Westward Expansion of US


The topic has to be from 1800-1900. Also would be preferable to be on the issue of Vigilantism. This comes directly from the syllabus. ″Students will also complete a research paper. Due November 29, 2017. Six (6) pages, doubled spaced, 10-12 point font, normal margins (no poetry margins), plus bibliography and notes. I would strongly suggest you discuss your proposed topic with me before you commit time and energy to it. If you pick a dud you will regret it. If you cannot find a subject on your own, I encourage you to see me. Think about a narrow, provable thesis. You cannot write a meaningful essay on a broad topic in six pages. Students will prove their thesis by citing primary and secondary sources as evidence. We will discuss research, evidence, and writing in class, but you will find a nice online guide to writing history essays in the Resources/Links page. Essays will utilize at least nine (9) sources, including three secondary book-length histories, two journal articles (secondary sources), with a minimum of four (4) primary sources. These are the minimum requirements which will earn a C. Those seeking higher grades should utilize more sources. An essay which only briefly and superficially utilizes primary sources will earn a low grade. An essay that relies heavily on primary sources is more likely to earn a high grade. Essays which rely on multiple secondary sources to prove their thesis will be more likely to earn a high grade than those which rely on one or two sources. Students should show an understanding of the literature on their subject. Because the vast majority of sources are NOT on the Internet,and because so many internet sites are intellectually questionable, students will only be allowed a maximum of three (3) internet sources, no matter what the source, unless given prior approval by the instructor. THE ONLY ACCEPTABLE INTERNET SOURCES ARE THOSE PUBLISHING PRIMARY SOURCES OR SOME ACADEMIC SITES. Libraries, archives, and living, breathing human beings are still the best source of information. The quality of web-sources, like all sources, will be judged as part of the essay′s overall grade. Because historians operate using specific conventions or rules, students will utilize the Notes-Bibliography System, as described in the Chicago Manual of Style, to properly cite their sources. Failure to do this will result in a 50 point deduction. You want to take this seriously. APA, MLA or other citations styles are NOT acceptable. Historians always use the Chicago style and, since you will be an active historian in this class, so will you.)

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Westward expansion in the United States can be accredited to Thomas Jefferson who was instrumental in ensuring that people would not encounter any resistance from the French by buying Louisiana for $15 million. After the purchase, the federal government encouraged the families of the pioneers to take as much land as they can from the west as it was their “God-given” responsibility to grow and expand[1]. Land buyers and speculators went on a land buying fest which ensured that they had as much land as possible which they could divide and sell at small tracts of land to individuals who wanted to farm. The assistance from the federal government ensured that the people who wanted to venture to the west were given the required loans to buy land and settle, security to ensure any repression of natives, and equipment’s  that would ensure a smooth transition. The emergence of the agricultural revolution, expansion of the railroad network and exploration into the mining and extraction of minerals like gold that was found in the west propelled the expansion. In essence, the westward expansion of the United States affected the nation, geographically, socially, economically, demographically, politically and militarily[2].  However, the major hurdle that stood between the settlers and the government were the red Indians who dwelled in those areas and they had a cultural and social attachment with those lands.

[1] Perdue, Theda, and Michael D. Green. The Cherokee removal: a brief history with documents.     Vol. 18. Boston: Bedford/St. Martin’s, 2005.

[2] Billington, Ray Allen, and Martin Ridge. Westward expansion: a history of the American               frontier. UNM Press, 2001.