The Westward Movement: Manifest Destiny

Topics: Native Americans in the United States, United States, Oregon Country Pages: 1 (375 words) Published: December 5, 2013
Westward Movement
The Westward Movement was during the time period of the 1800’s. The Westward movement was also known as the Westward Expansion. There was no single cause to lead the US westward. Instead there was just the notion that America should and the possibility that America could expand. I found three that interested me. The three that caught my eye is the Lure of Silver and Gold, free cheap land, and the Manifest Destiny.

Westward expansion was greatly motivated by Manifest Destiny. The Manifest Destiny was an ethnocentric idea that the United States and its accompanying culture should spread across the entire continent. The Manifest Destiny referred to the belief of many Americans that it was the nation's destiny and duty to expand and conquer the West in the name of God, nature, civilization, and progress. So basically it was an obligation for the Americans to conquer/move west and claim that land and make it apart of the United States. Their judgment was being ruled by a religious belief therefore following the law of god.

The Lure of Silver and Gold was one of the big motivations for the Westward Movement. People heard that that there was gold and silver and they started to race to where they heard that there was gold thinking that, that was one way of getting rich easily. The flare of gold in California never really died out, and the discovery of gold in Colorado drew tens of thousands of miners to the region. When people heard that there were gold, it must have blocked there common sense because most of the mining camps and tiny frontier towns were filthy. The people in search of gold took over land that was there and made it their own, just so they could look for gold.

Another attraction of the Westward Movement was the land that was available. Congress passed the Homestead Act in 1862. This act offered 160 acres of land free to anyone who would live on and cultivate the land in five years. From the years 1862-1900 many families took...
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