Geography

How the west was won

How the West Was Won The American frontier is made up of history, geography, cultural expression, and folklore of life as the Americans expanded westwards from the initial colonial settlements up to the early 20th century. Emphasis is placed on the second half of the 19th century, a period commonly referred to as the old west. Frontier history is all about the story of the creation and protection of communities, land use, market development and the formation of states. It is further explained as the tale of conquest, as well as one of survival, and the linking of people and cultures and ways of life that led to the rise and continuing life to America (Rooselvelt 16). Through foreign treaties, political sabotage, military conquest, and digging mines, and pulling in enormous migrations of foreigners, the United States expanded greatly from coast to coast. With time, the American frontier drifted into history, and the myths of the west firmly held to the imagination of Americans and foreigners alike. From this understanding, this paper will give a detailed analysis of How the West Was Won.
The outer line of settlement moved steadily towards the west from the 1630s to the 1880s, with some movements from towards the north. The ‘west’ was always the area beyond that boundary. Thus, the Midwest and parts of the American south have a frontier history with the modern western states. Politicians prioritized the west during the colonial period (Leslie 73). In terms of expansion and settlement, the English, Dutch, and Spanish happened quite differently. The Dutch traded in the Hudson River valley, taking up tracts of land, but they did not push westward. In contrast, the Britons gave priority to individual land ownership among farmers (Otten 85).
Some American politicians began to argue that the United States should absorb the whole of North America. Bills were introduced into the senate, in an attempt to allow granting of free land to reward those willing to travel and claim the Rocky Mountains. Other politicians were of the opinion that such legislation would trigger war with Britain, and the bill did not sail through (Addison 4). There were several reasons, which made people risk travelling to California and Oregon. Emigrants emphasized on the importance of leaving the swamps of Mississippi, which were infested with fever. Antonie Robidoux claimed that he had never witnessed any case of fever. Stories regarding the high quality crops and the possible yields after growing spread widely. Claims were thrive that the motives, which brought forth togetherness of the crowds, were as many as their features. They were bound by a common object, that of bettering their condition (Leslie 76). They were psyched up by the sentiments of Richard Henry Dana, who in his book claimed that people living in California were lazy.
The journey from the Midwest to California was a six-month trip across 200 miles of rough terrain. There was also the need of a special wagon, which was costly. Between 1840 and 1848, approximately 11512 migrated overland to Oregon and 2735 to California. Some though returned home due to poor health and fear of Native Americans. The worst disaster in the history of wagons struck in the year of the donner party, when 42 immigrants and Indian guides died on the journey. In 1857, Alexander Fancher left Fort Smith with his wagon train for California and was attacked by Native Americans.
For a Native American, a material like this would be tantamount to treason, given the fact that the westerners were and are still deemed at the forefront in terms of discoveries, innovations, and any kinds of victories among others. Talking of how the west was won will be the best definition of the word impossible. This is because despite the many attempts made by the Native Americans to ascertain a pseudo-omnipotent disposition through films and other diverse channels, such a material would serve as a constant reminder that the west has been won (Runge 46). They would therefore remain to be viewed as conquerable and not as ‘impossible’ as they have made many a people believe.
Work Cited
Addison, Steve. How the West was Won Methodists and Baptists. Web 8 October 2012.
Leslie Stuart W. How the West Was Won: The Military and the Making of Solicon Valley. Web 8 October 2012.
Otten, Willemien. How the West was Won: Essays on the Literary Imagination, the Canon, and the Christian Middle Ages for Burcht Pranger. Chicago: Brill, 2010. Print.
Rooselvelt, Theodore. The Winning of the West, Volume One: From the Alleghanies to the Mississippi, 1769-1776. Los Angeles: Library, 2007. Print.
Runge, Ronald E. George Washington Jones: Re-winning Of The West. Lincholn, NE: iUniverse, 2005. Print.

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