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Unformatted text preview: 1. Eastward I go only by force; but westward I go free, wrote Henry David Thoreau in 1862. The future lies that way to me and the earth seems more unexhausted and richer on that side. Like Thoreau, many Americans in the nineteenth century saw the West as representing the future promise of America. The potential of this new western land, however, was often debated. How should it be acquired? How would it be used? Who would profit from it? In your estimation, what role did Western expansion play in United States history? To what extent was the West a unifying concept in early American history and to what extent was it essentially divisive?-- Western Expansion the role it played in US history is significant it catalyzed much of the conflict between Native American populations and the settlers o an Expansion of the settlers west, also means the retraction of the native Americans it was the basis for much conflict between native American tribes and early settlers o the great land pressure placed on the west and the native American groups occupying the west caused them to flee further and further west (in essence they were the first pioneers)...
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