The Oregon Trail Essay example

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The Oregon Trail

The Oregon Trail was a very important aspect in the history of our country’s development. When Marcus and Narcissa Whitman made the first trip along the Oregon Trail, many Americans saw a window of opportunity. The Oregon Trail was the only practical way to pass through the Rockies. Pioneers crammed themselves into small wagons to try to make it to the unsettled land; however, 10% of these pioneers died on the way due to disease and accidents.

The journey along the Oregon Trail was a very long and rough experience. Stretching out to almost a whopping 2000 miles it usually took the pioneers 4-6 months travelling at 12 to 16 miles per hour. Throughout this journey the pioneers had to battle with cholera, poor
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The role of the Native Americans during the time of the Oregon Trail was a very important one. The first section of the Oregon Trail bisected two major Native American tribes, these were the Cheyenne to the north and the Pawnee to the south. Many of the travelers feared attacks by these tribes but were surprised when they were allowed to pass unharmed. The Native Americans were the opposite of what was expected of them. They were very helpful to the travelers. They often helped travelers pull out stuck wagons, rescue drowning travelers, and even round up lost cattle. Native Americans also acted as guides, carried messages between wagon trains, traded with the travelers, and even helped some travelers cross Indian land.

Most of the encounters with the Native Americans were simple business transactions. Travelers traded clothing, rifles, and tobacco products in exchange for horses and food. However, many travelers complained that the Native Americans charged expensive tolls for crossing their lands. Conflicts between the Indians and the travelers were pretty rare. Out of the 500,000 people to travel along the Oregon Trail fewer than 400 pioneers lost their lives due to attacks. When the travelers had overgrazed the prairie grasses, burned all the available firewood, and killed all the herds of buffalo attacks were expected by the travelers. In order to
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