Today I am writing about the Westward Expansion for my history class. The Westward Expansion was when most of the American people decided to move to the west. This was allowed and supported by the Manifest Destiny. The Manifest Destiny was the ideology that all American Settlers were destined to eventually expand throughout the continent.
Most of the settlers lived far to the east. While this may be true, most of the settlers left from Missouri when they were heading west. I don’t exactly know why this is the fact but, it may be because when the settlers decided to move, they wanted Missouri to go first since they were closer. The Westward Expansion, I think, was a good thing but when you look closer it wasn’t all that good. Well, when you think about it, “More Land!? Heck Yeah!” but, when you move from your area, you take other people’s land. The Indians, or Native Americans, were being severely taken advantage of. When the settlers moved over west they basically took away Indian land. The worst part is that the land was promised to the Native Americans.
One of the most popular routes to get west was the Oregon Trail. The Oregon Trail was the trail that developed in Louisiana near the Mississippi River to get to Oregon. The people that developed the Oregon Trail obviously wanted to earn their money back, so they created a way to entice the settlers to go to Oregon. The easiest way to get people to move was to give them a lot of land for cheap. The people really liked that idea and they were soon on their way to get to Oregon. At this time, unfortunately, automobiles and trains were not invented yet. So, the settlers had to travel in carts which had to be packed with everything needed. The carts were then put into a long line, which was then called a train. They did this so that nobody would be stuck in the back by themselves. They didn’t want anyone disappear. I think that this was a very intelligent idea seeing as though they have to fill the space that was bought.
The Oregon Trail was a road straight to Oregon, but there were some variations made to the trail. The two main variations made were the California and Mormon trails. The California Trail is pretty obvious to where it goes, but I will tell you anyways, it goes to California. The Mormon trail however, is a different story. The Mormon Trail led from Nauvoo, Illinois to Salt Lake City, Utah. I don’t think that anyone could have just guessed that from the top of their heads.
There was also another trail that connected with the Oregon Trail around that time. This trail was known as the Santa Fe trail. (Want to guess where this trail goes? You guessed it, Santa Fe, New Mexico.) This trail was actually developed in 1821 in Missouri. I think that the idea for having all of these trails was so that people could get to many different places without having trouble and having to take back routes and stuff. The whole concept of a trail makes sense especially for the people of this time.
Time to go to Texas, Texas is a big buffalo state. At this time, the people of Texas had to get those buffalo to Kansas. This is because they needed to get cattle to railheads from their ranches. The problem was they were passing through states with different animals. The problem with this is that the cattle from Texas is immune to certain ticks and other parasites that the other animals are not immune to. So, what ends up happening is that the animals end up getting sick and the cattle die. That being said, they decided to create a trail to bypass those states called the Chisholm Trail.
In the end, the westward expansion was a good thing until the mid-19th century. The reason is because eventually the Transcontinental Railroad and the start of the Industrial Revolution began. The Transcontinental Railroad actually made most of these trails obsolete. If you like this essay please subscribe for more. Also, please like or dislike this essay and leave a comment why. I appreciate you staying and reading, stay tuned for more from Homeschooled Hero!
Until Next time, your friendly neighborhood Homeschooler…