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Westward movement in America carried settlers across America from the Atlantic Ocean to the Pacific Ocean The westward movement began in the early 1600s with European settlements along the Atlantic Coast of North America It continued until the late 1800s By that time the western frontiers of the United States had been conquered An abundance of land and other natural resources lured Americas pioneers westward Fur traders cattle ranchers farmers and miners led the push to the west Merchants and other business people followed These hard-working men and women faced great dangers endured severe hardships and suffered loneliness and boredom in the hope of making a better life for themselves and their children Some of them looked to the west for wealth or adventure Others sought to improve their social position or increase their political power The pioneers struggled westward across hills mountains and prairies on foot and on horseback Some floated through the Erie Canal on barges or traveled down rivers on flatboats and steamboats Others crossed the rugged wilderness in covered wagons For many pioneers the Cumberland Gap the Oregon Trail and other roads west became paths to opportunity The American frontier shifted westward in stages The first American frontier ran along the Atlantic Coast Settlers began to cross the Appalachian Mountains after territory west of the mountains came under British control in 1763 During the early 1800s the next push westward took settlers into the Great Lakes region the Mississippi River Valley and the plains along the Gulf of Mexico By the mid-1840s adventurous pioneers had reached what are now California and Oregon in the Far West The last frontier was the Great Plains between the Missouri River and the Rocky Mountains The settlement of that region began in the 1860s In 1890 the US Bureau of the Census reported that no frontiers remained in the United States The pioneers had conquered the West Settlers from different
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