Western Expansion

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From the 1860s to 1900s, the United States expanded westward as miners, cattlemen, and homesteaders pushed into the trans-Mississippi West. Motivation for the expansion west had great impact on the United States. American settlers and business were attracted to western expansion as opportunity came up. Cattlemen, miners, and railroads had all greatly impacted the United States, but of the groups railroads held the most significant impact on the United States and the growth of the nation. For years wild cattle had wandered the western open range until protein-rich beef was in demand to feed city dwellers in the east and miners as well as soldiers in the west. High demand for cattle increased the cattle industry and cattlemen. After the arrival …show more content…
The Transcontinental Railroad had stretched from coast to coast, connecting the nation and bringing the East and West side of the United States closer together. The Transcontinental Railroad ultimately led cattlemen, miners, and homesteaders to head West. Connecting both coasts, encouraged people to explore and discover more of the West. During the rise of cattle ranching, the Transcontinental Railroad made it no longer necessary to drive cattle hundreds of miles East. Drivers took stock to cow towns along the railroads. These improvements made it more efficient for cattlemen to drive the cattle and reduced the great length of their journey. The mining boom was also affected by the railroads. The Transcontinental Railroads allowed quick transport for prospectors looking to strike it rich and moved precious metals from deposits in the West Coast to the East Coast. These railroads also provided streams of supplies and people for mining boomtowns. Population in the West quickly expanded, because of easily accessible transportation. Riches were easily dispersed from coast to coast increasing economic flow, because of the mining industry’s success. The Transcontinental Railroads fulfilled the United States’s commitment to Manifest Destiny. Both the East and West Coasts of the country were united. This connected the nation, breaking down the barrier of time that divided the vastness of the nation. Railroads revolutionized Western expansion completely changing all aspects of connection and

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