The westward expansion started when Thomas Jefferson believed that the future of America depends on expanding the west. Also, it was because of pull factors and push factors. What the people had to do was never easy.
Lewis and Clark
To get Louisiana Purchase, President Jefferson wanted to know about what it had. So, Jefferson chose Meriwether Lewis and William Clark to help. They made a team of 40 people. The team was called Corps of Discovery. Clark was responsible of making records and maps. And Lewis came to help. Lewis and Clark drew maps and collected plants to take back with them. Sacajawea helped the team buy horses. If it wasn’t for her, the team wouldn’t have succeeded. In 1805, the team reached the pacific oceans. They traveled more than 3000 miles. Lewis and Clark drew maps of oceans and mountain passes.
Spain gave New Orleans and the rest of Louisiana back to Spain which made president Jefferson think that France would block Americans to Settle. But in 1803, Jefferson bought the territory of Louisiana with the cost of 15 million dollars for about 828,000 square miles. It expanded from the Mississippi river to the Rocky Mountains from Canada to the New Orleans. It doubled the size of United States. Jefferson believed that this act was the key to Americans Health. The other reason why the Americans made was because they wanted to gain control of New Orleans. However, Jefferson never asked for all of the Louisiana.
Indian Removal Act
In 1836, The Cherokees were moving towards the west because Martin Van Buren sent the U.S. army to force the tribes to continue going west to the territory of Oklahoma. Others wanted to stay and fight for their land. But they had no choice. This started on March 27,1838. The soldiers even guarded them to make it hard to escape. One out of every four Indians died during the way to the west. That’s why we call it the Trail of Tears. After the Indian Removal Act finished, the Cherokees resisted going to Oklahoma. So, they were forced to leave until May of 1838. At that time, most of the people left.
Manifest Destiny was a belief that people had in the 19th century. They thought that they could take over all the places where the Native Americans lived. They did this because they thought god was telling them to. What the Americans did was shoot the Native Americans and kill animals just for fun. Then, they claimed the place. Some said that expanding America was a good idea just like Thomas Jefferson. However, there were consequences too. Scholars argued that the Manifest Destiny ended up causing the Civil War.
Gold was first found in California by James Marshall. But somehow the word got out and people came rushing for gold. About 6,000 people came to California in 1848 and in 1849, about 90,000 people came for gold. They were called the “forty-niners.” They came from all around the world. The first people got lots of money, it was 10 times more pay than their normal job. After on, they found lots of methods to find bigger gold. After the gold ran out, people discovered different places such as San Francisco and Columbia to camp out on this was called the boomtown.
In the early 1800’s, Mexicans told the settlers to come settle in Texas. By 1830, there were more Americans than the Mexicans living in Texas. In 1833, the settlers asked Mexico to let Texas have their own government. The loyal Mexican citizen Stephan Austin, angrily refused. The Texans wanted to be annexed by the US so in 1836, Texas was voted to be Annexed by the US and finally, it was Annexed in 1845. Which meant that it was voted to be taken. Their wish was granted.
In the 1800’s, Florida was controlled by Spain. The southeast Americans wanted the land and take over it. In 1817, Andrew Jackson blew up forts made by the runaway slaves. He captured the capital of Spanish Florida. President James Monroe did not support his attacks, but since he wanted to get Florida he didn’t stop him. Finally, in 1819, Spain agreed to give their land to the United States. US agreed to pay five million dollars to the Georgians.
Mexican Cession is a period when the Mexicans surrendered to give their land to the Americans at the end of the Mexican War. Which is now at South America. This land added 500,000 square miles of the southeastern United States. This happened in 1848. They even declared independence from Spain.
The Gadsden Purchase also called the Treaty of La Mesilla, was an argument with America and Mexico. And America agreed to pay 10 million dollars to the Mexicans for 29,670 square miles. And on December 30, 1853 Santa Anna and Gadsden signed the United will pay 15 million dollars to the United States. After his purchase, there was an attack but because of some financial problems, they failed.
In the 1800’s the Americans wanted to take over Oregon Country. Other countries already occupied to Oregon such as Brittan and Russia. The president at this time was James Polk. He promised that he would take over Oregon. In 1846, the British gave their part of Oregon because they knew that they had more Americans that the British and Canadians. They did this because they didn’t want to fight and have war.
Lots of Americans moved to Oregon because the fur traders told
them that there were thick woods, rich farming and more. There were even books about saying how good Oregon is. This began at Missouri. They traveled as a part of a wagon group called a wagon train. They took a 2,000-mile journey to Oregon Country. The men had to drive wagons, herd castles and find campsites. The women had to wash clothes set up tents and cook. They even took care of sickness. It took about 6 months to finish their journey. Many people died along the way but still it was a chance for a new life.
The Mormon was a group of people that started a journey for religious freedom. Most people had a journey for more money. Their trip from Illinois to the To the Great Salt Lake Valley. It was called the Great Salt Lake Valley. Now, the place is called Utah. This was a 1,000 miles journey. This territory grew quickly. Brigham Young was the first governor ever in this territory.