The Summary of the Manifest Destiny

The Manifest Destiny is a thought of what American History was built on. It is a chronological record of impacking events that have an effect on our nation today. The entire event cannot be set to a certain date because it is a whole bunch of events put together as one. It really can not be described by any word except "a movement." A movement in this case is something that gets something else going. The whole Manifest Destiny got our country going and moved the people of the past and today.

Our culture is based on this process. We bought land from France and our culture in that area can be backed up to the French. Also if the past Americans decided not to explore the country or at the time the territories owned by other countries, we would not have as much land today. We would not own much of the west or southwest of our country. We think greatly of the explorers such as Lewis and Clark for exploring this land. And now we can call this land our own.


The Louisiana Purchase

The Louisiana territory was bought by the United States. This portion came out of land owned by the French. The US paid about 80 million francs for the territory. When converted to American money it was about 15 million dollars. The entire purchase contained 15 US states and two Canadian Provinces.

Before the signing of the treaty that gave the Louisiana Territory to the United States, we, as a country, had to think. Some people said to President Jefferson that if we buy this land piece from France, the French might think that they have the right to be in our land. Another major thought was that a US president did not have authority to buy the land because it was not specified in the constitution. Americans were only planning on spending ten million dollars on it and then realized it up for sale for 15 million. The treaty was dated April 30, 1803. However, it wasn’t signed until May 2 of that year. The treaty didn’t get to Washington D.C. until July 14,1803. Acquiring this territory doubled the size of the United States.

In 1803, President Jefferson sent a discrete message to Congress. This mission had to be discrete because it was questioned that France still owned this land, and if they were caught, it might be considered trespassing. Jefferson wanted to explore west of the Mississippi River. Jefferson chose a military expert and about a dozen other men to map out the whole route for about $2,500. Then, Napoleon offered that whole area to U.S. for $15,000,000. This became know as the Louisiana Purchase.

Jefferson chose Meriwether Lewis to explore the new land. Jefferson made very clear instructions, by saying "...explore the Missouri River and such principal stream of it, as, by its course and communication with the waters of the Pacific Ocean, may offer the most direct and practical water communication across the continent, for the purposes of commerce."
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California Gold Rush

As people started to discover that there was more land beyond the frontier, everybody started to move west to start farms and ranches. While we thought this was great that we had all this land, it wasn't so great for the Indians and native tribes. The government kept pushing them further and further back, promising them that they could stay where they were every time, and then forcing them to move back again and again. This made many of the tribes angry. One tribe in particular resisted moving until they absolutely had to. This tribe was the Cherokee. They were able to stay in their home land near Georgia, until President Jackson forced them to move 1000 miles west. 4000 of the Native Americans died, and their relatives would bury them on the side of the road. There was lack of food and the journey was rough and cold. Many of the Cherokee died of starvation or of cold. Because of the Cherokee's many hardships and sorrows, the journey from Georgia to the Oklahoma Territory was referred to as the "Trail of Tears."

The biggest rush towards the west was in 1849, during the California Gold Rush. When Gold was found in California, everybody rushed to get some. About 80,000 people headed west to California, in hopes to find gold and become rich. While everybody was heading way west, there was a whole area in the middle of the U.S., from where is now Nevada to Missouri. There were a few towns in the Middle West though. Before people found gold, others had started to explore the West and settled there.

Oregon Trail

Another big movement west was the Oregon Trail. During this time, pioneers were starting to move further and further West. They were going to Oregon. Thousands of people had started to travel West because there was more space and land for farming and agriculture.
The Oregon Trail went from the East, through Missouri, Colorado, and many of the states that are now today considered in the West, like Nevada, Wyoming and Montana.

The road on the Oregon Trail was a very long, hard journey. Many people died of starvation, dehydration, poison, and other deadly diseases. They families of the dead loved ones would have to bury the dead on the side of the road. Many times whole families would die on the journey.

People traveled in groups called trains. A train was a group of families that would travel together just in case something or someone got hurt, than another wagon could help out.

The Dragoon Expeditions

Dragoon is a group of soldiers that are from Fort Scott which is in the eastern part of our country. These soldiers participated in many expeditions to the western expansion. The soldiers helped parties on the Santa Fe and Oregon Trails. The whole point of these soldiers escorting the parties was because they wanted to control trade along the trails. They also wanted to keep the Plains Indians at peace.

The Dragoons organized in 1833. One of their first expeditions was on the Santa Fe Trail. This was a trade route trail between Missouri and Santa Fe and then continuing into parts of Mexico. Since these soldiers protected these trails, they had to keep it orderly. The problem they encountered on this trail was not the Indians, it was the Texans. So the Indians weren't much to worry about along this trail.

Dragoons played an important role in our country's growth. They didn't just protect the trails for trade. They also protected it for emigrant traffic. If these people weren't around, our country would not be what it is today.
Dragoon Expeditions

Donner Party

The Donner Party was a group of settlers heading for California to help expand our country. The Donners and the Reeds created a large wagon train to start heading west. They continued to stay on the California Trail for two months. Once they reached what is now Wyoming, some emigrants decided to take another route to get to California. Those people on the new route created the Donner Party. These emigrants reached the Sierra Nevada area and they were held up by a snowstorm. Most of the emigrants used up a lot of the oxygen at the high altitude. And the food was almost used up so some resorted to cannibalism.

Only some of these people actually made it to California. By the time the Fourth Relief came around to some of the campsites, only one man was alive. On the emigrants journey had significant impacts on the land. Some of the landmasses are even named after them, like the Donner Pass and Donner Lake.

Map of Donner Pass, Donner Lake and Summit Tunnel

Texas Revolution

American colonists in Texas helped the Texans secure the area of Texas away from Mexico. After Texas became part of the United States lots of colonists settled in Texas. After a while there were more colonists than Texas-Mexicans. Lopez de Santa Anna wanted to get rid of slavery so not as many colonists would move there.