Time to go West!
The Oregon trail a 2,200 mile road stretching from Independence, Missouri to Oregon. Around 1836 wagon trains started on their journey only bringing items necessary for their survival and their families. The Oregon trail was trailblazed by two famous men known as Meriwether Lewis and William Clark in the early 1800's. But why would someone go on a journey that would likely kill them?
Their Great Adventure
After the Thomas Jefferson made a deal with Napoleon Bonaparte Jefferson decided to send two men and a party to explore the 885,000 square miles of land they had bought for $15 million dollars. The two men were Meriwether Lewis and William Clark. On November 7, 1805 the journey started from Independence, Missouri and was going to end at the Pacific Ocean in Oregon. If you do the math that's about 1,904 miles away from each other! After a whole year of research, logging, and exploring their expedition ended September 23, 1806. Lewis and Clark explored the West started the Oregon Trail they gave way to new land, new families, new lives, and new Americans.
What does it mean to be an American?
What it means to be an American as an Explorer means that you are counted on by people, proud, and you take risks. As an explorer you go and help people find new land, new lives, new homes you get to see smiles on every person who walks on the trail that you made and most of all you feel proud. Lewis and Clark were proud to see that their task was complete and that the Oregon Trail was trailblazed: "Great joy in camp we are in view of the Ocian...this great Pacific Octean which which we have been so long anxious to See. and the roreing or noise made by the waves brakeing on the rockey Shores (as I suppose) may be heard disti(n)ctly.". As an explorer you may have to take some risks you are exploring unknown territory and Lewis Learned that the hard way: " Stopped about a mile above for Capt. Lewis' who had assended the Clifts which is about at the said Cave 300 feet high, hanging over the water and was near falling from a Peninsulia saved himself by the assistance of his knife.". What it means to be an American as an explorer means that you are proud of living here that you will defend the country that you live in. As an Explorer you are proud, counted on, and a risk taker.
Westward Expansion ended the Manifest Destiny which many Americans sought after. Manifest Destiny was the belief that the Americans needed to spread their borders "from sea to shining sea!". But of course like everything we do it ended badly people died trying to get to the Pacific Ocean many died on their way to San Francisco. We even decided that we had to get rid of the Natives because they were in the way of our 'destiny'. Many of those people later fought to either free slaves or keep slaves. But we are no different than them we haven't changed we don't deserve the U.S. We only have the U.S.A because we fought for it through bloodshed not by love.
Westward Expansion: Crash Course US History #24
“Lewis and Clark Journal Entries.” Brain Waves Instruction. 2014. Web. <www.brainwavesinstruction.blogspot.com>
Davidson, James West and Michael B. Stoff. America History of Our Nation. Boston: Pearson Education, Inc., 2006. Print.