The Westward Expansion Of The United States

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The Westward expansion began for the United States with the Louisiana Purchase in 1803. For $15 million dollars, President Thomas Jefferson purchased from France 828,000 square miles, including most of 14 current states, thus doubling the size of America. Jefferson now had the land, but how to populate it was another story. On a three year expedition, Lewis and Clark were sent by Jefferson to explore the lands to get a better understanding of the geography and resources of the West. During the 1830s to 1840s, to promote further territory expansion, the “manifest destiny” came into play – which was the idea that America was destined to expand across the entire country westward. Quickly, the nation expanded. After the Civil War, there was a…show more content…
In order to survive, the entire family needed to work. Each day, the settlers would wake up with the sunlight and work until sundown. Farmers heavily dependent upon the weather; a drought could kill the crops and wipe out an entire year 's worth of work. Wildfires could be even worse as they could destroy everything including the settler 's crops, barn, and home. As if that wasn 't enough, settlers had to worry about insects eating their crops and tornados destroying their homes. It wasn 't an easy life. However, a few of the settler’s children attended a local one-room schoolhouse. Usually they had only one teacher that taught all of the grades. They learned the basics such as reading, writing, math, spelling, and history. When writing, they used slates instead of paper. Slates were like small chalkboards they could hold in their hands (Ducksters.com). The cattle kingdom out west had hit its peak in the 1880 's. A steer could be purchased in Texas for eight dollars. They could be sold in the east for up to sixty dollars. In the 1880 's the open range is coming to an end. The farmers are fed up with the cattle tromping through his crops. The sheepherders also took away from the cattle kingdom. The sheep killed the grass when they ate it, unlike cows. The farmer and cowboy hated each other, and they were
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