The War of 1812 was followed by a period of exploration and settlement of the territory in the west. The exploration and settlement led to the development of six states. The main reasons for the westward expansion were the idea of manifest destiny, population growth in eastern states, cheap fertile land, economic opportunities, cheaper and faster transportation, and knowledge of overland trails. New technologies were developed as a result of the westward expansion. Cotton gin of Eli Whitney increased the production of cotton. Steam boats and locomotives were developed during this period. Other important landmarks during the period include removal of Indians, expansion of canals and railroads, Texas Rebellion, and US Mexican War. US won the war and extended its territories upto Pacific ocean. There were many reasons for the development of the west. The introduction of steamboats and railroads led to the development of trade and industry. The expansionist policies of Federal government like Homestead Act of 1862 helped the development of agricultural west. The Native Americans who lived in the west were greatly affected by the westward expansion. The population growth in the west led to the destruction of the environment and depletion of resources. The settlers and army killed the buffaloes to drive out Indians. Some of the tribes resisted the advancement of the whites but the US army defeated them in a series of battles. They were confined to reservations. Andrew Jackson, the President of the United States followed a policy of coercive removal of Indians with the passage of Indian Removal Act. The expansion also led to the destruction of their culture. The westward expansion led to the vast expansion of American land upto the Pacific ocean. Socially, the westward expansion destroyed the culture of the Native Americans. The wars with the tribes killed hundreds of them. The expansion expanded the institution of slavery. The introduction of cotton, steamboats, and railroads greatly improved the face of the west. It led to the development mining, trade, industry and rise of cities. The period after the civil war marked the beginning of economic development and industrialization. The railroads revolutionized the cattle industry. Large scale ranches were developed during this period. Large tracts of land occupied from the natives resulted in the development of agriculture, ranches, farms, and mining. Business of the sub regions were varied. Fur trade was the important business of the pioneers in the Rocky mountains. Mining was the biggest industry in the South West. Agriculture was the main business of the northwest. The discovery of gold led to large scale gold mining in California.
A) Overview of the expansion into the west.
The War of 1812 was followed by a period of exploration and settlement of the territory in the west. There was already a large tract of land received from France as result of Louisiana Agreement. The pioneers between 1816-21 began to explore the unexplo READ MORE »