Westward Ho! An Account of the West By: Johnny Jones and Sally Sunshine
Causes • Mormon: a Christian sect founded by Joseph Smith in 1830 • AKA The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints • Some of their beliefs were not liked by their neighbors. For example, they owned property as a large group (communally) instead of individually. They also practiced polygamy, which means that a man can have more than one wife. • As a result of these things, the Mormons suffered persecution and were chased from their homes.
Primary Source Analysis “Soon after the settlement began, persecution began, and as the society increased persecution also increased, until the society at last was compelled to leave the county.” -Edward Partridge, Dec. 10, 1838 Source: http://www.boap.org/LDS/Early-Saints/JGreene-Missouri.html • The Mormons were forced to move from their homes and close their businesses because their neighbors did not like them.
Relevance Today • Many Mormons still live in Utah today. • The Mormon religion has spread around the world. • Mitt Romney, a 2008 presidential hopeful, is a practicing Mormon.
Causes • The U.S. gained the Mexican Cession in 1848 as a result of the Mexican War. • John Marshall discovered gold at Sutter’s Mill (present day San Francisco) in 1848. • People from all over the world wanted to “strike it rich.” • “49ers” began their journeys starting in 1849. • Only a few people found gold but California was quickly settled and became a state in 1850.
Primary Source Analysis “We dug and dug to the first of November. At night it commenced raining, and rained and snowed pretty much all the winter. We had a tent but it barely kept us all dry. There were from eight to twelve in one camp. We cut down pine trees for shakes to make a cabin. It was a whole week before we had a cabin to keep us dry.” -Alvin Coffey Source: http://www.sfmuseum.org/bio/coffey.html • The 49ers had a very tough life while searching for gold.
Relevance Today • California is the most populated state in the United States. • Many people still view the United States as the land of opportunity. • The NFL San Francisco 49ers are named after these miners.
The Families and Farmers
Causes • As a result of treaties, war and purchases, the United States achieved Manifest Destiny. • The U.S. government wanted the land settled by Americans. • Cheap land was available in the West. • Many immigrants came to the country and were crowding the east coast. • Pioneers went to the frontier to farm.
Primary Source Analysis “Saturday, August 7, -- Travel 25 miles, the last 13 without water; very rough, dusty roads; camp an hour after dark on Dry Creek; water scarce; grass plenty. Tuesday, August 10, -- Travel 12 miles; very rough and dusty roads; grass scarce; camp on Second Rock Creek; some grass, water and wood plenty; mother taken sick in the evening.” -James Akin, Jr. Source: http://www.isu.edu/~trinmich/00.ar.akin.html • Families encountered many challenges along the trails west, especially disease and malnutrition.
Relevance Today • The land on the Great Plains is called • The United States grows more food than any other nation on earth. • The continental U.S. consists of 50 states.
The Mountain Men
Causes • Beaver skins were in high demand because of the fashion trends of the time. • Men went West to trap and sell beaver. • They had the potential to make much money.
Primary Source Analysis “He had been lucky on his hunt, and had about a pack of beaver, worth something like $500, which made him feel rich and quite able to pass a pleasant winter.” -Charles Larpenteur Source: www.xmission.com/~drudy/mtman/html/larpenteur/larpenteur.html • Mountain men lived tough and adventurous lives. Some of them found their fortunes in the west.
Relevance Today • Animal skins are still used as fashion accessories. • Example: snakeskin boots or alligator shoes • Some people risk their lives to capture valuable furs. • Example: leopard hunters