What Is Westward Expansion?

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The United States wasn't always an independent world power that it is today, this country started out as 13 small colonies owned and controlled by Great Britain. Before gaining independence, the colonies would essentially have to deal with whatever Britain threw their way, whether it's war debt or trade regulations. This was reason enough for the 13 Colonies to seek their independence. These colonies were finally established as an independent nation on July 4, 1776 and became the United States of America. This new nation was founded on the value of freedom, which made it appealing to new settlers. The United States became stronger after achieving its independence, this led to economic improvements, the War of 1812, and westward expansion. …show more content…
Westward Expansion is another impact of American independence. Once the nation separated from Britain, they expanded westward to increase the power of the U.S. The first major step in westward expansion was the Louisiana Purchase. The Louisiana Purchase was the United States purchase of the Louisiana territory from France. This territory was important to American citizens because they relied on the port of New Orleans for trade. The U.S. purchased the area from France for $10 million, one of the reasons the French accepted this deal was because Napoleon wanted the money to start a war against Britain. The result of this deal was that the U.S. almost doubled in size, this increased the United States' influence and also helped trade surrounding New Orleans. Another example of westward expansion was the Texas Revolution. The Texas Revolution was fought between Texan and Mexican colonists; this revolution was caused by cultural differences and resulted in Texas gaining their independence from Mexico. After the Texas Revolution was fought, Texas wanted to join the U.S., but this couldn't happen because the U.S. didn't want to anger Mexico and start a war as a result. Eventually, Texas became a part of the U.S., as was expected, Mexico was upset with this decision. This started the Mexican-American War. The Mexican-American War was fought between the Mexico and America. This war didn't only occur because of the U.S. accepting Texas into the United States, it also happened over disputes of where the Mexican-American border should be located at. The war lasted around two years and eventually ended with the signing of the Treaty of Guadalupe, this treaty made it known that the Mexican-American border was at the Rio Grande. Another result of this treaty was that Mexico offered to sell California to the United States. These wars and purchases helped the United States expand west.

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