TITLE

REASONS FOR THE MOVE WEST

AUTHOR(S)
Nelson, Shiela
PUB. DATE
November 2004
SOURCE
From Sea to Shining Sea: Americans Move West (1846-1860);2004, p40
SOURCE TYPE
Book
DOC. TYPE
Article
ABSTRACT
This article discusses the reasons why the U.S. moved towards the west after its independence from Great Britain. Manifest Destiny gave a nice explanation of why U.S. citizens had the right to move west, but those who stayed behind must have thought the idea was better in theory than in practice. Many did not want to leave their comfortable houses to face unknown dangers. To actually strike out for western lands required a better reason than Manifest Destiny. The lure of land was a powerful motivation. Farm families often had ten or twelve children, since more children meant more help with chores. The population in the East grew quickly and soon farmers started feeling crowded. Newspapers published glowing reports about land in the West, filled with sketches of happy pioneer families. Apart from the lure of land, some families had other reasons to set out for western territories. The Mormons were one such group. The Mormon Church had begun in western New York in 1830. The Mormons traveled West for religious reasons, to escape persecution and to establish a home of their own, others went West with less spiritual motives. As U.S. citizens rushed to California to get in on the gold rush, people from around the world took notice of the uproar. Men came from China, Chile, Mexico, Ireland, Germany, France, and Turkey to find a piece of the riches of the U.S. INSET: Price of Goods in Gold Rush Mining Camps.
ACCESSION #
15667836

 

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