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Westward Expansion

A full explanation of every single event that occurred throughout the Westward Expansion.

Shreya Shukla

on 30 April 2015

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Transcript of Westward Expansion

All about Westward Expansion
westward expansion events
Summary of Westward Expansion
Westward expansion is the series 0f events that happened and helped America be what it is now. it got us started on developing technology, and form communities/neighborhoods, towns, cities, and states, that make up America. But westward expansion was is not completely about developing, and neither is it completely about adventure and discovery. there was a lot unhappy things that happened here, like how native americans were forced out of there lands, people who died in war for rights or land, and people who died taking the risks to move west on the Oregon trail or etc. it was also about making tough and responsible decisions that are supposed to effect you and your family or the time period you are in, no matter if you are part of the government, a settler moving with his or her family, or even a person who decided to make profit by selling needs to people in the west.it is about how we settled in in here.
What is the Trail of Tears?
Connected Events
You may wonder "Hmm , so the trail of tears is sad, but then what?" I'll tell you what. but before I tell you what happened next, let me tell you what happened before, or in other words , what caused the trail of tears. My opinion is that the cause of the trail of tears was way before , when America was first discovered. Basically, before the start of westward expansion.) the news soon spread, and soon, a few countries sent people out to claim land.Then, in 1803, Thomas Jefferson, 3rd president of the united states, bought the Louisiana territory a big piece of land in the U.S. ,which was made up of the states now known as Arkansas, Colorado, Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, New Mexico, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Texas, and Wyoming , from France for $15 million.(This was the first event of westward expansion) This doubled the size of the U.S., the part of north America Jefferson already owned. Thomas Jefferson started wondering about the land he had bought from France, and so he had the Lewis and Clark expedition take place. After Lewis and Clark returned with most of the answers to their questions, people started getting paid by the government to move west of the Mississippi river. It was not long before people realized what was coming ahead. They wanted more land, and the only choice left was to move into Native Americans’ land. At first the government made treaties with the Native American tribes, saying that they would give some of their land to whites, in trade of other things of the English ways. When riches and gold was found on Native American land, treaties were forgotten and Native Americans were moved to reservations, small places for the Native Americans, usually where no one wanted to live. The Indian removal act was passed in 1830, and it forced the natives to the reservations. There were some tribes that refused, and so some went at war, until finally they were forced by the whites to take a path to what now is Oklahoma. Many died along the way for several reasons, including diseases such as cholera, and so they named the path the trail of tears.
Once the natives were forced out of there land, there was more space for the whites. This allowed them to form their own communities .There were hardly any Native Americans left, and many whites. After the natives were out of the white settlers’ ways, the whites started to develop their ways of life, including the government and it laws, and also developing and using technology. Yes, it is true that this could have been stopped, and the Native Americans wouldn't have been forced out of their land, if they had made a negotiation with the whites. To say, there were treaties between the whites and natives, but usually, they were more favorable of the whites then the natives. Maybe, if they did nonviolent protests, and created such a tension that forced the whites to make a negotiation that was more favorable of them, like Martian Luther king, the Native Americans wouldn’t have been forced out of their land, and would still be here in America. (Basically, there wouldn’t be any trail of tears, and the Indian removal act.) America wouldn’t be like it is now.
The Indian removal act
It is 1830 now, and the congress has just passed a law on May 28th that moves Native Americans from the southeast to the west of the Mississippi River. It’s pretty unfair, and some of us have even gone to congress to lower the burden of the natives, but even when congress signs it, Andrew Jackson, the president of the U.S., ignores it. He is pretty much a dictator. Some people say that he is friendly with Native Americans, and it’s just that he doesn’t think they are as civilized as whites. Maybe it’s true, but if you look at how much the Native Americans have improved, you wouldn’t agree. I mean, most of them have adopted many white skills and more. And now, they are forcing them to go to another place, leaving their home, where there are hundreds of Indians already huddled together with not much space left.

The battle of Alamo
It’s 1836, and a war just took place. A war for freedom of Texas from Mexico. Well, about 200 Texans guarded Alamo for 13 days, but the Mexicans won. This actually helped Texas win over. The war had caused lots of loss to Mexico, and they were very surprised when they found the Texans at San Jaciento.

Trail of tears
The Cherokee nation is being forced out of their homes. Its 1838 right know, and the Cherokee people have to give up their land east of the Mississippi River and walk to what now is Oklahoma. Thousands die on the way from diseases and more. The Cherokee called the trail they followed the trail where they cried or the trail of tears in their language. Many of them lose many family members on the trail.

The Oregon Trail(1841)
3 years later people start using a route that later becomes the famous Oregon trail to reach the western parts of United States. It began in Missouri, snaked through many states, and ended in Oregon. But the trail was dangerous, too. 1 out of every 10 men died. But it wasn’t due to Native American tribes, which many people thought were the biggest problems. In fact, they were very friendly. Most people died due to diseases such as cholera, poor sanitation, and accidently done shooting.
The Louisiana Purchase (1803)
The Lewis and Clark expedition (1805)
After he bought the land, President Thomas Jefferson started wondering about his land. Remember, it takes time to settle in in a new place, and first of all, you need to know the place. What kinds of plants, trees, flowers and animals were there? Were the people who lived there friendly? How was the lifestyle of the people there? How was the environment? Was living here going to benefit peoples’ lives? Was there enough for people to survive? To answer all these questions, President Thomas Jefferson decided to send out people on an expedition, and he knew just the person who could make it possible. Captain Meriwether Lewis was Jefferson’s personal secretary, and he was just right to be put in charge.
After Lewis and his friend William Clark choose their men, set off on May 14th 1804. Actually, they would have set off in 1803, but the boat wasn’t good because the lazy drunkards hadn’t built the boat properly. They mapped all 828,000 square miles on the expedition, and returned on September 23rd 1806, which means it took around 2 and ½ years.

Before, North America was a whole different place, with different people, different privileges, and a natural lifestyle, filled up with nature’s trees, plants, and flowers. But then, soon, North America was discovered by the whites. To the natives, the whites were very interesting. They had so particular ways of life.Nevertheless , the natives welcomed them politely. But then, the whites started settling in with them. Soon, there wasn't enough 'Elbow room" left for everybody. so, the whites decided to move the natives to places were nobody wanted to live, and took their land. At first it wasn't supposed to be that harsh, and the native americans tribes would volunteer and not be forced. But with all the pressure, it became inevitable. Before long, the natives realized what was happening. When they decided to stand up for themselves, the war was on. but the whites were very powerful, and it took them no time to hunt down all natives.With the natives were finally gone, the white settlers organized the country into states, which held cities, towns, neighborhoods, etc, to make up what now is the wonderful America.
"What exactly is the trail of tears? Is it just a sad event in history, and about how the Cherokee were forced out of their own land?" you may ask yourself . Well, yes that is a quick and short summary of the trail. But the trail of tears is still more than you think it is.

The journalist John O’ Sullivan describes the westward expansion of the U.S. as the term “Manifest Destiny”. The same year, Texas becomes a U.S. state. The U.S. claims Texas, which makes the Mexicans angry, and will later lead to the Mexican American war.
The Louisiana Purchase was the purchase when President Thomas Jefferson bought the Louisiana territory from France for $15 million (which is equal to about $283 million if using to. That was a big piece of land in America, made up of many states (Arkansas, Colorado, Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, New Mexico, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Texas, and Wyoming.) , and adding that to the land president Thomas Jefferson already owned double the size of his land.
Brigham young junior leads the Mormons, a group religious people, who believe and follow Jesus Christ‘s way, to salt lake city, because of being forced to believe another religion. The same year, the Mexican American war took place. It was to claim Texas.it lasted until 1848. Another major event is that England signs a treaty (the Oregon treaty) that gives the Oregon territory to the U.S.
“Gold fever! Gold fever!” is common in many places now. James Marshall found gold in Sutter’s mill, a sawmill owned by John Sutter. Soon, the word spread around and people from many states came in search of gold. It begins in 1848, and in 1849 many forty-niners come to California in search of gold.
The gold rush

The trail of tears is really sad, costing the lives of many, to make up how America is now. Due to it we now have a place called America. But without it we could have saved the lives of the people who this place belonged to. Maybe there was a better way to get here, depending on the choices of history. Each event influenced the next, and if you closely see, you will realize that at some point they were obvious to lead to another event. This is the past, the story of how the
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