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Word Count: 470
Throughout the late 1800s and early 1900s America was overwhelmed with the idea of expanding its boundaries west of the Mississippi River Stories of the lone pioneers who traveled west without a penny to their name and were able to achieve wealth through hard work and perseverance spread far and wide Authors such as Horatio Alger only further supported this belief by writing books that told tales of such success Many believe that this fascination translated into the fear over the transition from an agrarian to an industrial society In the mid 1800s America seemed to spread its boundaries from the Mississippi to the Pacific overnight This expansion created an abundance of land which was mainly acquired by large railroad companies Trying to turn excess lands into quick profits by selling it these companies used the few stories of successful pioneers in the west as a basis of creating a stir in the east by blanketing cities with leaflets that promised health good fortune and Gods bounty in the areas that they owned This created the American folk figure that we now know as the lone pioneer The lone pioneer was a man who came from meager beginnings and after establishing himself in the west found an abundance of success and wealth Such rags to riches stories gave hope to people in the east who were struggling to create a good life for themselves and their families by working in the rising American industrial economy The growth of industry created uncertainty in the minds of many Americans They were uneasy about the transfer from the agrarian society to an industrial one because the agrarian way of life had worked for them and many generations of Americans that had preceded them The emotion that many Americans felt at the time was only further supported by the literature of the time Writers such as Horatio Alger captured the essence emotion soul and especially the spirit
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