Frontier Development in the Oregon Territory

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Frontier Development in the Oregon Territory Introduction Faragher, Buhle, Cziyron and Armitage ( 2010) note the westward development into the new territories of the United States usually took place in three stages; trade, settlement and statehood. The speed at which this expansion occurred reinforced America's sense of themselves as a pioneering people. This experience worked to create a belief that the United States was a nation of adventurous, optimistic, and democratic people (p. 357). Newspaperman John O'Sullivan wrote that Americans had a God given right to bring the benefits of democracy to other more backward people, and accomplish this by force if necessary. He argued this was the nation's manifest destiny. This belief became widespread and in conjunction with a missionary fervor and racist attitudes was a powerful motivating drive to the Pacific (p. 357). Discussion Trade In Oregon development was first predicated on trade between Spanish, British, Russian, and American ships and region's Indian peoples for sea otter skins. This period lasted from roughly 1780 to 1810. During this period of frontier inclusion there were many, often sexual contacts between the native inhabitants and the traders (p.360). Settlement Fur trappers, their Indian wives and their families composed the first permanent European settlers in the region. They congregated in Willamette Valley, a spot that became known as the French Prairie even though the inhabitants were a

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