American Expansion essay

Topics: United States, Native Americans in the United States, American Civil War Pages: 2 (612 words) Published: June 9, 2013
Expansion west
The expansion of the American west from the Atlantic Ocean to the Pacific Ocean has affected the United States in many ways, settlers held the belief that they were meant to expand through the continent. Westward expansion meant that there would be political unrest for many reasons. In moving west, settlers had trouble with Native Americans. Settlers tried to have them removed by the government but not everyone was in agreement on how to do this. Some wanted to use force, others wanted to deal peacefully with Native Americans but this did not happen fast enough for some settlers.

In order to remove Native Americans many crimes and atrocities were committed against them, many tribes were forced to leave their land or be killed. This resulted in hostility from Native Americans toward settlers, which in turn wanted the government to defend them against the “savages”. These problems were the reasons that Americans had such a bad understanding of who Native Americans really were as people.

Slavery was also a big political and social issue in the west ward expansion, many people opposed slavery and wanted it to be abolished; others such as land owners and cash crop exporters wanted slaves to be seen as property and nothing more, so that they could continue to exploit them for free labor. Plantation owners wanted to expand their holdings and the amount of crops that they could export. For land owners, going west had great possibilities. As The United States territories expanded both west and southward, it had to be decided if the new territories would be free or slave territories. Whether a territory was free or slave was of big importance because, if that territory later applied for statehood it would make either side more powerful in representatives in congress. Neither side wanted the other to have more representation in congress so it was important to maintain a balance.

There came a point of time in history were there had to be a...
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