Get Full Essay Get access to this section to get all help you need with your essay and educational issues. Western Expansion Essay Sample Western expansion affected the lives of Native Americans during the time period between and for many reasons such as Indian Reservations and restrictions, military conflicts, and assimilation. Works Cited Whittaker, David J. Copying is only available for logged-in users. If you need this sample for free, we can send it to you via email Send.
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The telegraph operator was connected with San Francisco and New York and was ready to send the first coast-to- coast commentary. Then the Governor of California lifted the sledge hammer above his head and brought it down to meet the rail. The years were a period of enormous growth in the United States. During these years, million acres of land were settled, which was more than had been occupied in all preceding American history.
This enormous expansion was the product of a combination of forces. One was the Homestead Act of The Homestead Act of was passed by the government to encourage farming in the Mid- West.
The government offered any head of family or person over twenty-one, either citizen or alien who wished to become a citizen, a acre section of land.
The recipient paid a small fee and agreed to live on the homestead or cultivate it for five years Merk In addition to the Homestead Act, there was the realization on the part of informed people that the era of well-watered, free land was drawing to a close. A warning had been given in by the Director of the Census that the era of free land was closing Horn The swift expansion across the Great Plains was, in part, a rush of American farmers who wanted to take part in free and cheap land in areas that were well watered.
A third factor was the sale of land by states at attractive prices. School lands, university lands, and other state lands were put on the market in competition with homesteads.
The chief factor, however, in this swift Westward colonization was the railroad companies. All of them were eager to transport settlers to the vast prairie, to get it colonized as a matter of developing traffic.
The land-grant railroads had their own areas to sell. But, they also aggressively advertised the free homestead lands of the federal government. The main objective was to build up settlement as a means of creating freight to carry. The prices at which railroad lands were sold varied according to location and soil from five to twenty dollars or more an acre with easy credit terms. Many settlers preferred railroad lands that were favorably located over free homesteads. Railroad companies, especially those possessing land grants, were colonizers of the Great Plains on a large scale.
They carried forward on a vast scale the work that had been done on a lesser scale by colonizing companies on the seaboard during the colonial period. The Great Plains were advertised with extraordinary enthusiasm. The Northern Pacific Railroad kept eight hundred agents in various European countries distributing literature and assisting immigrants. Literature was spread in every important European language, especially to areas in which there were droughts or bad soil.
Western railroads had agents in New York City to receive immigrants; they offered special immigrant rates to the West, and they gave new arrivals advice on where to settle and about the best methods of farming. The railroad enterprise was one of the most important aspects of the history of the West since the Civil War, and the reason the story is not emphasized more in summary accounts is that the story has so far been told only for individual railroads.
They permitted their New York agents to use dubious means of enticing immigrants coming off steamboats to settle on their lands. Some were said to have stolen trainloads of immigrants from each other. High-pressure salesmanship was used in disposing of lands to prospective settlers. Rapturous tales were told about what the land would grow. The climate of the plains was misrepresented. Lack of rainfall was known to be a crucial problem on the Western Plains. The whole region is an area of semi-aridity and of climatic cycles.
A series of wet years occurs when the annual rainfall is somewhat more that twenty inches; then a dry series will follow, bringing years of droughts. It so happened that the five years prior to were a wet series on the Great Plains, when Kansas, Nebraska, and South Dakota had fairly frequent rainfall. The propagandists of the railroads, as a result, either denied the assertion that the Plains were a region of semi- aridity, or contended that the climate was changing for the better.
They advanced various theories to explain the change. Plowing the sod was said to produce rain. The stringing of telegraph lines was said to also produce rain.
A theory was developed that the noise of civilization, the clanging of the locomotives, etc. These theories were even repeated by state officials. A prime example of the effect of the incredible rush of settlement in the Prairie is the growth of the state of Nebraska, specifically Omaha, before and after the coming of the transcontinental railroad. The railroad connections made this growth possible. Our countries leaders believed in Manifest Destiny, or the right to rule from the tip of the east to the western shores.
There were many different people who supported this idea for many different reasons. These groups of people included economists, militants, intellectuals, journalists, as well as religious leaders and missionaries. Economists pushed for the expansion of American soil. With more land came more worth. There would be more room for settlers and immigrants to build homes on.
New towns would develop, and along with that came businesses. The more business, the more money, the more power and economic stability. One supporter from this point of view was Thomas Hart Benton. Benton preferred gaining territory through occupation rather than conflict.
His ideas were used to create the Homestead Act of , granting free land to settlers so long as they stayed on it for five years. He also encouraged the creation of overland transportation making travel to the west shorter and easier. Benton was chairman of the Committee on Indian Affairs as well, and strived towards the removal of Native Americans to make room for the white settlers. He might not have had the most honest intentions, but he was driven to expand.
His Son-in-Law followed in his footsteps and is well known for his conquests in California over the Spanish.
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Essay on Manifest Destiny: Western Expansion of America - The Manifest Destiny was a progressive movement starting in the 's. John O'Sullivan, a democratic leader, named the movement in
Western Expansion Essay In the early years of the American government, expansion of the United States was a very big issue. Our countries leaders believed in Manifest Destiny, or the right to rule from the tip of the east to the western shores. Dec 17, · Free Essays from Bartleby | 12/17/12 Block 6 Westward Expansion and the Civil War By the mid nineteenth century, the United States was expanding westward.
Western expansion affected the lives of Native Americans during the time period between and for many reasons such as Indian Reservations and. Free Essay: The Westward Expansion Introduction The Westward Expansion has often been regarded as the central theme of American history, down to the end of.