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Western Expansion - Online Essays

Western Expansion


THE WESTWARD EXPANSION Introduction The Westward Expansion has often been regarded as the central theme of American history, down to the end of the19th century and as the main factor in the shaping of American history. 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. By 1840, 10 new western states had been added to the Federal union. The frontier line ran through Iowa, ...

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now possible by the discovery of paths over which ox-driven carts could be driven through seeking mountains and across the western desert. People wanted to move away from the overcrowded cities and this led to the migration into the uninhabited lands. Increased transportation like roads, railroads and canals and their construction created a demand for cheap labor making it easier for people to get jobs now, in contrast with the cities where there was unemployment. The pioneer movement for 70 years after the revolution roughly represented the form of 3 parallel streams, flowing westwards from New England, Virginia and South Carolina. The first pioneer groups tended to move directly westward. Thus the new Englanders migrated into western New York and along the shores of the great lakes, Virginians into Kentucky and then into Missouri and the South Carolinians and Georgians into the gulf territories. Throughout the settlement of the Mississippi valley, most pioneers did not travel ...

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to keep the balance with free states and the West wanting expansion to increase their land. The antagonism between the North and the South sees the beginnings of sectionalism leading to the civil war later. The spirit of equality becomes a banner with which the expansionist policy was proclaimed. Phases Of Development Before the 1830s, most sections of the west passed through the same phases of development in a regular order. The first white men to usually enter a new area were the hunters and fur trappers, who had extraordinary skills to open up a new path through wilderness, finding food for themselves and dealing with the Indians. These men explored the country and brought news of ...

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PAPER DETAILS
Added: 1/23/2005 05:49:42 AM
Category: World History
Type: Premium Paper
Words: 4097
Pages: 15

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