Press, 2010. 158. Print

Quay, Sara E. Westside Expansion. Westport, Conn.: Greenwood Press, 2002. 257. Print

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