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Westward Expansion Essay

  • Submitted by: itemss
  • on April 15, 2015
  • Category: History
  • Length: 444 words

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Below is an essay on "Westward Expansion" from Anti Essays, your source for research papers, essays, and term paper examples.

Truly Expansion?

The Native Americans were treated brutally during the expansion. The governments overall purpose was to destroy their belongings, and exterminate them at all costs. The Natives that survived were moved to small reservations where they were poor and were close to starvation.

Natives were forced to assimilate into the American culture. They had to learn the English language, and the government took away their tents, and forced them to discontinue their nomadic life style. Children were taken away from their families to go to boarding schools. These schools made them attend church, and forget about tribal traditions. When they were forced on the Trail of Tears, they weren’t allowed to gather their belongings. Americans went through their things as they left. The government even made laws against the tribes dances because they were horrified, and thought they were trying to take their lives.

Native Americans had their resources stripped from them, all for the white man’s profit. Soldiers cut down their trees, killed their buffalo, and were camped near the water. The Natives clearly feared for their life, and wondered if they would come home alive. The Homestead Act was passed on May 20th, 1862. This was to advance settlement in the West. Any person over the age of 21 that never attempted to bear arms against the government could own the Natives land for an extremely inexpensive fee. After 5 years, they became the official owner. Natives land was being sold for the minimum, while they were living in overpopulated households.

The government committed traumatizing acts towards the Natives. On the Trail of Tears, the conditions were terrible. It rained on and off, flooding the rivers and making the valleys like swamps. Along with the rain, there was a blizzard. Many died from disease or froze to death. On this journey, 4,000 Cherokee died. Even before this expansion, Natives were disliked in the U.S. Americans commonly believed anybody that...

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