Open an empty wilderness.And in less than fifty

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Open land, additional benefits and other existing problems encouraged Americans to
expand westward. The American people began to realize that the future of the country
lay in the development of its own western resources (Nash 533; 1).There were many
reasons that made the people face the grueling and dangerous movement west, but the
Regardless of the fact that thousands of Indian nations with rich and distinct cultures had
populated the land for thousands of years, Americans considered the west to be an empty
wilderness.And in less than fifty years, from the 1803 purchase of Louisiana Territory to
the California gold rush of 1849, the nation would expand and conquer the West. The
great migration began in 1841 and was stimulated by the depression of 1837 with people
with some capital hoping to make a fresh start (Nash 534; 2). By 1845, there were 6,000
Americans in Oregon, and the United States government tried to make the 49th parallel
as the boundary without success. The fur trade had since declined in this area so the
British agreed to the 49th parallel as the boundary in a treaty in 1846 and thus, American
sovereignty was established over the area covered by Washington, Oregon and Idaho.
The new acquisitions meant that problems like transportation had to be tackled. A
canal across Panama was planned but this didn't materialize for many years. The building
of a transcontinental railroad with the financial assistance of the government was debated
upon. Also the question of slavery in the newly acquired territories was a more troubling
issue and this decided the fate of the United States for the next few years.It was
because of the sudden shift of labor from farms to towns that started the westward
movement up north.The herding of cattle and sheep took place of agriculture (Nash 538;

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