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Aidan Kane

on 6 January 2015

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The mountains were a very big obstacle in every pioneers journey west. In my book, the character James West said "the mountains between us and the western reaches of our continent cause the most peril in every pioneers journey." Mountains were also even more of a barrier due to the fact that to get west most had to traverse across the Appalachian and Rocky mountains. In addition, the mountains brought some of the worst fortune with cliffs and steep trails throughout. During the course of early westward expansion the mountains proved to be one of the biggest obstacles.
The Indians were overall one of the biggest obstacles that American expansion west faced. For example, my book Westward Adventure shows that, in 1851 settlers were attacked and their homes were destroyed causing them to flee east. Indians also created an obstacle to westward settlers by attacking Indian American trading posts making gathering supplies for a trip west much more difficult. Indians also caused a large hurdle in westward expansion by claiming land and forbidding Americans to settle in the land. All in all Indians proved to be a big obstacle to pioneers traveling west.
During pioneers westward expansion rivers proved to be a sizable setback. As my book states "by 1850 some rivers were very helpful to travelers that traveled by boat but those who do not travel by boat could expect a major issue." Rivers also caused headaches to those that tried to cross when the river is either to fast or to deep. Plus rivers could sometimes cause major setbacks when bypassing the river meant extra days of travel. Rivers were quite an obstacle to all travelers.
Westward Expansion Obstacles
My book Westward Adventure by William O. Steele clearly illustrated many obstacles pioneers moving west faced. Overall the many obstacles that the pioneers faced were indians, mountains, rivers, starvation and weather.


Grizzly Bear
Mountain Lion
Indian Chief
Rocky Mountains
Mississippi River
Colorado River
Baked Beans
Dangerous animals were very unhelpful for pioneers travel west and the promotion of westward expansion. For example, in my book a mid 19th century trader had multiple encounters with wolves and was only traveling to the other side of the Appalachian mountains which puts into perspective how much of a problem dangerous animals were for those traveling all the way to the other side of the Rockies or even California. In addition, these animals might not just cause a problem on ones travel west but instead end it by severely injuring or killing a pioneer. Also, hazardous animals can cause ones trip to be extended by forcing a pioneers journey to be stopped in order to let the hazardous animals pass. Dangerous animals were clearly an enormous obstacle to westward expansion.
Starvation was a hurdle that affected all pioneers traveling west. To begin, my book states that pioneers journeys were extended for so long that only 3/4 of the way through they would run out of food and starve. This led to the development of small resupply towns. In addition, with low food supplies energy needed to make the trip was depleted causing the trip to take longer. Also, when starvation set in on the pioneers about 88% of the time it would result in death. Starvation was definitely a obstacle to westward progression.
Weather was one of the most substantial obstacles pioneers faced moving west. This relates to my book because one pioneer in 1849 that was making his way west got stuck in a terrible blizzard and was killed along with the rest of his wagon train. Also, weather could destroy supplies creating a major issue. Plus weather could also delay the travel west creating a devastating setback that in turn would endanger the safety of all pioneers making the trip. Weather was a giant obstacle to pioneers making the trek west.
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