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Word Count: 939
Development Of The West Beyond The Mississippi The years 1840 to 1890 were a period of great growth for the United States It was during this time period that the United states came to the conclusion that it had a manifest destiny that is it was commanded by god to someday occupy the entire North American continent One of the most ardent followers of this belief was President James K Polk He felt that the United States had the right to whatever amount of territory it chose to and in doing this the United States was actually doing a favor for the land it seized by introducing it to the highly advanced culture and way of life of Americans Shortly after his election he annexed Texas This added a great amount of land to the United States but more was to follow The Oregon Territory became a part of the United States is 1846 followed by the Mexican Cession in 1848 and the Gadsden Purchase in 1853 At this point the United States had accomplished its manifest destiny it reached from east to west from sea to shining sea Now that the lands it so desired were finally there the United States faced a new problem- how to get its people to settle these lands so they would actually be worth having Realistically it is great to have a lot of land but if the land is unpopulated and undeveloped it really isnt worth much And the government of the United States knew this One of the reasons that many did not choose to settle there immediately was that the lands were quite simply in the middle of nowhere They were surrounded by mountains inhabited by hostile Indians and poor for farming Because of these geographical conditions the government was forced to intervene to coax its citizens into settling the new lands Basically the lands were not settled because they were available they were settled
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