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The American Dream Out West Essay

2005 words - 8 pages

America, the land of opportunity, a country that stretches out from sea to shining sea. Except what if America stayed in the boundaries; the appalachian mountains east? Would America be the country it is and has been for the last 100 years? Westward expansion is why America is as unique and diverse as it is today; it gave the hope of opportunity to thousands of Americans and is why the American dream or “Manifest Destiny” remains a reality even today. Westward expansion encouraged by Lewis and Clark which led to the Oregon Trail and was later fuled by the California gold rush illustrates the American dream as people took a risk leaving the east to seek new opportunities and/or wealth in the west which helped make America the country it is today.
The accounts of Lewis and Clark in their journals illustrated the American dream as they described the beauty and conveyed their excitement about the new frontier. One of Lewis and Clark’s accounts of their journey west was a visual observation as they looked out on “top of this High land the Countrey is leavel & open as far as can be Seen”(Pendergast, 110). In the east and in Europe, most of the land at that time was taken up by many civilizations and people which didn’t feel like a frontier. Their observation on top of the hill conveys the American dream of open territory where opportunity was waiting for those who dared. Lewis stated in his journals that he “promised the Nation that I [he] would inform their Great father the President of the U States, and he would have them Supplied with goods, and mentioned in what manner they would be Supplied”(Pendergast, 15). Lewis and Clark’s journey across America would supply new resources such as crops and fuel for countless of Americans. This conveys the American dream as this would encourage people to see all resources and opportunity waiting for them.
The journey of Lewis and Clark fueled the American dream as it made people excited about the west and led to thousands of people migrating to the west to find new opportunity. When Lewis and Clark returned they told the American people of the “rich lands and plentiful herds they had seen.” which “encouraged the rapid settlement of the Louisiana Territory by farmers and trappers”(Andrew). The Americans originally thought of the west as dangerous but Lewis and Clark's observations changed the minds of many people. The observations prompted the American dream as people realized the west had huge opportunity if people were willing to take a risk and work hard. The results of Lewis and Clark’s journey not only achieved the goal of mapping fur trade and a path to the west it also had “political, strategic, scientific, and commercial aims”(Andrew). The Lewis and Clark journey was originally supposed to be for claiming and exploring the territory but the value of the land was realized after the journey. These aims conveyed the American dream as the west allowed for new opportunities for things...

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