United State's Westward Expansion From 1800 to 1850 Term Paper

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American History

The United States Expansion in 19th century

After the Age of Discovery (16th to 18th centuries) in European society that led to the discovery of the large land mass that will be called the Americas, the "New World" began expanding. New inhabitants arrived to occupy different parts of the region, particularly those that had the potential to be cultivated as agricultural lands. Thus, when 19th century arrived, American inhabitants began building their political and economic institutions right after America had achieved its independence from British rule. This period of inhabitation between the years 1800-1850 was known as the United States Expansion.

The expansion involved was categorized into five stages. The first stage was the expansion towards the northwest territory, which included the states Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, and Minnesota. The move towards north was a logical thing to do at the time, for most of the inhabitants in the country were located and flourished in the South. The nature of northwestern society differed significantly from the south, since it was dominated not only with Americans of British descent, but it was also inhabited by immigrants from Europe, such as Germany and Scandinavia. The main industry that flourished was livestock raising, although the north also became a chief source of grain in the country.

There was also further expansion in the southwest region of the country, wherein settlement rapidly increased. The southwestern region was known for its cotton plantation, and this industry continued to flourish even after America had obtained its independence from Britain. Thus, due…

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The Trans-Mississippi west expansion was accomplished right after the Louisiana Purchase, wherein an expedition headed by Meriwether Lewis and William Clark was conducted to survey the territory bought by the new American government. In this stage of the U.S. expansion, the new government encountered numerous hindrances due to strong opposition from the Indians, specifically the Sioux tribe, who were the first inhabitants of the Americas. Thus, apart from the problem of black slavery, another social problem that the expansion had brought to society was the continued oppression and antagonism against the Indians.

The inclusion of Oregon and Texas in the American territory was also another step towards expansion that led to the emergence of greater division between the north and the south. North's opposition to black slavery prevalent in the south caused this social conflict. However, this stage in the U.S. expansion was a necessary move to ensure that America would not meet the same antagonism and territorial vulnerability it had during the British occupation.

The last stage of the expansion was culminated through the Mexican War (1846), wherein America forced the country and its citizenry to surrender its territory to the new American government. This occupation of Mexico became America's final step towards establishing United States as a politico-economic superpower through strong and strategic territorial lands.

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