Westward movement essay

Forget the all-nighters and find some writing inspiration with our free essay samples on any topic. It's time for you to nail your grades! The history of westward expansion in the United States during the 19th century is often cited as a unifying feature of the American national identity.

For over one hundred years, this era has been either glamorized or vilified according to the depictions of filmmakers, actors, and actresses who create fictionalized versions of this era. Historians today focus on the more inclusive role that various ethnicities had in shaping the West, as well as the serious issues in Native American culture that occurred. Yet from any angle, this important historical migration has been firmly established as a significant part of the American culture.

These factors have given the westward expansion era a somewhat mythical tint, so it is sometimes difficult to sort fact from fiction. One way to learn more from a realistic perspective is to read some of the primary sources available from the 19th century. There are many narratives, newspapers, and letters that recount some of the experiences of the westward expansion movement as it was happening.

There are also major American historians and authors who wrote treatises, newspaper articles, and speeches. These documents show how different America was during the s, not only because of the more rural lifestyle but also in the attitudes of many Americans, who were primarily of white European descent, at least in the Eastern developed regions. They know that the westward movement was a significant factor in developing the U. Need A Unique Essay on "U. Westward Expansion"? What is known is that a cultural shift occurred in the late s that prompted even more people to move to the West, which was a result of several different influential people and government homesteading programs.

However, many of these pioneer families did not actually go as far as the Western borders of the U. That settlement took longer, which is one reason for the stories about a wild, lawless west. Frederick Jackson Turner was a respected scholarly historian in late nineteenth century American culture and society.

At that time, most Americans did not have a very clear picture of the westward expansion. They may have known the types of circumstances their relatives who had traveled West explained to them in letters back home, but for the vast majority of people living in Eastern cities, the only picture they had of the West was how it was depicted by these descriptive accounts.

Turner had an influential position in the ways mainstream Americans began to see fit Westward Expansion into the overall picture of American progress.

Skip to content Forget the all-nighters and find some writing inspiration with our free essay samples on any topic. Search for:. Westward Expansion. Order Now.We use cookies to give you the best experience possible. It is right such as that of the tree to the space of air and the earth suitable for the full expansion of its principle and destiny of growth. L OSullivan Manifest Destiny can be described as a phenomen that created Americas history, a movement that would embody American beliefs and American culture, it implied imperialistic expansion that the Americans believed was there right, this right led to hardships, several wars and hostilities between countries and also between people occupying the American land.

Though this destiny also led to new lives, comradery and development it achieved the ultimate goal of possession. Manifest Destiny was the philosophy that created a nation.

Westward Expansion Essay

In the year of the West to coin an old phrase was an unknown frontier to the Americans who had settled upon the East Coast. The West was a mystery blocked by a French colony by the name of Louisiana.

America was under the leadership of Thomas Jefferson who in the true spirit of Americans was interested in the west and the possibilities it offered. With this in mind he organised an expedition into the French owned territory, before this expedition could begin in French leader Napoleon Bonaparte offered to sell Louisiana to America for a price of fifteen million dollars and with this historic purchase the West was opened up to expansion and pioneers.

America now possessed the heart of their continent.

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Jeffersons planed expedition continued and under the leadership of Lewis and Clarke the exploration of the newly acquired West began, the expedition covered 4, miles and all lands beyond Louisiana to the Pacific were claimed for America. This expedition shattered dreams of Jefferson and exposed how hard the Rockies were to penetrate despite this, the extensive richness in the area and in the fur trade enticed trade, and the Rockies became the centre of American fur trade.

The west was now largely American and the lure would call to many in the following years. The call of Westward migration was largely related to the economic situation of the East and in times of hardships or depression the West seemed to be a form of escape the first example of this occurred in when business restrictions in the East caused economic problems, this wave of migration consequently resulted in the additional States of LouisianaIndianaMississippiIllinois and Alabama to the union of the United States.

To become a State of the Union a population of 60, must be reached.

U.S. Westward Expansion

In the Embargo Act was passed which prohibited United States vessels from trading with European nations during the Napoleonic Wars, this embargo seriously threatened American livelihoods and stimulated a continuation of economic disruption. The war of is worth mentioning as it created a feeling of national pride and stopped the domination of America by European events, the decade in which followed has often been referred to as the Era of Good Feeling but in fact it could be classified as the prelude to the strife and devastation and animosity that was destined to continue for four decades.

In the Mexicans drove the Spaniards from the continent and declared Texas to be a Mexican State. The Mexicans encouraged American Westward movement and American pioneers and settlers were driven to this territory by trade and also by the promise of cheap fertile land.

This perhaps is the starting point of hostilities between the Mexicans and the Americans, which would later develop into the Mexican American War. The Texas situation however would evolve into a revolution led, without the help of the American army.

Westward Movement

The Mexicans were defeated and Texas declared independent in due to the question of slavery. As Frederick Jackson Turner says, the greatest force or influence in shaping American democracy and society had been that there was so much free land in America and this profoundly affected American society. Motives After the revolution, the winning of independence opened up the Western country and was hence followed by a steady flow of settlers to the Mississippi valley.

By10 new western states had been added to Throughout most of the nineteenth century, the United States expanded its territory westward through purchase and annexation.

At the end of the century, however, expansion became imperialism, as America acquired several territories overseas. This policy shift from expansionism to imperialism came about as a result of Americans experience in the Spanish American War and the Congressional debates that followed the American victory.

After temporarily resolving the problems of Reconstruction and Industrialization, Americans began to resume the course of expansion.And as America expanded, so did the sectionalism.

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The rifts between the North and the South, caused by conflicting views on Westward Expansion were becoming more evident. Not only were the debates over westward expansion tedious; the ever growing social debate was also becoming alarmingly prevalent. And inthe Civil War broke out, ultimately because of economic. Thomas Jefferson purchased this extensive plot of land with the hopes of strengthening and expanding the Republic, unaware that it would have the opposite effect.

It triggered the rise of divisions amongst Americans. These small cracks continued to grow and tear at the seams of the nation.

Although westward expansion between and Sometimes, imperialism can lead to negative effects on the citizens of America and even alter the way they live, socially, politically, and economically. Imperialism has proved to affect society socially by yellow journalism, where newspaper articles lead people to believe other things than the truth, over-exaggerating certain topics.

Another challenge imperialism causes is wars, which lead to people being drafted by the military, the government getting involved with other. Finally, the Interpretative Period which. While the literal war was being fought throughout the country there were still political, ethical and emotional battles taking place. A big question of the Civil War was about its origins and if there was more than just one cause for the rebellion of the South.

Westward Expansion: Crash Course US History #24

Just as white Protestant men stifled the citizenship of women so too did they subordinate Irish immigrants.

The first wave fleeing the white elite Protestant tyranny in England, the Irish immigrated to America in search for job opportunities. The second wave of approximately 1. To the American male elite, the Irish proved to be disposable cheap labor, building railroads and doing dangerous jobs alongside black slaves. In order to justify their treatment. American Civil War The American civil war that majorly involved wars amongst states took place between and The "union" was a term used at the Civil War in America with reference to the federal government of the U.

The federal state was backed up by five border slave states and twenty free states. It, however, received opposition from the southern slave states that had decided to secede and join to form a confederacy. The civil war was, thus, between the North, which was referred to.

Many people think that the American Civil War was fought over the issue of slavery alone, but in reality it was caused by many disagreements and events between the northern free states and southern slave states that occurred prior to the war. Monetary alterations were one of the main reasons the North and South had many conflicts and differences in beliefs. The Civil War was an inevitable event for the South due to economic, political, and social reasons.

The Line sought to stop expansion beyond the Appellation Mountain. The ultimate goal of the British was to stop the conflicts between the colonists and the Native Americans, which were considered as the major cause of the French and Indian War. United States to own all of North America Hall The Manifest Destiny was caused by the American people it gave them a sense of superiority over the other peoples who lived in North America.

The declaration of the Manifest destiny wanted to expand the U. The westward expansion of America involves many events that are important to history as a whole.

It took place during the Age of Imperialism which began during the nineteenth and twentieth century. Westward expansion was a major event that took place throughout the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. In the early half of the nineteenth century, the westward movement arose numerous issues involving social class, gender roles, and slavery by both political and social means.

Social classes created issues in both political and social ways during the first half of the nineteenth century.

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Majority of people who moved west were seeking new opportunities or a new chance to make a name for themselves.The market revolution and westward movement both helped to shape these characteristics in the nineteenth century. The early nineteenth century America was growing and headed towards a more advanced society. Americans were interested in acquiring more wealth and possessions, so….

Westward Expansion began in and was the US expanding to the Western territories. Essentially taking them from the Native Americans in order to achieve Manifest Destiny. To what extent did Westward Expansion affect the lives of Native americans during the mid to late 19th Century? How did it impact the government, their culture, religion and education and their resources?

Westward Expansion greatly affected Native American lives socially…. It began along the East Coast and continuing until it got to the Pacific.

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Before the Americans won the battle against the Britain, some settlers were already moving west into what today is called Tennessee and Kentucky. And some parts of the Deep South and Ohio Valley.

In the Westward Expansion was aided by the Louisiana Purchase. During the journey westward, many settlers had to…. Essays Essays FlashCards.

westward movement essay

Browse Essays. Show More. Read More. Words: - Pages: 4. Words: - Pages: 6. Words: - Pages: 3.Following a trail blazed by Lewis and Clarkmost of these people had left their homes in the East in search of economic opportunity.

Like Thomas Jeffersonmany of these pioneers associated westward migration, land ownership and farming with freedom. In Europe, large numbers of factory workers formed a dependent and seemingly permanent working class; by contrast, in the United States, the western frontier offered the possibility of independence and upward mobility for all.

The survival of American freedom depended on it.

westward movement essay

Meanwhile, the question of whether or not slavery would be allowed in the new western states shadowed every conversation about the frontier. Inthe Missouri Compromise had attempted to resolve this question: It had admitted Missouri to the union as a slave state and Maine as a free state, preserving the fragile balance in Congress.

However, the Missouri Compromise did not apply to new territories that were not part of the Louisiana Purchase, and so the issue of slavery continued to fester as the nation expanded.

Meanwhile, more and more Northerners came to believed that the expansion of slavery impinged upon their own liberty, both as citizens—the pro-slavery majority in Congress did not seem to represent their interests—and as yeoman farmers.

They did not necessarily object to slavery itself, but they resented the way its expansion seemed to interfere with their own economic opportunity.

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Despite this sectional conflict, Americans kept on migrating West in the years after the Missouri Compromise was adopted. Thousands of people crossed the Rockies to the Oregon Territory, which belonged to Great Britain, and thousands more moved into the Mexican territories of CaliforniaNew Mexico and Texas.

InAmerican settlers in Texas joined with their Tejano neighbors Texans of Spanish origin and won independence from Mexico. They petitioned to join the United States as a slave state. This promised to upset the careful balance that the Missouri Compromise had achieved, and the annexation of Texas and other Mexican territories did not become a political priority until the enthusiastically expansionist cotton planter James K.

Polk was elected to the presidency in Thanks to the maneuvering of Polk and his allies, Texas joined the union as a slave state in February ; in June, after negotiations with Great Britain, Oregon joined as a free state. Inthe Treaty of Guadelupe Hidalgo ended the Mexican War and added more than 1 million square miles, an area larger than the Louisiana Purchase, to the United States.

The acquisition of this land re-opened the question that the Missouri Compromise had ostensibly settled: What would be the status of slavery in new American territories? After two years of increasingly volatile debate over the issue, Kentucky Senator Henry Clay proposed another compromise. It had four parts: first, California would enter the Union as a free state; second, the status of slavery in the rest of the Mexican territory would be decided by the people who lived there; third, the slave trade but not slavery would be abolished in WashingtonD.

westward movement essay

But the larger question remained unanswered. InIllinois Senator Stephen A. Douglas proposed that two new states, Kansas and Nebraskabe established in the Louisiana Purchase west of Iowa and Missouri.Westward movementthe populating by Europeans of the land within the continental boundaries of the mainland United Statesa process that began shortly after the first colonial settlements were established along the Atlantic coast.

The first British settlers in the New World stayed close to the Atlantic, their lifeline to needed supplies from England. By the s, however, Massachusetts Bay colonists were pushing into the Connecticut River valley.

Resistance from the French and Native Americans slowed their movement westward, yet by the s northern American colonists had occupied most of New England. In the South, settlers who arrived too late to get good tidewater land moved westward into the Piedmont. By the Virginia frontier had been pushed as far west as the fall line—the point upstream at which the rivers emptying into the Atlantic became unnavigable.

Some pioneers climbed beyond the fall line into the Blue Ridge Mountainsbut the major flow into the backcountry regions of Virginia and the other southern Atlantic colonies went southward rather than westward. Germans and Scots-Irish from Pennsylvania moved down the Shenandoah Valleylargely between andto populate the western portions of Virginia and the Carolinas. The British Proclamation of ordered a halt to the westward movement at the Appalachians, but the decree was widely disregarded.

Settlers scurried into Ohio, Tennessee, and Kentucky. After the American Revolutiona flood of people crossed the mountains into the fertile lands between the Appalachians and the Mississippi River. By Ohio, Tennessee, and Kentucky had been transformed from wilderness into a region of farms and towns.

Despite those decades of continuous westward pushing of the frontier line, it was not until the conclusion of the War of that the westward movement became a significant outpouring of people across the continent. By the Old Northwest and Old Southwest—areas scarcely populated before the war—were settled with enough people to warrant the admission of Illinois, Indiana, Missouri, Alabama, and Mississippi as states into the Union.

Michigan, Arkansas, Wisconsin, and Iowa received most of them. A number of families even went as far as the Pacific coast, taking the Oregon Trail to areas in the Pacific Northwest.

In fortune seekers rushed into California in search of gold. Meanwhile, the Mormons ended their long pilgrimage in Utah. During the war, gold and silver discoveries drew prospectors—and later settlers—into Oregon, Colorado, Nevada, Idaho, and Montana. By only portions of the Great Plains could truly be called unsettled.

For most of the next two decades, that land functioned as the fabled open range, home to cowboys and their grazing cattle from ranches in Texas. But by the late s, with the decline of the range cattle industry, settlers moved in and fenced the Great Plains into family farms. That settlement—and the wild rush of pioneers into the Oklahoma Indian Territory—constituted the last chapter of the westward movement.

By the early s a frontier had ceased to exist within the 48 continental states. Westward movement Article Media Additional Info. Print Cite. Facebook Twitter. Give Feedback External Websites. Let us know if you have suggestions to improve this article requires login.

External Websites.Westward expansion was one of the key periods in the history of the United States of America.

It meant significant economic and agricultural growth for white people but it was not the only reason for the expansion; the United States was experiencing certain increase in population and it was getting harder for people to find a job with a decent salary.

Thus, moving to the West became a dream for the most ambitious Americans and their desire to achieve it was stronger than any difficulties that frontiersmen were facing. Due to that ambitiousness, the westward expansion was hard to be called a slow process. What is more, not all Americans saw expansion as an advancement. Manifest destiny was a very popular belief in the 19 th century; according to that, it was an essential destiny of the people from the United States to settle both developed and undeveloped areas of North America.

The idea could not be called fair or at least fact-based; according to the manifest destiny, the westward expansion was seen as a naturally determined process conforming both state and moral law.

Manifest destiny involved the idea of special virtues and mission of the colonists and it definitely was a powerful weapon of the government. With help of this idea, it was able to make people believe in a natural necessity of the United States to expand its boundaries. Moreover, expansionists also used a religion as an instrument as the right to colonize other territories was believed to be given to Americans by God Oakes et al.

When all is said and done, the manifest destiny does not seem to be reasonable as we know what it means to state a superiority of a particular nation over other ones. In spite of other opinions on the rights and mission of the United States, this idea was successfully incorporated into the vision of the common goal for all Americans.

If the United States had not conducted its policy in accordance with the manifest destiny, it might have experienced a certain economic decline caused by a resource scarcity; a swell in population might have yielded to heavy mortality due to the increased fights for the limited resources and the spate of criminal activities caused by high unemployment.

The discussed historical period could be characterized by strong opposition of the colonialists, Mexicans and Native Americans. Thus, it would be interesting for many people to know if there was a way to prevent the conflict, or it was absolutely inevitable. As for the armed conflict between Mexico and the United States, it was caused by strong turf battle after the annexation of Texas that took place in The conflict was hard to prevent as both aggrieved parties believed to possess priority of territorial supremacy and they saw no solution of the conflict but war.

As for the conflict between colonialists and Native Americans, it was likely to be inevitable as the policy of the US government was conducted in accordance with the manifest destiny that supposed invasion to be feasible for performing the mission of the United States. To conclude, the idea of manifest destiny has played an important role in preparing the country for the westward expansion.

As for the latter, it was the way to avoid possible economic decline of the United States and this is why the conflict was inevitable. Oakes, James, et al. Oxford University Press, Need a custom Essay sample written from scratch by professional specifically for you? Select a referencing style:.

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