What factors led to the westward expansion?

Geographic and economic factors that influenced westward movement

  • Population growth in the eastern states.
  • Availability of cheap, fertile land.
  • Economic opportunity, e.g., gold (California Gold Rush), logging, farming, freedom (for runaway slaves)
  • How did the westward expansion start?

    In 1803 the Louisiana Purchase took place, doubling the size of the country. By 1840 almost 7 million Americans had migrated westward in hopes of securing land and being prosperous. The belief that settlers were destined to expand to the west is often referred to as Manifest Destiny.

    How did they move to the West?

    Many Americans began moving west by the 1840s. They were looking for gold and for farmland. One way was to sail around the tip of South America. The other way was to travel to the end of the railroad line and take a rough trail on land in wagons pulled by horses, mule, or oxen.

    How long did it take to complete the Oregon Trail?

    The length of the wagon trail from the Missouri River to Willamette Valley was about 2,000 miles (3,200 km). It normally took four to six months to traverse the length of the Oregon Trail with wagons pulled by oxen.

    What was the impact of the Homestead Act?

    Signed into law in May 1862, the Homestead Act opened up settlement in the western United States, allowing any American, including freed slaves, to put in a claim for up to 160 free acres of federal land.

    Why was the building of the transcontinental railroad important?

    Transcontinental Railroad summary: The First Transcontinental Railroad was built crossing the western half of America and it was pieced together between 1863 and 1869. It was 1,776 miles long and served for the Atlantic and Pacific coasts of the United States to be connected by rail for the first time in history.

    What was the impact of the westward expansion?

    Westward Expansion generally had negative effects on the Native Americans. Native Americans were forced to live on reservations. The buffalo, an important resource, experienced rapid population decline. Military conflict between Whites and Native Americans resulted in many deaths.

    What events happened during the westward expansion?

  • Timeline of Westward Expansion.
  • Manifest Destiny.
  • Louisiana Purchase.
  • The Corps of Discovery Expedition (Lewis and Clark Expedition)
  • The War of 1812.
  • Missouri Compromise and the Kansas-Nebraska Act.
  • Monroe Doctrine.
  • Indian Removal Act and the Trail of Tears.
  • What was the purpose of the westward expansion?

    To Jefferson, westward expansion was the key to the nation’s health: He believed that a republic depended on an independent, virtuous citizenry for its survival, and that independence and virtue went hand in hand with land ownership, especially the ownership of small farms.

    Who were the people in the westward expansion?

    Former U.S. president Thomas Jefferson believed that the nation’s future depended on its westward expansion. In 1803 the Louisiana Purchase took place, doubling the size of the country. By 1840 almost 7 million Americans had migrated westward in hopes of securing land and being prosperous.

    How did the westward expansion affect the United States?

    As a result of the westward expansion, there were many conflicts with the Native Americans. With westward expansion, more states entered the Union. This led to fierce debates about the spread of slavery to these new lands. This eventually became a factor leading to the Civil War.

    What was the transcontinental railroad?

    A transcontinental railroad is a contiguous network of railroad trackage that crosses a continental land mass with terminals at different oceans or continental borders.

    Why did Americans move west?

    Pioneer settlers were sometimes pulled west because they wanted to make a better living. Others received letters from friends or family members who had moved west. These letters often told about a good life on the frontier. The biggest factor that pulled pioneers west was the opportunity to buy land.

    How was the issue of slavery related to westward expansion?

    The westward expansion carried slavery down into the Southwest, into Mississippi, Alabama, crossing the Mississippi River into Louisiana. Finally, by the 1840’s, it was pouring into Texas. So the expansion of slavery, which became the major political question of the 1850’s, was not just a political issue.

    What is the concept of Manifest Destiny?

    In the 19th century, manifest destiny was a widely held belief in the United States that its settlers were destined to expand across North America.

    What is the Oregon Trail for?

    The Oregon Trail is a 2,170-mile (3,490 km) historic East–West, large-wheeled wagon route and emigrant trail in the United States that connected the Missouri River to valleys in Oregon. The western half of the trail spanned most of the future states of Idaho and Oregon.

    Why did the westward expansion create a clash between sectional interests in Missouri?

    Slavery became even more divisive when it threatened to expand westward because non-slave holding white settlers did not want to compete with slaveholders in the new territories. Politicians were forced to deal with the issue of slavery and its westward expansion as early as the Missouri Compromise of 1820.

    What is the significance of the Louisiana Purchase?

    The Louisiana Purchase is important because it gave the U.S. control of the Mississippi River and the port city of New Orleans, both of which were used by farmers to ship their crops and get paid.

    How was the Louisiana Purchase?

    The Louisiana Purchase (1803) was a land deal between the United States and France, in which the U.S. acquired approximately 827,000 square miles of land west of the Mississippi River for $15 million.

    What were the positives and negatives of the idea of Manifest Destiny?

    The main impact was that the United States got much larger and much wealthier. Manifest Destiny was the idea that God had destined the US to spread out across the continent of North America. For others, Manifest Destiny had more negative effects. For the Native Americans and for Mexico, it meant losing their land.

    How did the idea of Manifest Destiny affect the United States?

    American expansion to the west that was destined to stretch from coast to coast. American culture was changed during Manifest Destiny because when the Americans came in to Texas to take their land. The Americans were upset with the Texan’s culture, so they tried to change it. This caused Mexico to attack the Americans.

    How did the purchase of the Louisiana Territory affect the size of the United States?

    LOUISIANA PURCHASE. The Louisiana Purchase of 1803 doubled the size of the United States, gave the country complete control of the port of New Orleans, and provided territory for westward expansion.