Top Three Reasons To Move West

Manifest Destiny

Manifest Destiny and The Peoples Attitude!

Manifest Destiny was the belief that god wanted the Americans expand the land from the Atlantic to the pacific ocean. The mining news of a strike would cause a boom and stampede prospectors to a region seeking wealth and riches. The boom town goes from a little to a lot within matter of hours. There was pure gold found in Colorado. Then, in 1849 California had a Gold Rush. James Polks success in pushing Manifest Destiny led to the collapse of his own party. If the idea of Manifest Destiny didn't happen then the Homestead Act, Transcontinental Railroad, and Indian Removal Act, wouldn't have occurred.

The peoples attitudes towards this was that they were happy for it. They said it was like a gift or sign from god. In the 1830's Americans were highly influenced by this. Many people were filled with joy because they were able to do something different. For people to be able to expand and move more out towards west was like everybody's dream. It was super exciting for them all. It was a motivating force behind the rapid expansion of Americans into the west. This ideal was quickly spread just because of how happy and exciting it was for all the people around. Manifest Destiny was like a miracle to all the people around.

The Indian Removal Act

On May, 28th, 1830 the Indian Removal Act was officially endorsed by President Andrew Jackson. The policy ensured that Indian tribes living in the Southern portion of the United States must bargain for their removal, to designated territory West of the Mississippi River. This was in exchange for the Indian's inherited homelands.

Though the new law had required that the negotiations must be

peaceful, fair and agreed upon, many tribes were not willing to leave their home.

After a year of rejection from many people, the U.S. Army threatened the Choctaw tribe of invasion if they didn't clear out. And with that they, along with many other Indians were forced to walk a barbarous journey to the West side of the Mississippi River.

The Cherokee tribe was not so easily influenced though.

In 1835, representatives from the Cherokee nation came up with the Treaty of New Echota. The cartel offered all of the Cherokee land East of the Mississippi River for $5 million, along with relocation assistance etc. The federal government was pleased with the deal. The Indians were forced to walk more then 1,200 miles to exceed their destination. This path to their new territory became known as The Trail Of Tears.

Many factors such as typhus, whopping cough,

dehydration/starvation killed possibly over 5,000 Indians on their journey.

Although many Indians suffered throughout

the process of the Indian Removal Act, the U.S. had gained a life altering amount of land, that resulted in a proud moment for the U.S. So Don't make the Indian's hardship for nothing. The new Policy is just one of many reasons to move West. A new life awaits you!

Homestead Act

In 1862, Abraham Lincoln signed the Homestead Act. This act gave settlers 160 acres of land to the ones that lived there for 5 years and paid the filling fee. A large number of citizens feared the Homestead Act because they thought it would lower the value of land, reduce cheap labor supply and the ones from the south feared the "homesteaders" would have a say in doing away with slavery. However the southerners didn't have a say, so the act was passed on May 20th 1862.

If someone who only lived there for 6 months wanted to be part of the Homestead Act, they would have to pay a dollar and twenty-five cents per acre. The free land gave citizens the chance to grow crops and start farming. Although many people didn't get the opportunity to farm, due to little to no equipment, but the ones that began farming had large success in the business.

At this time 11 states had already left the union, by signing this act Lincoln thought things would change. He had hope that the Homestead Act would attract people to move west and expand the area, and that's exactly what happened. In January 1863 418 filed claim for land and pioneers followed. In this short period of time the land was already heavily populated and there were new businesses, schools, homes and even new states. Lincoln was successful in expanding his territory in 1862 all thanks to the Homestead Act.