The Key Events of Westward Expansion

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Westward expansion was one of the hardest times in US history. It was when people from the east started moving to the west. It was also a time where a lot of native americans got moved from their lands. At this time there happened lots of events like gold rush, oregon trail, etc.

How it Started

Westward expansion started in 1803, Thomas jefferson came up with the idea. According to wikipedia, “ To Jefferson Westward expansion was the key to the nation’s health. He believed that a republic depended on independent virtuous citizenry for its survival and that independence and virtue went hand in hand with land ownership”. Later in the year in july Thomas jefferson bought louisiana for $15 million dollars which is $250 million in today’s world. They bought it from france. It happened on July 4,1803.

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Gold Rush

In the mid-1800s, gold was first found in river of western North America. The first gold rush in North America was the california gold rush. In january of 1848, James Marshall saw something amazing. He found flakes of gold in the riverbed. The miners had a very hard time finding gold. It took so much work to find one piece of gold. Some people found gold and became rich, some didn´t and got very very very unlucky. People spend days,months,years to find this gold. Because of this people started moving to west.

Lewis and Clark

Meriwether Lewis & William Clark started their trip in 1803 and ended in 1806. Thomas Jefferson hired them and they were brave to accept it. A native american named sacagawea helped meriwether lewis and william clark reach their destination. Lots of people that helped Lewis and clark died. Why? There was no food or water,They were freezing in the winter also they got a disease like acute appendicitis, etc. They walked and searched for 2 years while on that trip sacagawea give birth to a baby called Jean. Sergeant charles floyd was the first one to die because of acute appendicitis.

Trail of Tears

The trail of tears started in 1838 and ended in 1839. “It was a series of forced removals of native americans from their homelands in southeastern usa to west mississippi river. 4000 cherokee died and more. The us gov’t, soldiers, etc, Joined in. The indian removal act of 1830 was signed in 1830 to clear land for white settlers. Lots of indian americans got furious because their land was taken. They had no place to live or food.

Transcontinental Railroad

The Transcontinental railroad was a 1,912 mile (3,077 Km) continuous railroad that was created between 1863 and 1869. It was created in Nebraska. The western pacific railroad company built 132 mi (212 km) of track they celebrated when it was finished. Lots of people visited The finished railroad


Westward expansion ended in 1856, this was one of the saddest moments in history in american history. There were things that were really beneficial like the gold rush,etc. This caused america popularity to grow it doubled in 2 years. Westward expansion is one of the things that made america be good.

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