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West Expansion mid 1800's

Settling the west after the Civil War

Ben Kovach

on 22 February 2010

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Transcript of West Expansion mid 1800's

Westward Expansion of mid 1800's There were many reasons for the swift settlement of the west in the mid 1800’s which included the idea of Maninfest Destiny and started the Mexican War. The American Indians lives were changed greatly by the settlement. The Transcontinental Railroad was also very important in the settling of the west.
The rapid settlement of the western part of America was caused by many new discoveries and many oppurtunites tht had not been presented in the Eastern part of America. Besides the oppurtunity for improvement the west also offered new starts and adventures for people seeking chances. The sudden rush for a gold was of great importance when settling the Western America. The first known source of gold was found in January of 1848 by a carpenter in the Sierra Nevada Mountians. As word quickly got to the east the rush began. Congress also had an influence in the settling of the west. In 1862 the Homestead Act was passed. It was very important to the settlement. This act was passed by congress and stated that you could acquire 160 acres of land after five years of residency or after 6 months you could acquire land from the government for $1.25 an acre. . After the passing by President Buchanan the citizens of the United States had more incentive besides oppurtunity to move to the west. The cheap land and free land that the governemnt offered played a key role in settling the west The Transcontinental Railroad was a very important object in the settling of the West. This railroad was passed by congress and President Abraham Lincoln in 1862 with the passing of the Pacific Railway Act, which would build a railroad system that would connect the East Coast and the west.
The Union Pacific Railroad was 2000 miles and stretched all the way to Sacramento, California. This was the first of the transcontinental railroad and many more were to come. The five railroads that were eventually completed were very important in the settlement of the west. Railroad financier George Francis Train once stated, "The great Pacific Railway is commenced... Immigration will soon pour into these valleys. Ten millions of emigrants will settle in this golden land in twenty years... This is the grandest enterprise under God!" Manifest Destiny was a belief that the Americans had the god given right to settle the West. This influenced people greatly by religions and believes. The Ameircans believed it was their mission to help the less fortunate, in this case the Native americans. this influenced the settling of the West greatly. The Mexican American War was a war that started because of the Americans settling of the Southern Texas border. After the peace treaty the americans got former mexican terrotories. The Indians lives were changed dramatically by the Westward Expansion. They were many times moved from their homes and sent west or they were massacaared. The Americans were very fond of the Buffalo and used them for fur and meat. The buffalo hunters were killing buffalo left and right and were sometimes destroying whol herds They were slowly depleting the buffalo popualtion in which the native americans relied on for living. This caused many wars such as the battle of wounded knee which was a massacre on Native Americans. These actions implemented on the Native Americans changed them forever. Many of the areas are poor and the Native Americans have been stripped of their unique characteristics. In conclusion westward expansion was influenced greatly by the transcontinental railroads and the rapid settlement for expansion. These created problems for the Native Americans and created the Mexican American War. Manifest Destiny also helped to influence the expansion of America. http://www.sparknotes.com/testprep/books/sat2/history/chapter10section1.rhtml
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