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The Lewis and Clark Expedition

May 19, 2001 679 Words
American history is accompanied by a long list of explorers who first discovered and who explored the massive continent. All of the explorers had an impact on the development of America. The Lewis and Clark expedition, also known as the Corps of Discovery, stands prominently at the top part of this list. The Lewis and Clark Expedition has had a significant political, social, and economic effect on America. They were the first to map out the west and set off westward expansion. Without the success of the expedition growth of America would have taken five times as long, as predicted by Thomas Jefferson.

The Expedition had a drastic political effect on The United States of America. The area in which the expedition was to explore was very close along Spanish territory and a portion of the expedition was in Spanish territory. The Spanish government was very uneasy with the Corps advancing towards them because they thought The United States was attacking them. They dispatched a small group to intercept the Corps however they nearly missed them. Another political impact was the now issue of Indian relations. America just acquired a great deal of land that was formerly owned by Indians and they now had to explain to them that the land was no longer theirs and that they were now a part of the United States. Indian relations would be fine until they were forced to move off their land. The United States had to set up a new branch of government just for Indian relations. Previous to the expedition there were only little issues of dealing with Indians.

The Exploration of the west could have had the greatest economical impact on the United States ever. After the west had now been explored they realized they had a great deal of land that now had to be settled. The land was so vast and so cheap that it was sold for very low prices and sometimes just given away. This caused a huge surge of people to begin flowing west and sparked westward expansion. People began setting up farms and more and more people had opportunities to make a good living. Also people now had the chance to look for gold out west and the Gold Rush began. This is when America really had its boom. Lastly we now had twice as much if not more natural resources than we had before. The country had twice as much land than before and this land was rich with natural resources. Resources such as Oil, Steel and Acres of woods would prove very convenient in the growth of a successful nation.

The expedition had a great social significance as well. Before the expedition the explorers had only seen animals and species that were on the east. Each night, everybody on the expedition had to make detailed accounts of their day, what they saw, what had happened, and anything new. Well from these journals we got a fist look at hundreds of new plants and animals and species never seen before. Things like the prairie dog had never before seen and were captured alive and sent back to be studied. Scientists gained a new knowledge of the wilderness and what was out there.

There were many benefits of the expedition and it was an overall very successful expedition. These are only a few brief ways that the expedition changed The United States and there are still many other things. The Lewis and Clark Expedition has had a significant political, social, and economic effect on America. Not all of them were good things. With people moving out west the Indians who once inhibited the land had to be relocated and were forced on to reserves. These people lost their land and homes that their families had inhibited since before the white man had ever laid eyes on America. However many great positive things came out of it.

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