Lewis and Clark

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The Lewis and Clark expedition ignited a period of expansion for the US. The enormous amount of new discoveries of all the new plant and animal species gave the United States a monopoly over certain products only found in the west. Ideas knowledge learned from the Indians influenced western medicine and helped shape diverse lifestyles, which provided the West with a much-needed break from the archaic ways of British living. The new geography discovered on the journey coaxed others to follow the expedition's path and gave them the incentive and courage to “move west” and explore on their own. The Lewis and Clark expedition, a.k.a. The Corps of Discovery Expedition was the first American expedition to cross and map the western part of the US. The journey left St. Louis on the Mississippi River in May, 1804 to map and explore the land recently bought in the Louisiana purchase, commissioned by President Thomas Jefferson. The Corps would travel to the Pacific and back arriving home in September 1806. The two-year journey was a success on so many fronts including new discoveries of flora and fauna found that were useful for trade, ideas and skills learned from the Indians, and the vast geography discovered encouraging others to migrate west.

The primary mission of the expedition was simple, explore and map territory purchased by President Jefferson. Jefferson was preparing the US for the westward expansion. Objective number two was to see if there is an all water route to The Pacific. The President had no idea there would be 8,000 miles of treacherous terrain including, the Rockies, the Cascades, and the Sierras separating the US from The Great Pacific. Clark soon developed a healthy respect for the beautiful land around the “unyielding river canyons.” (Anderson 2) Luckily, there were also many benefits to be had from effectively doubling the size of America adding such varied topography to the US landscape. When the Lewis and Clark Expedition's men stepped out of...
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