The Role of Oregon Trail in a Western Expansion

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Manifest destiny and the Oregon Trail Play a huge role in westward expansion. Though Lewis and Clark set out on their expedition in 1804, the missionaries with a real main travels of the Oregon Trail. Merchant Nathan Wyeth led the first missionary group west in 1834 where they built an outpost in present-day Idaho. the United States had entered into war with Mexico, driven by the spirit of Manifest Destiny and expansion. The idea behind manifest destiny was rugged and far fetched. I find it crazy how taking control and to govern the North American continent would be God’s will. Little did they know the idea of manifest destiny would help shape the course of history. The process of expansion is both good and bad which shows in our history. Through manifest destiny the US was able to obtain 525,000 square miles of U.S. territory, including all or parts of what is now:

California, Arizona, Colorado, New Mexico, Nevada, Utah and Wyoming. A lot of people today don’t really know the devastation that occurred in order to obtain this land. The Mexican American war had many casualties on both sides. But in the process of expanding through those territories the U.S caused devastation and brutal mistreatment of Native American, Hispanic and other non-European occupants. I feel like this is important to history because it shows how America today was formed by devastation and greed, with little Care for the occupants of the land even though they were here before we first settled on soil.

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The Declaration of Independence is one of the most important documents in the history of the United States. It was an official agreement taken by all 13 American colonies in declaring independence from British rule. In the early 1770s, more and more colonists became convinced that Parliament intended to take away their freedom. In fact, the Americans saw a pattern of increasing oppression and corruption happening all around the world. On June 8, 1776, the Continental Congress voted to write a declaration of independence and quickly appointed a committee to draft a formal document. But the job of actually writing the draft fell to Thomas Jefferson, mainly because John Adams and other committee members were busy trying to manage the rapidly escalating war with England. As Thomas Jefferson wrote most of the declaration, he used ideas that were derived from John Locke, Algernon Sidney, and other English theorists. The Declaration of Independence has no legal authority. It is not part of the basic law of the United States like the Constitution and the Bill of Rights. But its words have resonated as the ideals of the United States. Abolitionists in the 19th century asked Americans to live up to the ideal of equality and eliminate slavery. The civil rights movement of the 20th century pressured America to honor the commitment made in the declaration. The document still speaks to us today about the rights of Americans, as it did in 1776.

In 1830, the South Carolina Canal and Rail-Road Company was formed to draw trade from the interior of the state. It had a steam locomotive built at the West Point Foundry in New York City. With the early form of transportation such as boats and wagons, travel and trade was very limited. By 1850, some 9,000 miles of track had been laid east of the Missouri River. This was a great step forward, but at a cost. Most of the work for the railroads was dangerous and had horrible working conditions. Since immigrants were looking for jobs and most were desperate for money they did not have many options. Roughly 10,000 to 20,000 Chinese immigrant laborers had helped forge the Central Pacific’s path over the Sierra Nevada mainly but also immigrants were the main work force fo all rail ways. The First Transcontinental Railroad completed in 1869, successfully bridging Pacific and central United States. This had a huge impact on many things. From the beginning of the train era, economy’s and people started to improve greatly. Now, business could cut cost on transport, lower prices and produce mass quantities to make a greater profit. Entrepreneurs had a lot more opportunities because of the fast means of travel. Even transportation, instead of making a trip that could take months now with trains and locomotives the same trip contact days.

I think meeting Abraham Lincoln would be a very intriguing. I would like to meet him because he was the man who abolished slavery. I feel like a man of his stature would be very intelligent so I think asking him some questions could be interesting. One question I think I would ask him would be; Do you feel prideful after the abolishment of slaver And victory of the Civil War. Honestly I am really not sure what he would say to me, but whatever it might be, I feel like it would have strong meaning and be very Impressionable. He might not have known it then, but his actions changed the world of today. Being the president of the union states he was able to implement his ideas. With his victory of the Civil War With the confederate states he was able to push forward his idea to stop slavery expansion. With the victory, Lincoln formally issued the Emancipation Proclamation to the confederate states. This helped put it in affect the movement towards the abolishment of slavery. The war effectively ended slavery, even before ratification of the Thirteenth Amendment in December 1865 formally ending slavery throughout the United States. President Lincoln as stated previously, was a very important person in history. I believe the most important thing that he had accomplished was abolishing slavery. I believe this is interesting because I find it crazy how slavery could’ve lasted that long, and how it took a Civil War between our nation to Resolve it.

Meeting Frederick Douglass would be a wonderful experience. I would love you meet him because of the inspiration he was to so many people. If I were to meet him one main question I would ask would be, despite the hardships and struggles you had to Indore where were you able to find motivation to push through and obtain your voice. I wouldn’t really know where to begin what he would be able to tell me, he has achieved so much in his life. But I believe he would say something along the lines of there is always possibility and hope. Douglass was a talented writer and speaker who escaped slavery and brought the issue of slavery to the attention of people in the 1840s, 50s, and 60s. He helped change how Americans thought about slavery, race, and democracy. it was not just what Douglass said, but how he said it. In his earlier years he was a strong speaker and advocate. He started as a speaker at an abolitionist meeting in Massachusetts 1841. As well, as attending the first Women's Rights Convention at Seneca Falls, New York. He had Published novels and newspapers to help further the quality of African-Americans. Douglass worked with Lincoln during the Civil War, and helped recruit northern African-Americans for the union army to fight for there freedom. 1872 he moved to Washington DC and purchases a 15 acre estate. He also became a federal marshal for the District of Columbia. Douglass was extremely important to history because his actions and words were a strong movement for the abolishment of slavery. I feel he is so interesting because Douglass went from being a slave, and barely able to read, all the way to holding a position in Washington DC.

I would like I would want to meet Samuel colt because, He was such a great entrepreneur, inventor, and business man. Since I am a firearms enthusiast with great interest in the workings or innards of weapons, I would ask many questions. Some questions that I would have to ask would be: What started your fascination on fire arms? From when you first started creating the revolver did you think that it would have such an impact on history, and today? Because he didn’t have an easy life before producing firearms and still hitting many bumpy roads through his process of manufacturing and production. I think he would pretty much say if there is a will there is a way, or more along the lines of don’t let your own past define your own future even with failures. Most people think that Henery Ford was the first to use the assembly line but Samuel Colt utilized the assembly line almost a half a century before him. Colt used the assembly line to produce his revolvers in his enormous Hartford armory beginning in the 1850s. Using interchangeable parts, Colt’s armory could turn out 150 weapons per day in 1856. Being able to mass produce products allowed Colt to make his weapons more affordable to gun-buyers settling the West. In 1846, during the Mexican War, the US government ordered 1000 Colt revolvers which helped move business forward. Samuel colt is so important to history because his firearms have been in use pretty much in every war since the Mexican war, and Produced the first remote control naval mine. I find it so interesting because through him, Colt as a company is still thriving today, and is still producing advanced weapons.

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