Western Expansion General Resources

Reviewed Resources for Students and Teachers


Americana & American History - 

American Revolutionary War - American Colonial Times - General Resources for American History - Historically Important American Documents - Historic American Maps  

The Western Expansion

American Western Expansion General Resources - Buffalo Soldiers Black Cavalry - Chinese Arrival in America - Gold & Silver Rushes - Lewis & Clark - Orphan TrainsOverland Trails - Pony ExpressComing of the Iron Horses



The Great 19th Century

19th Century American General Resources - 19th Century American Industrialization/The Gilded Age - 19th Century American Immigrants - America's Victorian Age  

The Civil War

American Civil War General resources

American Civil War Lesson Plans

Fifty-Four Forty or Fight __ "The 1844 Democratic presidential candidate James K. Polk ran on a platform of taking control over the entire Oregon Territory and used the famous campaign slogan, "Fifty-four Forty or Fight!" (after the line of latitude serving as the northern boundary of Oregon at 54°40'). Polk's plan was to claim and go to war over the entire territory for the United States." Learn about how a compromise of joint control that had worked for a decade nearly led to war. - illustrated - From About.com - http://geography.about.com/library/weekly/aa031600a.htm

America Enters the Rivalry __ "The United States was, compared to Russia, Spain, and Britain, a latecomer to the Pacific Northwest. When Spain and England were sending the first exploring expeditions to the Northwest Coast, the United States was breaking away from Britain and winning its independence." Learn how and why the United states caught up with the competition. You will read about John Jacob Astor's Pacific Fur Company and the convention of 1818 which resolved territorial disputes from the War of 1812. - illustrated - From University of Washington - http://www.washington.edu/uwired/outreach/cspn/hstaa432/lesson_4/hstaa432_4.html 



The American West __ In the 19th century Americans were enthralled with stories which Harper's Weekly brought to life with articles and illustrations. The editorials and commentaries describe lives which many readers could barely imagine. - illustrated - From harpweek.com - http://thewest.harpweek.com/ 


America's West __ Here is an enormous site dedicated to covering as many aspects of the development of the American west as possible. You will find information about Native Americans, overland trails, the Pony Express, and numerous personalities. - illustrated - From americanwest.com - http://www.americanwest.com/ 


Events From 1840 - 1850 __ You will find a fairly detailed timeline. When you click on the site, you may find a survey from PBS. If you hit your back button, the site will come up. - illustrated - From PBS - http://www.pbs.org/weta/thewest/events/1840_1850.htm#1842 

Gadsden Purchase Was Signed in Mexico City __ "Meeting in Mexico City on December 30, 1853, James Gadsden, U.S. Minister to Mexico, and General Antonio López de Santa Anna, president of Mexico, signed the Gadsden Purchase. The treaty settled the dispute over the exact location of the Mexican border west of El Paso, Texas, giving the U.S. claim to approximately 29,000 square miles of land in what is now southern New Mexico and Arizona, for the price of $10 million." Now read the rest of the story. There are three pages. - illustrated - From Library of Congress - http://www.americaslibrary.gov/jb/reform/jb_reform_gadsden_1.html 



History Library -- Listing of Articles About the American Old West __ You will find a selection of e-texts from newspapers in the Old West. - From Historybuff.com - http://www.historybuff.com/library/refwest.html 

The Homestead Act Went Into Effect __ Would this be incentive enough for you to move? "Land available! Come and get it! This poster told Americans about their opportunity to claim land and farm it, thanks to the Homestead Act. President Abraham Lincoln signed the Homestead Act on May 20, 1862, to spur Western migration. How did a person get 160 acres of one's own? You had to be a U.S. citizen and 21 years of age. By paying a filing fee of $10 and residing on your new farm in the West for at least five years, the land would be yours." There might be a catch or two but you can find out here. - illustrated - From Library of Congress - http://www.americaslibrary.gov/jb/civil/jb_civil_homested_1.html 

PBS - The WEST - Events Index __ "This interactive timeline charts significant events portrayed in THE WEST, as well as many contemporaneous events, from pre-Columbian times to the early decades of the twentieth century... Click on a date range on the left in order to learn what happened in THE WEST at that time." - illustrated - From PBS - http://www.pbs.org/weta/thewest/events/ 



Senate Ratified the Louisiana Purchase Treaty __ "In the 1800s, in the United States, pioneers and homesteaders eagerly moved west to start a new life in the plains, hills and mountains west of the Mississippi River. This movement could not have happened without the Louisiana Purchase Treaty, approved by the Senate on October 20, 1803, by a vote of 24-to-7. The agreement, which provided for the purchase of the western half of the Mississippi River basin from France at a price of less than 3 cents per acre, doubled the size of the country." Learn the hows and whys this came about. - From Library of Congress - http://www.americaslibrary.gov/jb/nation/jb_nation_lapurchas_1.html  

Turner: The Frontier In American History __ You will find the entire text of Frederick Jackson Turner's 13 essays on the importance of the westward expansion in American History. - From University of Virginia - http://xroads.virginia.edu/~HYPER/TURNER/home.html  


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