The Expansion of America and The Homestead Act of 1862

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By the 1840’s America was becoming a world power to be reckoned with. In order for the country to keep up with the increasing amount of people and become more powerful, the US expanded westward. After the War of 1812 a lot of America's attention went into exploration and settlement of all of the territory to the West, which had been expanded by the Louisiana Purchase. Families of pioneers traveled westward and found new communities through what is now called the Midwest. Westward expansion occurred for multiple reasons such as Manifest Destiny which was idea that the United States and its accompanying culture should spread across the entire continent. Another cause was the gold rush which was a rapid movement of people to a newly discovered goldfield. The Louisiana Purchase that is a treaty signed with France in 1803 by which the U.S. purchased for $15,000,000 the land extending from the Mississippi River to the Rocky
Mountains and from Canada to the Gulf of Mexico. Other causes of westward expansion included the Homestead Act which is An act passed by Congress in 1862 promising ownership of a 160-acre tract of public land to a citizen or head of a family who had resided on and cultivated the land for five years after the initial claim. and African American slaves, traveled West to get their freedom. Manifest Destiny was a rallying cry for expansionism and prompted rapid U.S. acquisition of territory during the 1800s. By 1840, almost 7 million Americans
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