Essay Westward Expansion

639 Words Mar 22nd, 2015 3 Pages
Westward Expansion
During the 1800’s, American citizens packed up and headed West to the new unknown land of the United States of America. Western expansion was a great part of the growth of the
United States because it gave Americans new land to settle, expanded its economy, and made the
United States a world power. The desire to expand was described by newspaper editor John
O’Sullivan who wrote, it is America’s “Manifest Destiny to overspread and to possess the whole of the continent”.
First of all, westward expansion benefited the United States by increasing the area of settled property. This property included many different types of land. Farmers were able to buy fertile farmland cheaply in states like Iowa, Nebraska, and
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Tens of thousands of people moved, creating future cities like San Francisco and Denver. The completion of the transcontinental railroad connected the Atlantic and Pacific coasts allowing for the shipping of goods across the country. Western farm products like wheat, corn, beef, and poultry were shipped east to feed the growing number of workers in factories in cities like Philadelphia,
Boston, and New York. The increase in land, natural resources, and industry gave the United
States a larger role in the world.

Finally, westward expansion secured the United States by pushing foreign powers off of the continent. By controlling both coasts, the country was protected by the oceans, therefore separating it from the other continents. Through the Monroe Doctrine, the United States eliminated European colonization in the Western hemisphere and became its most powerful nation. Through development of industry, the United States was able to grow as a manufacturing and trading power. As industry grew immigrants poured into the “land of opportunity” seeking what became known around the world as the “American dream”.
In conclusion, westward expansion was responsible for the increasing variety of geography, population, and industry which shaped the changing United States during the 19th century. These changes led to the opportunity for Americans to own land. The new settlements led to a growing network of communication, transportation, and trade. The
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