Western Expansion of the 1800's
A Look Into A Great Journey
Who Moved Due West?
There were many groups who chose to move West. Of these groups, there were the Mormons, the 49ers, the Comstock Lode miners, the Homesteaders, and the former slaves.
Picture is of the 49ers
Why Did they Move West?
The Mormons migrated to Salt Lake City, Utah, in order to escape religious persecution.
The 49ers moved to California due to a large discovery of gold dubbed the "California Gold Rush of 1849". Ten years after that, miners rushed to Western Nevada because of a silver rush called the, "Comstock Lode," which was the largest Silver discovery of our history. The Homesteaders wanted to move west so they could own their own land for free. Former slaves moved West to work for ranchers, for they couldn't get a good job anywhere else.
Picture is of the Comstock Lode
Challenges of the West
Natives Americans lives and land were being infringed upon. Their living conditions slowly got worse and worse. As for most people in the West, the Natives in particular, the process was painful, but the rewards were all worth it.
Picture is of Native Americans in the West.
What was life like in the West?
For many, moving West was in search of better opportunities. Along the way, some struck it rich, and some fell short. Overall, the experience was tough and required a lot of hard work. Some felt as if their Eastern lives were better. Most, however, felt as if it was their right, nay, their obligation to settle West. This belief was called Manifest Destiny, and it drove many people to exceeding in the West.
Picture is of Manifest Destiny.
Government in the West
There many actions the government took to aid Westward expansion. One of these actions was the Homestead act. The Homestead act made many move to the West so they could own a ton of land for 5 years of work. Another action was the Morill Land Grant Act, in which agricultural colleges were opened to teach farmers the newest technology and standards. One last action taken by the government opened up the Native American land in Oklahoma to settlers. This became known as the Oklahoma Land Rush.
Picture is of an Agricultural College