Westward Expansion. 1790,1820,1850,1885,1920. Westward Expansion. Early Growth of the United States. In 1780, 2.7 million people lived in the original 13 states By 1830, 12 million people lived in 24 states The average family had five children !!. 1790.
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Westward Expansion 1790,1820,1850,1885,1920
Early Growth of the United States • In 1780, 2.7 million people lived in the original 13 states • By 1830, 12 million people lived in 24 states • The average family had five children !!
What was the most compelling reason for Americans to go west? • A belief in the philosophy of Manifest Destiny, which stated that …..
“…. God, they said, clearly wanted hard–working American republicans to occupy North America. It was inevitable and good that the United States occupy the continent “from sea to shining sea.”It demanded that Americans settle the whole of the continent with the principles of democracy and rooted in the word of God.”
John L. O’Sullivan gave these ideas a name: Manifest Destiny. It is, he wrote, “our manifest destiny to overspread the continent allotted by Providence for the free development of our yearly multiplying millions.”
Why Go West? • Besides “Manifest Destiny”, what other reasons could people have had to go into the West?
The Frontier TheoryFrederick Jackson Turner • Thesis stating that the on-going conquering of the frontier provided Americans a continual opportunity to re-assert their will, their perseverance, their pioneering spirit, their independence, their creative nature, their free-will, their strengths, and their domination.
What would happen to America, and the American spirit, if the frontier were to close?
Adventure • Mining Gold and other precious metals • Farming • Natural Resources • Land Ownership • New Religious Opportunities • Escape and Freedom • Overpopulation in the East Coast • New Business Opportunities • Expanding freedom to new areas • Spreading the American ethic of hard work and economic progress • Pacific ports that could open Asian markets
Incentives to go west included: • The Pacific Railways Act • granted railroad company’s 10 square miles on either side of each track laid west
Beginning in 1863, the Union Pacific Railroad Company built west from Omaha, NE, while the Central Pacific Railroad Company built eastward from Sacramento, CA. • The “transcontinental railroad” was completed on May 10, 1869, in a ceremony at Promontory, UT.
Incentives to go west included: • Morrill Act • land grants from states to educational facilities with curriculum tied to agriculture and mechanical arts • ie. University of Nebraska, Washington State, Clemson, Cornell
Incentives to go west included: • Homestead Act – for approximately $10, settlers could have 160 acres of western land, if they met certain criteria: • American citizens who were 21 years or older, or the head of a household • Built a home on their lot, and lived in it at least 6 mos. of the year • Farmed the land for 5 years or more
Before long, many were imagining a North America without what they considered the savagery of Native Americans, the laziness and political instability of Mexicans, or the corrupt and dying monarchism of the British.
Financially Expensive • Long Journey • Uncharted Territory • Fear of the Unknown • Climate and Geography • Native Americans • Foreign Claims to the Land
War • Purchase • Theft • Trade • Land Grants
on steam powered boats • along government and privately built roads • on railroads • as part of wagon trains • horseback • walking