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WHAT MADE THE AMERICANS EXPAND WESTWARD After the Louisiana Purchase in 1803 a large amount of land west of the original 13 states and the Northwest Territory was acquired The open land additional benefits and other existing problems encouraged Americans to expand westward The American people began to realize that the future of the country lay in the development of its own western resources There were many reasons that made the people face the grueling and dangerous movement west but the primary reason was economy Like the Spanish conquistadors before them the Americans looked beyond the Mississippi they saw an open beckoning Despite the presence of hundreds of Indian nations with rich and distinct cultures who had populated the land for thousands of yearsfrom the desert of the Southwest and the grassy prairies of the Great Plains to the high valleys of the Rocky Mountains and the salty beaches of the Pacific CoastAmericans considered the west to be an empty wilderness And in less than fifty years from the 1803 purchase of Louisiana Territory to the California gold rush of 1849 the nation would expand and conquer the West Herb 3 The ocean had always controlled New Englands interests and connected it with the real world Puritanism was still very strong in the north so the moral unity of New England was exceptional Having a very unmixed population of English origin New England contrasted very much with the other sections All this and the fact that they needed to cross populated states in order to expand west set this section part from the others Leuetenburg and Wishy 37 New Englands population compared to other regions was poor and the population growth was even poorer The trans-Alleghany States by 1820 had a population of about 225 million while New England had over 15 million Ten years later western states had over 35 million with the people northwest of the Ohio River alone numbering 15
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