What were the causes of Americans moving west in the early to mid 1800's?


What were the causes of Americans moving west in the early to mid 1800's?

National Expansion:

By the early 1800's, the nation was expanding. In 1803, France and the United States agreed to the Louisiana Purchase. This nearly doubled the territory of the United States. More land meant more exploration and, eventually, more inhabitants.

Answer and Explanation:

Americans moved west in the early part of the 19th century because of freedoms and opportunities.

As the country expanded westward, the United States' government determined that those in various locations could choose whether they wanted their states to be slave states or free states. They had freedom in choice. This was a new opportunity for citizens, since many founded states were already determined as such.

However, opportunity was the most alluring feature of the west. For some, they needed to move west to fulfill jobs that were needed. This is especially the case for those unemployed in more populated regions. As well, land meant opportunity. Western pioneers had access to more property. They could stake their claims and set up farms. Whole communities could develop.

The westward expansion was the nations destiny, its Manifest Destiny, and people did not need gold to lure then (although, eventually, it would help).

Learn more about this topic:

Thomas Jefferson's Presidency: Louisiana Purchase, Lewis & Clark, and More


Chapter 6 / Lesson 2

Thomas Jefferson's presidency was notable with many major accomplishments. Explore Jefferson's presidency and learn about the significance and the controversies of the Louisiana Purchase, the Lewis and Clark Expedition, Essex Junto, the Burr Conspiracy.

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