People who moved West

Identify types of people who moved West, and examine why they did so, mention the the the hardships experienced. The Louisiana Purchase of 1803, played a pivotal role in the westward expansion of America as many people were urged to venture to the western regions of America. This acquisition involved a sheer 2,144,520 extra square kilometres of land and doubled the size of the United States. It financially and materially bolstered the nation in terms of increased access to natural resources and trading routes including the Mississippi River. Consequently, more people were prompted to travel to America including Merriweather Lewis and William Clark and the Mountain men. Also, the Pioneers, Mormons and The Miners moved west. As stated by Manifest Destiny, people were destined to move Westwards. People generally moved west as means of mere exploration or economic stability and a chance to revitalise themselves. Lewis and Clark were the first westerners to explore the Western regions of America. Lewis and Clark faced many challenges in their exploration of the West of America. The Lewis and Clark Expedition occurred from May 1804 to September 1806 and was famous for being the first western American expedition. It aimed to explore the new western-territories now owned by the United-States and bought by Thomas Jefferson in the Louisiana Purchase from France. It was an attempt to gain a vaster knowledge of the natural and cultural resources of the now western America. The underlying purpose of the expedition was to find a trade route to the Pacific. Merriweather Lewis and William Clark were asked to command the exploration to the West by the president of The States. They found over 178 types of flora (178) and about 170 types of fauna on the journey and were even lucky enough to immerse with Native-American tribes. They had the privilege of meeting a lady named Sacagawea who was a native of American who knew the land much better than the Europeans and she guided them on their journey. The expedition was covering 70 to 80 miles (110 to 130 km) a day and it was a long and treacherous journey. Lewis tragically died in 1809 and many people speculate that he committed suicide, nonetheless, he reformed the face of the nation. Another objective of this expedition was to find a waterway that runs through the Pacific Ocean to make trading more accessible. They found the Missouri River which they followed in order to reach the Pacific Ocean. Although the expedition proved to be rather gruelling at times, only one person died in the expedition. The explorers did indeed bring back some of the cultures of the Red-Indians tribes back with them including ancient relics and artefacts of the indigenous culture. The expedition is a renowned journey spoken about to this very day and it was essential in the emergence of modern American civilisation. Similarly, the mountain men explored western America. The mountain men struggled with many encounters when they moved West. They lived a life of climbing mountains and trying their best to stay out of trouble and had the tough task of being the first American settlers with the first of the mountain men arriving in 1810. Their life generally consisted of capturing and hunting animals to sell in the West for profit and the mishaps along the way. Some lived alongside the native Americans and even traded with them while others were solitary figures. They had to fight off anything that crossed their paths, from bears to even humans and all of this while living in starvation, poverty and in freezing conditions. Optional-Jim Bridger was a typical mountain man who was born in 1801, regularly hunted animals, spoke a total of eleven different languages and had three Indian wives. He was also renowned for his work as a guide, storyteller and also as a trapper and one of the most well-known mountain men to exist. The Mountain Men were followed by the Pioneers. Pioneers endued numerous adversities during their treacherous journeys, particular by the Donner Party. Pioneers typically moved West in a search of a better life and new opportunities. They travelled on well-established trails including the Oregon and California trails by wagons that were pulled by horses from as early as the 1820s. The pioneers travelled in wagons that were cramped and thus not ideal to travel in for long periods of time, however, it was the only viable option. A long and enduring journey that lasted up to five months and very much dependent on the weather along the trails. It was not uncommon to see native Americans along the way, however, for the most part, both parties kept to themselves to stay out of trouble. Other problems include water scarcity and the extreme heat and blizzards that caused problems like dehydration, horses freezing to death and hyperthermia. The Donner Party travelled Westwards in 1846, they were a classic example of misfortune. Everything was going well until they intended to take a short-cut which was actually longer than the other path and since they left too late they became trapped in the snow. A few months later, they ran out of supplies and had to resort to cannibalism and even eat their own livestock. They were eventually rescued where only half of the party ended up at California. The Donner Party were ‘A testament to the hardship of the pioneers pushing west.’ Likewise, the Mormons faced many challenges on their journey. The Mormons lived their lives under scrutiny and they adventured Westward. They were a religious group who lived very religiously as they ‘shared everything and owned nothing’. Joseph Smith founded the Mormon church and also wrote the Book of Mormon in 1830, a book allegedly containing prophecies from a couple of thousand years ago including the coming of Jesus to America. Mormons were heavily persecuted in America and for a number of reasons including: the strength of the group, their beliefs including having multiple wives and their success relative to the general American. This persecution ultimately forced the Mormons westwards under the leadership of Joseph Smith. Joseph Smith later died in 1844, signalling the conclusion of the Mormons as a large-scale party. The Mormons lived arduous lifestyles, similar to the miners. Miners travelled west and were faced with many problems. Miners were encouraged to move West to Nevada after the discovery of gold and silver worth plenty of money. However, not all the resources were easily accessible to common folk and some required machinery. Working conditions included darkness, lack of oxygen and dust from drilling arising in various heath conditions and some proved to be fatal. Other issues posed include: explosives, potential of flooding and scorching hot temperatures in some of the deepest mines. Also, pay was not a reflection of all this as it was minimal and caused the rise of several labor parties. Additionally, foreigners were not given the same privileges as other people and this is something else that sparked controversy. Miners faced many hardships, as too did the settlers. The settlers were encouraged to move west in their pursuit of a better life by the Homestead Act which provided them with 160 acres of public land. The settlers found it hard to build their own houses due to the lack of trees and thus lack of wood to build houses. Stone was also uncommon to find, so they had to rely on sod to build with which was a time-consuming task due to the lack of machinery and the physical labour of cutting through the ground. They weren’t the largest houses, however, they were cozy and through perseverance and determination some people moved on to better houses generally through successful farming-entrepreneurship. Overall, many groups of people were pressured to move west as a result of the Louisiana Purchase and a range of other factors including economic and exploration reasons. Lewis and Clark, the Mountain Men, the Pioneers, Settlers and the Miners are all people who moved west who all faced many adversities and experienced many hardships.

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