And so we have it. The Civil War had now ended and the United States government was encouraging its peeps to move to the West. The government had began to give land grants to railroad companies to build railroads. They wanted to bridge the gap between East and West. In the end, four out of the five railroad including the transcontinental railroad were created to help the United States make transportation between East and West easy breezy. The United States government also passed the Homestead Act of 1862. This Act let people who were looking to move West, claim over a 160- acres of free land. The only thing they had to do was to live on the land and develop it for at least five years. This in turn, lead to the birth of Cattle Ranches. The Americans seeking to move West, saw the Homestead Act and the Great Plains as a fresh start and a great opportunity. They also hoped to strike it rich as they remembered the California Gold Rush of the 1840-1850’s.

The primary reasons for the Westward Expansion were opportunities to own land, a new beginning for former slaves, the dream of striking it rich during the California Gold Rush, the transcontinental railroad ventures in new technology, and overall adventures of moving to the west.

It wasn’t all pretty though. The Westward Expansion also brought about the Manifest Destiny, a 19th Century doctrine, that stated that the expansion of the United States was America’s God given right. Those that believed in this doctrine, believed that this expansion was justified and inevitable. This invoked the Indian Removal Act and the Trail of Tears a genocide and death walk of Indian tribes throughout the U.S. It also inspired the Mexican American War, which was a territorial takeover of lands that were previously Mexican territories: California, Utah, Nevada, Texas, and New Mexico. Don’t forget to hit the Like button and subscribe to our Channel.

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