Expansion of United States

Melinda Brown
December 26, 2012
Themes in U.S. & World History

GKE Task 1

There are many factors that can affect the expansion of a country.   The factors could be due to environmental or geographic changes.   The United States was greatly affected by some geographical changes.   Two of the biggest factors that helped the expansion of the United States were the Louisiana Purchase and manifest destiny.
The Louisiana Purchase expanded the size of the United States by more than double what it was.   Thomas Jefferson made the purchase of about 828,000 square miles on April 30, 1803.   This land was spread from the Mississippi river to the Rocky Mountains. This would be the states currently known as
Arkansas, Colorado, Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, New Mexico, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Texas, and Wyoming.
This was a good purchase because we need to be able to cross the Mississippi river in order to expanded trading of goods.   The port in New Orleans greatly helped the need for international relationships and trading. It grew into one of the biggest ports. When Thomas Jefferson made the purchase of the land he did not know exactly what he was purchasing.   The Louisiana Purchase leads to the Lewis and Clark Expedition which in turn lead to the acquisition of the Oregon Territory.
The acquisition of the Oregon Territory lead us into California. In 1848 James Wilson Marshall said that he had found gold in California and no one believed him.   In May of 1848 Sam Brannan also said he found gold. He put gold flakes on bottles and other items to get people to believe.   This led us to the California Gold Rush which was a great factor in the expansion of the western United States.   The gold rush leads to the creation of towns and economic growth. The gold rush had an impact on the transportation in United States as it leads to the 1st Transcontinental Railroad in 1863.
The environment can also have an effect on the development of...