Essay The American Dream Out West

Essay The American Dream Out West

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America, the land of opportunity, a country that stretches out from sea to shining sea. Except what if America stayed in the boundaries; the appalachian mountains east? Would America be the country it is and has been for the last 100 years? Westward expansion is why America is as unique and diverse as it is today; it gave the hope of opportunity to thousands of Americans and is why the American dream or “Manifest Destiny” remains a reality even today. Westward expansion encouraged by Lewis and Clark which led to the Oregon Trail and was later fuled by the California gold rush illustrates the American dream as people took a risk leaving the east to seek new opportunities and/or wealth in the west which helped make America the country it is today.
The accounts of Lewis and Clark in their journals illustrated the American dream as they described the beauty and conveyed their excitement about the new frontier. One of Lewis and Clark’s accounts of their journey west was a visual observation as they looked out on “top of this High land the Countrey is leavel & open as far as can be Seen”(Pendergast, 110). In the east and in Europe, most of the land at that time was taken up by many civilizations and people which didn’t feel like a frontier. Their observation on top of the hill conveys the American dream of open territory where opportunity was waiting for those who dared. Lewis stated in his journals that he “promised the Nation that I [he] would inform their Great father the President of the U States, and he would have them Supplied with goods, and mentioned in what manner they would be Supplied”(Pendergast, 15). Lewis and Clark’s journey across America would supply new resources such as crops and fuel for countless of Am...


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...he Gold Rush A Primary Source History of the search for gold in California. New York: Rosen Publishing Group, 2001. Print.
Karam, P. Andrew. "American Far West: The Lewis and Clark Expedition." Science and Its Times. Ed. Neil Schlager and Josh Lauer. Vol. 5: 1800 to 1899. Detroit: Gale, 2000. 9-12. Gale Virtual Reference Library. Web. 6 Apr. 2014.
Lawson, Russell. "Excerpt from the Oregon Trail (1846, by Francis Parkman)." Dictionary of American History. Ed. Stanley I. Kutler. 3rd ed. Vol. 9. New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 2003. 222-224. Gale Virtual Reference Library. Web. 18 Apr. 2014.
"Oregon Trail." UXL Encyclopedia of U.S. History. Sonia Benson, Daniel E. Brannen, Jr., and Rebecca Valentine. Vol. 6. Detroit: UXL, 2009. 1185-1189. Gale Virtual Reference Library. Web. 10 Apr. 2014.
Pendergast,Tom. Westward Expansion Primary Sources. Detroit: UXL, 2001. Print.

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