i give up - 1 How the West Changed America In the past and...

Info iconThis preview shows pages 1–3. Sign up to view the full content.

View Full Document Right Arrow Icon
1. How the West Changed America In the past and in the present, romanticized accounts of the West depict it as a beacon of opportunity where unimaginable riches and thriving farms awaited those settlers that were strong and brave enough to survive the perilous journey into the land of cowboys and Indians. However, the West played a larger role in the progression to modern America than most realize. It was a key point of debate in the coming of the Civil War and a hotbed of migration for natural born citizens and immigrants. As the West was settled and many native peoples were displaced, many strove to ‘create’ Americans. While the settling of the western frontier was a common experience in many other countries, the American version is different in a few key ways. The unique way that the United States approached its conquest of the western frontier created the future of the nation. In the mid-1800s, the South had a strong desire for slavery to be made legal in the West in order for their profitable plantations to spread and thrive. However, many in the North and they were against the spread of slavery into the West. Economically, the North feared the spread of slavery because it put them at a disadvantage. A small farm run by a family or two could not compete with a huge plantation driven by the labor of thousands of enslaved peoples. There would be no way for them to compete. Another fear the North had was political. The South dominated the government at the time and if they were allowed to spread their influence, the North would be at the political mercy of the South. In addition to economic and political worries, the North and South suffered a break in religious denominations over the issue of slavery. Between 1840 and 1850 three major faiths, the Baptists, Methodists, and Presbyterians, experienced a rift between Northern
Background image of page 1

Info iconThis preview has intentionally blurred sections. Sign up to view the full version.

View Full Document Right Arrow Icon
and Southern believers. Northerners believed slavery was a sin and those that practiced it were ‘willful sinners’. These monumental issues surrounding the West contributed immensely to the Civil War. After the North won the war, they were able to compete economically because massive plantations no longer had the forced labor that fueled their success. The South was greatly weakened politically, giving strength to the Northern agendas, such as railroads. After the war, the West was the target destination of many American citizens searching for opportunity. The Homestead Act was an opportunity for both for those born in the U.S. and those that immigrated to gain land and establish their own farms. However, the West was not an empty territory and tribes of Native Americans were forcibly relocated and driven onto reservations. Along with displaced native peoples, recently freed slaves became the targets of assimilation efforts. Luther Standing Bear is one of the many young Native Americans that was removed from his family and sent to a boarding school. Once there, the children were given haircuts and dressed in the clothing
Background image of page 2
Image of page 3
This is the end of the preview. Sign up to access the rest of the document.

{[ snackBarMessage ]}

Page1 / 7

i give up - 1 How the West Changed America In the past and...

This preview shows document pages 1 - 3. Sign up to view the full document.

View Full Document Right Arrow Icon
Ask a homework question - tutors are online