Factors Of Westward Expansion

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The westward expansion of the United States began in 1803 when then President Thomas Jefferson completed the Louisiana Purchase, which doubled the footprint of the United States. This massive purchase of land covered 828,000 square miles at a cost of just 15 million dollars. (Louisiana Purchase) This massive purchase did not come easily for President Jefferson. Over the history of the United States many factors played into the colonization of the western part of the North American continent.
France’s Napoleon Bonaparte was threatening to reestablish a French colony in the Americas beginning around 1799. To aid in French colonization, Napoleon used his bargaining skills to sign a secret treaty with Spain that gave Louisiana back to France and
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When James W. Marshall discovered gold in Coloma, California in January 1848 he and the land owner tried desperately to keep it a secret. However, a newspaper called The Californian printed a note about the discovery that March. (Westward Expansion) The word spread so quickly that in 1949 around 90,000 people seeking gold flooded the area, these people were coined the “forty-niners.” Over the next few years it was estimated that 300,000 people had come to California to find gold and collect their portion. (California Gold Rush) In 1850 California was admitted into statehood, and the development of the areas inhabited by the gold seekers had become well developed. By 1852 the gold rush started to slow, because the gold became harder to find using conventional methods. (California Gold Rush)
The Transcontinental Railroad was completed on May 10, 1869 when Union Pacific and Central Pacific railroads met in Promontory Point, Utah. On that day a golden spike was driven to signify the railroads completion. The railroad was over 1900 miles long and stretched from Council Bluffs, IA to Sacramento, CA. (First Transcontinental Railroad) This new railroad was to become the new method of travel to the West, it was a necessary imprudent over the typical cart and oxen journeys which many didn’t survive. The transcontinental railroad allowed populations to boom all along the

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