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How the West was won

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Carey Greiner History 202w,Nancy Zens Paper 1, (Late) 3/11/02 How the West was won As Columbus pioneered west to promote his country's economy so did American pioneers centuries later. In our nations history we came to a point were we needed to expand our boundaries for various reasons including our human desire to discover and utilize all the resources we could find. We, of course, did eventually move west and even gained many unbelievable resources in the course of our migration. What was lost though? Can you expect to gain all that we gained in our westward expansion without it costing us? Well no, of course not. Columbus left his homeport with three boats. His expedition lost a boat but was ultimately responsible for the settlement of North America because of his pioneering spirit. I think the price of a boat was worth what he discovered and we later developed. Does our pioneering history in America in the 1800's seem similar in the respect of losses, but yet a triumphant legacy to carry on and prosper from? How do we feel about the losses we suffered, namely the loss of the Native American? It was the American's 'Manifest Destiny' as Billington wrote to 'reveal the hidden resources (in the west) ...read more.


Of course capitalizing on this trend, The Wild West Show gained popularity and gave the promoter a fist full of dollars, I suspect. This was how things continued. Discoveries were made, news relayed east, and investors and pioneers determined to cash in on any available resources moved out west to get what they thought was theirs for the taking. Gold was found as early as the 1840's in California (Faragher 543). This again was relayed back east and began one of the nations' largest and fastest migrations west. Gold fever drove people to give up everything and venture out west to find their fortune. Of course many outfitters were there, baked by rich eastern investors to sell the gold miner all of his goods like shovels, picks, and foodstuffs. I think these storeowners were the real victors of the gold rush. During all of the time we were scheming to move west, there was a great nation we had little thought of. This nation eventually became, in my opinion, the biggest hurdle in the westward expansion effort; and is the focus of the rest of this paper. From the beginning the plan was to move, isolate, and assimilate the Indians (Abel 22) so they would not hamper our efforts of expansion. ...read more.


The Indians even tried to plead peaceably with us, to no avail. They attempted to invoke the federal governments agreements to land acquisitions but continually found us to be double minded and unable to keep our promises. We were in it for the profit the west promised, not to protect the interests of these savages. We would gain at any cost the vast resources of the west. Damn the Red Man! 'Thousands of tragedies and experiences of absorbing interest marked this, one of the most dramatic chapters in our history'. (Foreman 13) Now we see Indians as a lost civilization. Some storybooks remain scattered about in our libraries. We pass by there desolate reservations, and scarcely think of them as able individuals. There existence as inhabitants of vile and fertile lands filled with buffalo and other game is far removed. Now they are exiled to the forbidding plots of unwanted land. Few Native Americans aspire to live the American Dream. Schools offer hope of an education but not there education, ours. How would you feel if you legacy was thought of as subordinate and uncivilized? The plight of the Indian Nation has yet to be fully played out but their sad state is very discouraging. I hope we will learn from our countries mistakes and make our nation a better place for all of us to live out our dreams. ...read more.

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