Was Expansion Inevitable?

  • Louisiana Purchase

    Louisiana Purchase
    The Louisiana Purchase was the start of expanding the United States. This purchase added 828,000 miles of territory to the U.S.A. French economic difficulties prompted Napoleon to offer the Louisiana territory to the U.S, and expansion westward began immediately. I don't think this could've been avoided, Americans at the time were very determined to travel west & discover new land since population was growing on the east. Expansion west was not inevitable.
  • Lewis and Clark Expedition

    Lewis and Clark Expedition
    President Jefferson asked Meriwether Lewis and William Clark to travel through the land purchased west of the Mississippi river (the Louisiana Purchase). After this expedition, most people followed in their footsteps in search of economic opportunity. These pioneers associated westward migration, land ownership and farming with freedom, which is what they could find in the west. I do not think this could've been avoided, especially if people were traveling for economic reasons.
  • Oregon Trail

    Oregon Trail
    The Oregon Trail was a 2,000 mile route from Missouri to Oregon used by thousands of pioneers in the mid-1800s to travel west. The first missionary group took the Oregon trail in 1834. The Oregon Trail led to the Great Emigration of 1843 (10 years later). Railroads eventually eliminated the need for the trail, and people began traveling west by train. The Oregon Trail was a huge advance in traveling west, and it made it more accessible for people, which was unavoidable.
  • Texas Annexation

    Texas Annexation
    Texas was annexed by the United States in 1845 and became the 28th state. Texas was first apart of Mexico, then gained it's independence, then finally the U.S took control over the territory. This attributed to the Mexican-American War, the conflict started over a disagreement about which river was Mexico’s true northern border. I doubt this could've been avoided because Texas's annexation had to do with the Mexican-American war, so unless the war didn't happen we would've gotten Texas.
  • Manifest Destiny

    Manifest Destiny
    Manifest Destiny wasn't a specific event, but more of a philosophy that drove pioneers to travel west. Manifest Destiny is the idea that the United States is destined by God to expand and spread democracy and capitalism across the entire North American continent. This philosophy was coined in 1845 as an explanation on why everyone was traveling west. I don't think this philosophy could've been avoided, since it formed later in time.
  • Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo

    Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo
    The Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo added an additional 525,000 square miles to United States. This treaty was signed in 1848 and ended the Mexican-American war (in favor of the U.S). I think specific event could've been avoided since the Americans started the Mexican-American war, and the treaty came to be to end the war in favor of the United States. Except, this sequence of events where we kept purchasing land makes expansion inevitable.
  • California Gold Rush

    California Gold Rush
    The Gold Rush of 1849 made a lot of men and soon-to-be gold miners leave their families, jobs, and hometowns in pursuit of wealth. The population of California spiked from 20,000 to 100,000 because of this. This supports the fact that expansion was inevitable because I don't believe anyone could've stopped these miners in search of gold, there was too many people moving at once.