America West

America West
The Native Indians were the earliest human settlers in America. The Northern parts and southern regions of the United States was densely populated with settlers therefore they need to expand to the western region. The population pushed to the west over the decades as they expound their space but it was not until the end of the civil war that the southwest region and Northwest region that it became significantly populated. The regions included Mississippi, Alabama, Missouri, Illinois and Indiana which by 1830 had enough people to warrant its admission into the Union as States. The expansion to the west was highly aided by: Louisiana Purchase in 1803, the 1812 civil war where the native tribes of the Northwest (upper Mississippi and Ohio) were defeated and the enactment of the Indian Removal Act of 1830 where the Indians were forcibly moved from Southeast into the present day Oklahoma and Arkansas. Additionally. In 1823, president James Monroe enacted the “Monroe Doctrine” which stated that the European colonization of the South and North part would be deemed as aggression. The doctrine also implied that the US would expand westward into the remaining uncolonized area this led to further expansion into the west. The discovery of gold in California in 1948 also saw many running to the region to accumulate wealth , common as the gold rush. Additionally the Mexican-American war caused further expansion of to the western territories. Although the Westward expansion from the East termed by Theodore Roosevelt as “the great leap Westward” significantly benefited the Americans through the acquisition of resources, the great losers remained the Native Americans and the Mexicans who lost their land and culture.
Indians are believed to have travelled into America during the ice age period which was at least 10000 years ago. Some of them dispersed from their original north region with some heading to the extreme south. The different in geological locations influenced their lifestyle with those living in the northern region engaging in fishing and fishing while those that settled in the west became corn farmers.

They both remained conservative of their cultural ways of life until the arrival of the European where they introduced horses to the natives making hunting of Buffalos easier. Consequently, the North Indians abandoned farming and concentrated on hunting and nomadic life with herds of Buffalos. However, the arrival of the European brought more evil than good. Upon their arrival, the European , influx of the Indians were swiped by diseases such as small pox, pneumonia, Cholera and measles for which they had not developed immunity. The European settlers viewed the natives as “uncivilized” as they consider themselves more superior. This lead to the introduction of European ways of life which involved the usage of European goods. Hence, the trade between intensified making Indians abandon hunting. They European population continued to grow as they continued to move to America increasing the need for building more settlements. Therefore, this led to the introduction of slavery to satisfy their demands in exchange of trade goods such as tools and weapons.
The Western Regions of California, Washington, Nevada, Utah, Idaho and Colorado were the home of Native Indians who lived in temporary settlements that could easily be moved. As the European continued to move to the west, they continued to push the far west. In 1830s, hundreds of thousands of Indians occupied the west. The then officials in the united states, including president George Washington believed that the Indians needed to be ‘Civilized’ leading to the civilization campaign which included encouraging them to convert to Christianity, speaking and reading English, and adoption of the European Way of life including civilization. Although some of the Indian tribes embraced the new system, the white settlers grabbed their lands. The settlers flooded the regions of Tennessee, Georgia, Alabama, North Carolina and Florida in the bid to grow cotton in the region. They committed atrocities such as burning and looting of natives, stealing their livestock, murdered them and squatted on their lands. The government supported the displacement of the Native Indians from their lands. The mass movement was termed as The Trail of Tears as many of the Indians died from diseases, exhaustion and anger. However, the native Americans movement to the far end and the cruelty from the United States made the Indians ally with the British and fought in the British army.
The expansion of the America region intensified the need to expand their territories even further. The president of the United States James K. Polk, Sent a diplomat called John Slidell to Mexico to negotiate the purchase of Texas ,Nevada, Utah, New Mexico, Alta California, and parts of Colorado, Kansas, Texas, Wyoming and Oklahoma. However, the government of Mexico refused to receive him upon learning that he was there to make purchase rather than compensating them for Texas which had been annexed from Mexico in 1845. The Diplomat wrote to President Polk saying “We can never get along well with them, until we have given them a good drubbing.” This prompted the president to organize to declare a war on the basis of Slidell treatment. In January 1846 Polk ordered the General Zachary Taylor to north Bank or Rio Grande claiming that the region was southern border Texas. Mexico insisted that the region that it was 200 miles far North and they organized an attack on the US army on 25 April 1846 killing 11 soldiers capturing the rest. Consequently, the US declared war on Mexico in 13th May 1846 despite the Whigs political party. General Stephen W Kearny captured had captured new Mexico by August since Santa Fe had no opposition on his arrival. Additionally, in Northeastern Mexico , Taylor succeeded in conquering Palo Alto and Resaca de la Palma. US became victories in the cumulative wars they fought against Mexico therefore forcing the Mexican government to political turmoil. Taylor further moved to Monterrey where he emerged victorious leading to the negotiation of surrender by the City. This made Polk nervous of the rise of Taylor and resulted to taking some of the soldiers from him to work in the command of Major General Winfield Scott. On learning about the president’s plans Santa Anna moved to attack Taylor but instead was defeated. In March 1847 Scott captured Veracruz and in September they captured Mexico city.
Therefore, losing the battles, gave Mexican little options on salvaging their selves from the situation. This resulted to signing of a Treaty that is famously known as the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo. This led them to surrender California, Nevada and Utah and also parts of Arizona, Wyoming, Colorado and New Mexico for $15 million. Furthermore, James Gadsden ,who was the America minister to Mexico arranged the purchase of southern Arizona and New Mexico in 1853 for an another $15 million. Before the war, the fact that Mexican conducted many trade activities with the west made it easier for them to co-exist with the Americans. Furthermore, the people of Mexico had less trust in the system where they believed that the region would do better under America, British or even Spain. The end of the war marked the adaptation of the western culture by the colonized Mexicans and the eventual co-existence with the Americans in spite the wave of racial segregation. The intermarriage between the communities further strengthen the ties between them.
The belief that the Americans had the obligation to rescue other nations from what they termed as European Monarchies led to the war of 1812. The war was called the second war for independence in the U.S. This is because it was fought against British Colony of Canada. However, the Canadians did not need the United States liberation from the hand of their colonizers. The war started in Michigan and near Niagara falls which consequently brought the Canadians together and intensified their sense of patriotism. However, the Americans continued with the fight and they organized the fight on three fronts; along the border with upper Canada (Quebec), the Atlantic coast and along the great Lake which was the lower Canadian frontier. The war which lasted for three years saw the Britain and the Americans invading each other borders no one successfully conquered another’s territory. The Native Americans who comprised mostly of the Native Indians and Africans who were former slaves fought alongside the British.Consequently, both sides lost in the war with the Americans white house burned down in 1814. The pride between the two Countries led the war more aggressive with both fearing the intimidation that comes from defeat. The victory of British over France in 1814 boosted their morale while winning the battle of Baltimore in1814 and New Orleans in 1815 made them more aggressive. The war did not have a clear Victor and in December 24, 1814 The Treaty of Ghent was signed and the status quo ante bellum was established. In February 17 , 1815 the war officially ended. However, the Native tribes in the regions that resides in the Indiana territory, Illinois Territory and Ohio were pushed further west due to the war which led to the opening up for western expansion. The Canadians were the only ones that felt victorious because of the war since they pride of their resistance to ally with the US was viewed as the battle of David against Goliath.
The Aggressive expansion of the American territory towards the west was seen to be contributed to a variety of factors. The reasons that included the Gold rush, the civil war and the purchase of the: Louisiana are among the list that convinces the expansion towards the west was inevitable. The expansion which led to the invasion of Mexico and the native Indians saw not only the loose of lands by the communities but also the cultural way of life. The introduction of slavery which saw the importation of African slaves from Africa and the consideration of Indians as Slaves was unavoidable as they source for cheap labor for their farms. Additionally, the resources available in the west led to the growth of the United States of America into the Superpower it is today.

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Graebner, Norman A. Empire on the Pacific: a study in American continental expansion. New York, NY: Ronald Press Company, 1955.

Feist, Timothy. “Conway Stephen. War, State, and Society in Mid-Eighteenth-Century Britain and Ireland. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2006. Pp. ix+ 346. $99.00 (cloth).” Journal of British Studies 46, no. 2 (2007): 416-418.

Henry, Robert Selph. The story of the Mexican war. Bobbs-Merrill, 1950.

Savelle, Max. Empires to nations: expansion in America, 1713-1824. Vol. 5. U of Minnesota Press, 1974.

Winsor, Justin. Westward Movement. BCR-University of Colorado at Boulder, 2009.

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