Significance Of The Lewis And Clark Expedition

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The Lewis and Clark Expedition is most commonly known as the exploration that led to the westward expansion of the United States of America. William Clark is highly under-credited for his role as one of the two explorers on the trip with most of the credit given to Meriwether Lewis. William Clark is responsible for the making of maps along the journey, especially his master map of the West. Without the detailed maps that Clark created, there would have been a delay in westward expansion in an attempt to conquer the idea of manifest destiny. What is not talked about is Clark’s life both before and after the trip as he is just solely known for this particular expedition. William Clark was born on August 1, 1770, to John Clark III and Ann Rogers …show more content…
At the time, none of the lands in the territory belonged to the United States. However, Congress did agree to fund the expedition that would later be led by Meriwether Lewis and William Clark. The issue of not owning the territory between already occupied land and the Pacific Coast was solved in 1803 when Jefferson sent James Monroe and Robert R. Livingston are sent to France to compromise with Napoleon Bonaparte. Previously in 1802, Bonaparte closed the port of New Orleans to the United States as France was in control of Louisiana. Monroe and Livingston’s trip to France resulted in the United States paying fifteen million dollars for the entire Louisiana Territory, doubling the size of the nation. After this deal was made and approved by the Senate, Jefferson began searching for who he would entrust with the task to explore the new unknown territory past the Appalachian Mountains. President Jefferson decided to choose none other than Meriwether Lewis who he had appointed as his secretary in …show more content…
Louis. It is here where they began their expedition with their men who comprised of all white men except for one black man named York. This group is called the “Corps of Discovery” by many historians as they faced almost every challenge imaginable on such a journey. Some of these hardships included, “hunger, illness, injury, fatigue,” as well as sexually transmitted diseases such as syphilis. The expedition itself did not entirely begin until the spring of 1805 as Lewis, Clark, and their men set up camp at Fort Mandan to wait out the winter and prepare for their exploration to the Pacific Ocean. During the expedition, they encountered numerous groups of people who resulted in helping the men on their travels. The first group they encountered was the Shoshone Indians in Montana who knew how to traverse the “great rock mountains with horses.” It was Clark who, with experience as a soldier and in the outdoors, kept the expedition going, encouraging and helping men who were falling behind. The men endured, even more, hardships with some of the Native American tribes that they met along the way. One tribe viewed white people as sacred and allowed the women of the tribe to sleep with them. However, the tribal women had never seen a man with dark skin before. The women were drawn to York’s physique and power that came from him as compared to the white men. What the

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