✎✎✎ Manifest Destiny Thesis

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Manifest Destiny Thesis



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The Frontier Thesis - Frederick Jackson Turner and American exceptionalism

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Grade essays online Get an essay started nintendo wii case study. Ib physics extended essay tutor how to use idioms in an essay the summary of an essay is located quizlet. University of miami medical school secondary essays statement evaluative Thesis for essay, persuasive essay and an analytical essay. Indeed, his influence was felt in American classrooms until the s and 80s. Subsequent critics, historians, and politicians have suggested that other 'frontiers,' such as scientific innovation, could serve similar functions in American development. Historians have noted that John F. Kennedy in the early s explicitly called upon the ideas of the frontier. My call is to the young in heart, regardless of age—to the stout in spirit, regardless of party. Limerick points out that Kennedy assumed that "the campaigns of the Old Frontier had been successful, and morally justified.

The frontier thesis is one of the most influential documents on the American west today. Adrienne Kolb and Lillian Hoddeson argue that during the heyday of Kennedy's "New Frontier," the physicists who built Fermilab explicitly sought to recapture the excitement of the old frontier. They argue that, "Frontier imagery motivates Fermilab physicists, and a rhetoric remarkably similar to that of Turner helped them secure support for their research.

A small herd of American bison was started at the lab's founding to symbolize Fermilab's presence on the frontier of physics and its connection to the American prairie. The bison herd still lives on the grounds of Fermilab. Instead Fermilab's planners sought to return to Turnerian themes. They emphasized the values of individualism, empiricism, simplicity, equality, courage, discovery, independence, and naturalism in the service of democratic access, human rights, ecological balance, and the resolution of social, economic, and political issues.

Milton Stanley Livingston, the lab's associate director, said in , "The frontier of high energy and the infinitesimally small is a challenge to the mind of man. If we can reach and cross this frontier, our generations will have furnished a significant milestone in human history. John Perry Barlow , along with Mitch Kapor , promoted the idea of cyberspace the realm of telecommunication as an "electronic frontier" beyond the borders of any physically based government, in which freedom and self-determination could be fully realized. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Redirected from Frontier Thesis.

Frederick Jackson Turner's argument that American democracy was built by the American frontier. Main article: New Frontier. Works by, Frederick Jackson Turner. The Frontier in American History. Agricultural History. JSTOR Essays and Miscellany First ed. San Francisco. Project Gutenberg. Retrieved 20 April American Historical Review. American Quarterly. Kingsland, The Evolution of American Ecology, — p. Bureau of the Census. The Pacific Northwest Quarterly.

Western Historical Quarterly. Wyman and Clifton B. Kroeber, eds. Theatre Journal. Boles, "Turner, the frontier, and the study of religion in America," Journal of the Early Republic 13 2 pp. Slatta, "Taking Our Myths Seriously. ISSN New England Quarterly. The History Teacher. Kennedy to p. Grossman, The Frontier in American Culture p. Retrieved Metz, "Frederick Jackson Turner and the democratization of the electronic frontier. In what is now New York state the Dutch set up fur trading posts in the Hudson River valley, followed by large grants of land to rich landowning patroons who brought in tenant farmers who created compact, permanent villages. They created a dense rural settlement in upstate New York, but they did not push westward. Areas in the north that were in the frontier stage by generally had poor transportation facilities, so the opportunity for commercial agriculture was low.

These areas remained primarily in subsistence agriculture, and as a result, by the s these societies were highly egalitarian, as explained by historian Jackson Turner Main:. The typical frontier society, therefore, was one in which class distinctions were minimized. The wealthy speculator, if one was involved, usually remained at home, so that ordinarily no one of wealth was a resident.

The class of landless poor was small. The great majority were landowners, most of whom were also poor because they were starting with little property and had not yet cleared much land nor had they acquired the farm tools and animals which would one day make them prosperous. Few artisans settled on the frontier except for those who practiced a trade to supplement their primary occupation of farming. There might be a storekeeper, a minister, and perhaps a doctor; and there were several landless laborers.

All the rest were farmers. In the South, frontier areas that lacked transportation, such as the Appalachian Mountains region, remained based on subsistence farming and resembled the egalitarianism of their northern counterparts, although they had a larger upper-class of slaveowners. North Carolina was representative. However, frontier areas of that had good river connections were increasingly transformed into plantation agriculture. Rich men came in, bought up the good land, and worked it with slaves.

The area was no longer "frontier". It had a stratified society comprising a powerful upper-class white landowning gentry, a small middle-class, a fairly large group of landless or tenant white farmers, and a growing slave population at the bottom of the social pyramid. Unlike the North, where small towns and even cities were common, the South was overwhelmingly rural. The seaboard colonial settlements gave priority to land ownership for individual farmers, and as the population grew they pushed westward for fresh farmland. Land ownership brought a degree of independence as well as a vote for local and provincial offices.

The typical New England settlements were quite compact and small, under a square mile. Conflict with the Native Americans arose out of political issues, namely who would rule. Most of the frontiers experienced numerous conflicts. The series of large wars spilling over from European wars ended in a complete victory for the British in the worldwide Seven Years' War. In the peace treaty of , France ceded practically everything, as the lands west of the Mississippi River, in addition to Florida and New Orleans, went to Spain. Otherwise, lands east of the Mississippi River and what is now Canada went to Britain. Regardless of wars Americans were moving across the Appalachians into western Pennsylvania, what is now West Virginia, and areas of the Ohio Country , Kentucky, and Tennessee.

In the southern settlements via the Cumberland Gap , their most famous leader was Daniel Boone. Settlements west of the Appalachian Mountains were curtailed briefly by the Royal Proclamation of , forbidding settlement in this area. Treaty of Fort Stanwix re-opened most of the western lands for frontiersmen to settle. The nation was at peace after The states gave Congress control of the western lands and an effective system for population expansion was developed.

The Northwest Ordinance of abolished slavery in the area north of the Ohio River and promised statehood when a territory reached a threshold population, as Ohio did in The first major movement west of the Appalachian mountains originated in Pennsylvania, Virginia, and North Carolina as soon as the Revolutionary War ended in Pioneers housed themselves in a rough lean-to or at most a one-room log cabin. The main food supply at first came from hunting deer, turkeys, and other abundant game.

Clad in typical frontier garb, leather breeches, moccasins, fur cap, and hunting shirt, and girded by a belt from which hung a hunting knife and a shot pouch—all homemade—the pioneer presented a unique appearance. In a short time he opened in the woods a patch, or clearing, on which he grew corn, wheat, flax, tobacco, and other products, even fruit. In a few years, the pioneer added hogs, sheep, and cattle, and perhaps acquired a horse. Homespun clothing replaced the animal skins.

The more restless pioneers grew dissatisfied with over civilized life and uprooted themselves again to move 50 or a hundred miles 80 or km further west. The land policy of the new nation was conservative, paying special attention to the needs of the settled East. By the s, however, the West was filling up with squatters who had no legal deed, although they may have paid money to previous settlers. The Jacksonian Democrats favored the squatters by promising rapid access to cheap land. By contrast, Henry Clay was alarmed at the "lawless rabble" heading West who were undermining the utopian concept of a law-abiding, stable middle-class republican community.

Rich southerners, meanwhile, looked for opportunities to buy high-quality land to set up slave plantations. The Free Soil movement of the s called for low-cost land for free white farmers, a position enacted into law by the new Republican Party in , offering free acres 65 ha homesteads to all adults, male and female, black and white, native-born or immigrant. After winning the Revolutionary War , American settlers in large numbers poured into the west. In , American pioneers to the Northwest Territory established Marietta, Ohio , as the first permanent American settlement in the Northwest Territory. It was later lengthened to reach the Falls of the Ohio at Louisville. The Wilderness Road was steep and rough, and it could only be traversed on foot or horseback, but it was the best route for thousands of settlers moving into Kentucky.

In alone, Indians killed over travelers on the Wilderness Road. Kentucky at this time had been depopulated—it was "empty of Indian villages. One of those intercepted was Abraham Lincoln 's grandfather, who was scalped in near Louisville. The War of marked the final confrontation involving major British and Indian forces fighting to stop American expansion. The British war goal included the creation of an Indian barrier state under British auspices in the Midwest which would halt American expansion westward. The death in battle of the Indian leader Tecumseh dissolved the coalition of hostile Indian tribes. In general, the frontiersmen battled the Indians with little help from the U.

Army or the federal government. To end the war, American diplomats negotiated the Treaty of Ghent , signed towards the end of , with Britain. They rejected the British plan to set up an Indian state in U. They explained the American policy toward the acquisition of Indian lands:. The United States, while intending never to acquire lands from the Indians otherwise than peaceably, and with their free consent, are fully determined, in that manner, progressively, and in proportion as their growing population may require, to reclaim from the state of nature, and to bring into cultivation every portion of the territory contained within their acknowledged boundaries.

In thus providing for the support of millions of civilized beings, they will not violate any dictate of justice or humanity; for they will not only give to the few thousand savages scattered over that territory an ample equivalent for any right they may surrender, but will always leave them the possession of lands more than they can cultivate, and more than adequate to their subsistence, comfort, and enjoyment, by cultivation. If this is a spirit of aggrandizement, the undersigned are prepared to admit, in that sense, its existence; but they must deny that it affords the slightest proof of an intention not to respect the boundaries between them and European nations, or of a desire to encroach upon the territories of Great Britain.

As settlers poured in, the frontier districts first became territories, with an elected legislature and a governor appointed by the president. Then when the population reached , the territory applied for statehood. In the western frontier had reached the Mississippi River. Louis, Missouri , was the largest town on the frontier, the gateway for travel westward, and a principal trading center for Mississippi River traffic and inland commerce but remained under Spanish control until Thomas Jefferson thought of himself as a man of the frontier and was keenly interested in expanding and exploring the West.

France was paid for its sovereignty over the territory in terms of international law. Between and the s, the federal government purchased the land from the Indian tribes then in possession of it. Additional sums were paid to the Indians living east of the Mississippi for their lands, as well as payments to Indians living in parts of the west outside the Louisiana Purchase. Even before the purchase, Jefferson was planning expeditions to explore and map the lands. He charged Lewis and Clark to "explore the Missouri River, and such principal stream of it, as, by its course and communication with the waters of the Pacific Ocean; whether the Columbia, Oregon, Colorado, or any other river may offer the most direct and practicable communication across the continent for commerce".

Entrepreneurs, most notably John Jacob Astor quickly seized the opportunity and expanded fur trading operations into the Pacific Northwest. Astor's " Fort Astoria " later Fort George , at the mouth of the Columbia River, became the first permanent white settlement in that area, although it was not profitable for Astor. He set up the American Fur Company in an attempt to break the hold that the Hudson's Bay Company monopoly had over the region. By , Astor had taken over independent traders to create a profitable monopoly; he left the business as a multi-millionaire in As the frontier moved west, trappers and hunters moved ahead of settlers, searching out new supplies of beaver and other skins for shipment to Europe.

The hunters were the first Europeans in much of the Old West and they formed the first working relationships with the Native Americans in the West. Discovered about , it later became a major route for settlers to Oregon and Washington. By , however, a new "brigade-rendezvous" system sent company men in "brigades" cross-country on long expeditions, bypassing many tribes. It also encouraged "free trappers" to explore new regions on their own. At the end of the gathering season, the trappers would "rendezvous" and turn in their goods for pay at river ports along the Green River , Upper Missouri, and the Upper Mississippi.

Louis was the largest of the rendezvous towns. By , however, fashions changed and beaver hats were replaced by silk hats, ending the demand for expensive American furs. The trade in beaver fur virtually ceased by There was wide agreement on the need to settle the new territories quickly, but the debate polarized over the price the government should charge. The conservatives and Whigs, typified by the president John Quincy Adams , wanted a moderated pace that charged the newcomers enough to pay the costs of the federal government. The Democrats, however, tolerated a wild scramble for land at very low prices. The final resolution came in the Homestead Law of , with a moderated pace that gave settlers acres free after they worked on it for five years.

The private profit motive dominated the movement westward, [58] but the Federal Government played a supporting role in securing the land through treaties and setting up territorial governments, with governors appointed by the President. The federal government first acquired western territory through treaties with other nations or native tribes. Then it sent surveyors to map and document the land. Transportation was a key issue and the Army especially the Army Corps of Engineers was given full responsibility for facilitating navigation on the rivers. The steamboat, first used on the Ohio River in , made possible inexpensive travel using the river systems, especially the Mississippi and Missouri rivers and their tributaries.

For example, the Army's steamboat "Western Engineer" of combined a very shallow draft with one of the earliest stern wheels. In —25, Colonel Henry Atkinson developed keelboats with hand-powered paddle wheels. The federal postal system played a crucial role in national expansion. It facilitated expansion into the West by creating an inexpensive, fast, convenient communication system. Letters from early settlers provided information and boosterism to encourage increased migration to the West, helped scattered families stay in touch and provide neutral help, assisted entrepreneurs to find business opportunities, and made possible regular commercial relationships between merchants and the West and wholesalers and factories back east.

The postal service likewise assisted the Army in expanding control over the vast western territories. The widespread circulation of important newspapers by mail, such as the New York Weekly Tribune , facilitated coordination among politicians in different states. The postal service helped to integrate already established areas with the frontier, creating a spirit of nationalism and providing a necessary infrastructure. The army early on assumed the mission of protecting settlers along with the Westward Expansion Trails , a policy that was described by Secretary of War John B.

Floyd in [66]. A line of posts running parallel without frontier, but near to the Indians' usual habitations, placed at convenient distances and suitable positions, and occupied by infantry, would exercise a salutary restraint upon the tribes, who would feel that any foray by their warriors upon the white settlements would meet with prompt retaliation upon their own homes. There was a debate at the time about the best size for the forts with Jefferson Davis , Winfield Scott , and Thomas Jesup supporting forts that were larger but fewer in number than Floyd. Floyd's plan was more expensive but had the support of settlers and the general public who preferred that the military remain as close as possible.

The frontier area was vast and even Davis conceded that "concentration would have exposed portions of the frontier to Indian hostilities without any protection. Government and private enterprise sent many explorers to the West. In —, Army lieutenant Zebulon Pike — led a party of 20 soldiers to find the headwaters of the Mississippi. On his return, Pike sighted the peak in Colorado named after him. In , naturalists Thomas Nuttall — and John Bradbury — traveled up the Missouri River documenting and drawing plant and animal life. Swiss artist Karl Bodmer made compelling landscapes and portraits. He displayed a talent for exploration and a genius at self-promotion that gave him the sobriquet of "Pathmarker of the West" and led him to the presidential nomination of the new Republican Party in He crossed through the Rocky Mountains by five different routes and mapped parts of Oregon and California.

In —, he played a role in conquering California. It caught the public imagination and inspired many to head west. Goetzman says it was "monumental in its breadth, a classic of exploring literature". While colleges were springing up across the Northeast, there was little competition on the western frontier for Transylvania University , founded in Lexington, Kentucky, in It boasted of a law school in addition to its undergraduate and medical programs.

Transylvania attracted politically ambitious young men from across the Southwest, including 50 who became United States senators, representatives, 36 governors, and 34 ambassadors, as well as Jefferson Davis, the president of the Confederacy. The established Eastern churches were slow to meet the needs of the frontier. The Presbyterians and Congregationalists, since they depended on well-educated ministers, were shorthanded in evangelizing the frontier.

They set up a Plan of Union of to combine resources on the frontier. The local pioneers responded enthusiastically to these events and, in effect, evolved their populist religions, especially during the Second Great Awakening — , which featured outdoor camp meetings lasting a week or more and which introduced many people to organized religion for the first time.

One of the largest and most famous camp meetings took place at Cane Ridge, Kentucky , in The local Baptists set up small independent churches—Baptists abjured centralized authority; each local church was founded on the principle of independence of the local congregation. On the other hand, bishops of the well-organized, centralized Methodists assigned circuit riders to specific areas for several years at a time, then moved them to fresh territory. Several new denominations were formed, of which the largest was the Disciples of Christ.

Historian Mark Wyman calls Wisconsin a "palimpsest" of layer upon layer of peoples and forces, each imprinting permanent influences. He identified these layers as multiple "frontiers" over three centuries: Native American frontier, French frontier, English frontier, fur-trade frontier, mining frontier, and the logging frontier. Finally, the coming of the railroad brought the end of the frontier. Frederick Jackson Turner grew up in Wisconsin during its last frontier stage, and in his travels around the state, he could see the layers of social and political development.

One of Turner's last students, Merle Curti used an in-depth analysis of local Wisconsin history to test Turner's thesis about democracy. Turner's view was that American democracy, "involved widespread participation in the making of decisions affecting the common life, the development of initiative and self-reliance, and equality of economic and cultural opportunity. It thus also involved Americanization of immigrant. He found that even landless young farmworkers were soon able to obtain their farms.

Free land on the frontier, therefore, created opportunity and democracy, for both European immigrants as well as old stock Yankees. From the s to the s, pioneers moved into the new lands that stretched from Kentucky to Alabama to Texas. Most were farmers who moved in family groups. Historian Louis Hacker shows how wasteful the first generation of pioneers was; they were too ignorant to cultivate the land properly and when the natural fertility of virgin land was used up, they sold out and moved west to try again. Hacker describes that in Kentucky about Farms were for sale with from ten to fifty acres cleared, possessing log houses, peach and sometimes apple orchards, enclosed in fences, and having plenty of standing timber for fuel. The land was sown in wheat and corn, which were the staples, while hemp [for making rope] was being cultivated in increasing quantities in the fertile river bottoms Yet, on the whole, it was an agricultural society without skill or resources.

It committed all those sins which characterize wasteful and ignorant husbandry. Grass seed was not sown for hay and as a result, the farm animals had to forage for themselves in the forests; the fields were not permitted to lie in pasturage; a single crop was planted in the soil until the land was exhausted; the manure was not returned to the fields; only a small part of the farm was brought under cultivation, the rest being permitted to stand in timber. Instruments of cultivation were rude and clumsy and only too few, many of them being made on the farm.

It is plain why the American frontier settler was on the move continually. It was, not his fear of too close contact with the comforts and restraints of a civilized society that stirred him into a ceaseless activity, nor merely the chance of selling out at a profit to the coming wave of settlers; it was his wasting land that drove him on. Hunger was the goad. The pioneer farmer's ignorance, his inadequate facilities for cultivation, his limited means, of transport necessitated his frequent changes of scene. He could succeed only with virgin soil. Hacker adds that the second wave of settlers reclaimed the land, repaired the damage, and practiced more sustainable agriculture. Historian Frederick Jackson Turner explored the individualistic worldview and values of the first generation:.

What they objected to was arbitrary obstacles, artificial limitations upon the freedom of each member of this frontier folk to work out his career without fear or favor. What they instinctively opposed was the crystallization of differences, the monopolization of opportunity, and the fixing of that monopoly by government or by social customs. The road must be open. The game must be played according to the rules. There must be no artificial stifling of equality of opportunity, no closed doors to the able, no stopping the free game before it was played to the end.

Manifest Destiny was the belief that the United States was preordained to expand from the Atlantic coast to the Pacific coast. The concept was expressed during Colonial times, but the term was coined in the s by a popular magazine which editorialized, "the fulfillment of our manifest destiny In the s the Tyler and Polk administrations —49 successfully promoted this nationalistic doctrine. However, the Whig Party , which represented business and financial interests, stood opposed to Manifest Destiny.

Whig leaders such as Henry Clay and Abraham Lincoln called for deepening the society through modernization and urbanization instead of simple horizontal expansion. John Quincy Adams , an anti-slavery Whig, felt the Texas annexation in to be "the heaviest calamity that ever befell myself and my country". Mexico became independent of Spain in and took over Spain's northern possessions stretching from Texas to California. Santa Fe was also the trailhead for the "El Camino Real" the King's Highway , a trade route which carried American manufactured goods southward deep into Mexico and returned silver, furs, and mules northward not to be confused with another "Camino Real" which connected the missions in California.

The Spanish and Mexican governments attracted American settlers to Texas with generous terms. Stephen F. Austin became an "empresario", receiving contracts from the Mexican officials to bring in immigrants. In doing so, he also became the de facto political and military commander of the area. Tensions rose, however, after an abortive attempt to establish the independent nation of Fredonia in William Travis , leading the "war party", advocated for independence from Mexico, while the "peace party" led by Austin attempted to get more autonomy within the current relationship. When Mexican president Santa Anna shifted alliances and joined the conservative Centralist party, he declared himself dictator and ordered soldiers into Texas to curtail new immigration and unrest.

However, immigration continued and 30, Anglos with 3, slaves were settled in Texas by Remember Goliad". The U. Congress declined to annex Texas, stalemated by contentious arguments over slavery and regional power. Thus, the Republic of Texas remained an independent power for nearly a decade before it was annexed as the 28th state in The government of Mexico, however, viewed Texas as a runaway province and asserted its ownership.

Mexico refused to recognize the independence of Texas in , but the U. Mexico threatened war if Texas joined the U. American negotiators were turned away by a Mexican government in turmoil. When the Mexican army killed 16 American soldiers in disputed territory war was at hand. Whigs , such as Congressman Abraham Lincoln denounced the war, but it was quite popular outside New England. The Mexican strategy was defensive; the American strategy was a three-pronged offensive, using large numbers of volunteer soldiers. From the main American base at New Orleans, General Zachary Taylor led forces into northern Mexico, winning a series of battles that ensued. Navy transported General Winfield Scott to Veracruz.

He then marched his 12,man force west to Mexico City, winning the final battle at Chapultepec. Talk of acquiring all of Mexico fell away when the army discovered the Mexican political and cultural values were so alien to America's. As the Cincinnati Herald asked, what would the U. The Gadsden Purchase in added southern Arizona, which was needed for a railroad route to California. In all Mexico ceded half a million square miles 1.

Managing the new territories and dealing with the slavery issue caused intense controversy, particularly over the Wilmot Proviso , which would have outlawed slavery in the new territories. Congress never passed it, but rather temporarily resolved the issue of slavery in the West with the Compromise of California entered the Union in as a free state; the other areas remained territories for many years.

The new state grew rapidly as migrants poured into the fertile cotton lands of east Texas. The central area of the state was developed more by subsistence farmers who seldom owned slaves. Texas in its Wild West days attracted men who could shoot straight and possessed the zest for adventure, "for masculine renown, patriotic service, martial glory, and meaningful deaths". In about 10, Californios Hispanics lived in California, primarily on cattle ranches in what is now the Los Angeles area.

A few hundred foreigners were scattered in the northern districts, including some Americans. With the outbreak of war with Mexico in the U. Army unit, as well as naval forces, and quickly took control. Thousands of "Forty-Niners" reached California, by sailing around South America or taking a short-cut through disease-ridden Panama , or walked the California trail. The population soared to over , in , mostly in the gold districts that stretched into the mountains east of San Francisco. Housing in San Francisco was at a premium, and abandoned ships whose crews had headed for the mines were often converted to temporary lodging. In the goldfields themselves, living conditions were primitive, though the mild climate proved attractive.

Supplies were expensive and food poor, typical diets consisting mostly of pork, beans, and whiskey. These highly male, transient communities with no established institutions were prone to high levels of violence, drunkenness, profanity, and greed-driven behavior. Without courts or law officers in the mining communities to enforce claims and justice, miners developed their ad hoc legal system, based on the "mining codes" used in other mining communities abroad. Each camp had its own rules and often handed out justice by popular vote, sometimes acting fairly and at times exercising vigilantes; with Indians Native Americans , Mexicans, and Chinese generally receiving the harshest sentences.

The gold rush radically changed the California economy and brought in an array of professionals, including precious metal specialists, merchants, doctors, and attorneys, who added to the population of miners, saloon keepers, gamblers, and prostitutes. A San Francisco newspaper stated, "The whole country Violent bandits often preyed upon the miners, such as the case of Jonathan R. Davis ' killing of eleven bandits single-handedly. In a few years, nearly all of the independent miners were displaced as mines were purchased and run by mining companies, who then hired low-paid salaried miners.

As gold became harder to find and more difficult to extract, individual prospectors gave way to paid work gangs, specialized skills, and mining machinery. Bigger mines, however, caused greater environmental damage. In the mountains, shaft mining predominated, producing large amounts of waste. Beginning in , at the end of the '49 gold rush, through , hydraulic mining was used. Despite huge profits being made, it fell into the hands of a few capitalists, displaced numerous miners, vast amounts of waste entered river systems, and did heavy ecological damage to the environment.

Hydraulic mining ended when the public outcry over the destruction of farmlands led to the outlawing of this practice. The mountainous areas of the triangle from New Mexico to California to South Dakota contained hundreds of hard rock mining sites, where prospectors discovered gold, silver, copper and other minerals as well as some soft-rock coal. Temporary mining camps sprang up overnight; most became ghost towns when the ores were depleted. Prospectors spread out and hunted for gold and silver along the Rockies and in the southwest.

The wealth from silver, more than from gold, fueled the maturation of San Francisco in the s and helped the rise of some of its wealthiest families, such as that of George Hearst. To get to the rich new lands of the West Coast, there were two options: some sailed around the southern tip of South America during a six-month voyage, but , others walked there on an overland route of more than 2, miles 3, km ; their wagon trains usually left from Missouri.

They moved in large groups under an experienced wagonmaster, bringing their clothing, farm supplies, weapons, and animals. These wagon trains followed major rivers, crossed prairies and mountains, and typically ended in Oregon and California. Pioneers generally attempted to complete the journey during a single warm season, usually for six months. By , when the first migrant wagon train was organized in Independence, Missouri , a wagon trail had been cleared to Fort Hall, Idaho. Trails were cleared further and further west, eventually reaching the Willamette Valley in Oregon.

This network of wagon trails leading to the Pacific Northwest was later called the Oregon Trail. The eastern half of the route was also used by travelers on the California Trail from , Mormon Trail from , and Bozeman Trail from before they turned off to their separate destinations. In the "Wagon Train of ", some to 1, emigrants headed for Oregon; missionary Marcus Whitman led the wagons on the last leg.

In , the Barlow Road was completed around Mount Hood, providing a rough but passable wagon trail from the Missouri River to the Willamette Valley: about 2, miles 3, km. Some did so because they were discouraged and defeated. Some returned with bags of gold and silver. Most were returning to pick up their families and move them all back west. These "gobacks" were a major source of information and excitement about the wonders and promises—and dangers and disappointments—of the far West.

Not all emigrants made it to their destination. The dangers of the overland route were numerous: snakebites, wagon accidents, violence from other travelers, suicide, malnutrition, stampedes, Indian attacks, a variety of diseases dysentery , typhoid , and cholera were among the most common , exposure, avalanches, etc. One particularly well-known example of the treacherous nature of the journey is the story of the ill-fated Donner Party , which became trapped in the Sierra Nevada mountains during the winter of — in which nearly half of the 90 people traveling with the group died from starvation and exposure, and some resorted to cannibalism to survive.

There were also frequent attacks from bandits and highwaymen , such as the infamous Harpe brothers who patrolled the frontier routes and targeted migrant groups. In Missouri and Illinois, animosity between the Mormon settlers and locals grew, which would mirror those in other states such as Utah years later. Violence finally erupted on October 24, , when militias from both sides clashed and a mass killing of Mormons in Livingston County occurred 6 days later.

A hundred rural Mormon settlements sprang up in what Young called " Deseret ", which he ruled as a theocracy. It later became Utah Territory. Young's Salt Lake City settlement served as the hub of their network, which reached into neighboring territories as well. The communalism and advanced farming practices of the Mormons enabled them to succeed. Though the Mormons in Utah had supported U. Founded in , the Republican Party was openly hostile towards The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints LDS Church in Utah over the practice of polygamy, viewed by most of the American public as an affront to religious, cultural, and moral values of modern civilization. Confrontations verged on open warfare in the late s as President Buchanan sent in troops. Although there were no military battles fought, and negotiations led to a stand down, violence still escalated and there were several casualties.

During this time, Congress refused to admit Utah into the Union as a state and statehood would mean an end to direct federal control over the territory and the possible ascension of politicians chosen and controlled by the LDS Church into most if not all federal, state and local elected offices from the new state. Finally, in , the church leadership announced polygamy was no longer a central tenet, thereafter a compromise. In , Utah was admitted as the 45th state with the Mormons dividing between Republicans and Democrats. The federal government provided subsidies for the development of mail and freight delivery, and by , Congress authorized road improvements and an overland mail service to California.

The new commercial wagon trains service primarily hauled freight. In John Butterfield —69 established a stage service that went from Saint Louis to San Francisco in 24 days along a southern route. William Russell, hoping to get a government contract for more rapid mail delivery service, started the Pony Express in , cutting delivery time to ten days. He set up over stations about 15 miles 24 km apart. In Congress passed the Land-Grant Telegraph Act which financed the construction of Western Union's transcontinental telegraph lines.

Hiram Sibley , Western Union's head, negotiated exclusive agreements with railroads to run telegraph lines along their right-of-way. Eight years before the transcontinental railroad opened, the First Transcontinental Telegraph linked Omaha, Nebraska, to San Francisco on October 24, Constitutionally, Congress could not deal with slavery in the states but it did have jurisdiction in the western territories. California unanimously rejected slavery in and became a free state. New Mexico allowed slavery, but it was rarely seen there.

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