The Westward Expansion was when in the year 1800 many Americans started moving west. Some traveled by ship around the tip of South America. Others chose to travel a cheaper, dangerous route. Most people got there by land. This was the cheapest, most difficult way. They sailed to the Atlantic side of Panama. Then they would go through the jungles to the Pacific side where they got on ships that led to California. They moved because the land was very cheap, sometimes even free! Many families with little money could start a farm or a ranch. To earn land, the people needed to sign treaties which sometimes the people did not follow. Also in 1848, gold was found and fortune seekers started heading west. Many people died during this journey. I would have liked to live in this time period, but I also would not like to live in this time period. I would have liked to because I would be able to maybe get some gold. I would not have liked to because on my way, I could die.

Hayes, Jeri,ed. History Alive. California, Teachers’ Curriculum Institute. 2003.

Our America: Western Expansion.