This PBS web site provides biographical information about the members of the Corps of Discovery the small expeditionary group Jefferson sent to explore the uncharted Westand puts the expedition into historical and political context. There is a searchable, chronological compilation of excerpts from the Lewis and Clark journals, full-length, unedited interviews with seven experts, historical maps created by Clark, a pre-expedition map, and a map showing the route taken by the Corps of Discovery to the Pacific. There are also short articles of Native American tribes that had the most most significant interactions with Lewis and Clark.
Introduction Native Americans long dominated the vastness of the American West. Linked culturally and geographically by trade, travel, and warfare, various indigenous groups controlled most of the continent west of the Mississippi River deep into the nineteenth century.
Spanish, French, British, and later American traders had integrated themselves into many regional economies, and American emigrants pushed ever westward, but no imperial power had yet achieved anything approximating political or military control over the great bulk of the continent. But then the Civil War came and went and decoupled the West from the question of slavery just as the United States industrialized and laid down rails and pushed its ever-expanding population ever farther west.
Indigenous Americans had lived in North America for over ten millennia and, into the late nineteenth century, perhaps as many asNatives still inhabited the American West.
The United States removed Native groups to ever-shrinking reservations, incorporated the West first as territories and then as states, and, for the first time in its history, controlled the enormity of land between the two oceans.
The history of the late-nineteenth-century West is many-sided. Tragedy for some, triumph for others, the many intertwined histories of the American West marked a pivotal transformation in the history of the United States. No longer simply crossing over the continent for new imagined Edens in California or Oregon, they settled now in the vast heart of the continent.
Many of the first American migrants had come to the West in search of quick profits during the midcentury gold and silver rushes.
As in the California rush of —, droves of prospectors poured in after precious-metal strikes in Colorado inNevada inIdaho inMontana inand the Black Hills in While women often performed housework that allowed mining families to subsist in often difficult conditions, a significant portion of the mining workforce were single men without families dependent on service industries in nearby towns and cities.
There, working-class women worked in shops, saloons, boardinghouses, and brothels. Many of these ancillary operations profited from the mining boom: Millions of animals had roamed the Plains, but their tough leather supplied industrial belting in eastern factories and raw material for the booming clothing industry.
Specialized teams took down and skinned the herds. The infamous American bison slaughter peaked in the early s.
The number of American bison plummeted from over ten million at midcentury to only a few hundred by the early s. The expansion of the railroads allowed ranching to replace the bison with cattle on the American grasslands.
This s photograph illustrates the massive number of bison killed for these and other reasons including sport in the second half of the nineteenth century.
Photograph of a pile of American bison skulls waiting to be ground for fertilizer, s.
The nearly seventy thousand members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints more commonly called Mormons who migrated west between and were similar to other Americans traveling west on the overland trails.
They faced many of the same problems, but unlike most other American migrants, Mormons were fleeing from religious persecution. Mormons believed that Americans were exceptional—chosen by God to spread truth across the world and to build utopia, a New Jerusalem in North America.
However, many Americans were suspicious of the Latter-Day Saint movement and its unusual rituals, especially the practice of polygamy, and most Mormons found it difficult to practice their faith in the eastern United States.
Thus began a series of migrations in the midnineteenth century, first to Illinois, then Missouri and Nebraska, and finally into Utah Territory.American Memory is a gateway to rich primary source materials relating to the history and culture of the United States.
The site offers more than 7 million digital items from more than historical collections. Both the African American and Native American communities in the United States suffered great hardships since the dawn of the Republic.
Southern plantation owners held the black community in enslavement while greedy American settlers stole the Indians’ land. After the Civil War, however.
The phrase "manifest destiny" is most often associated with the territorial expansion of the United States from to This era, from the end of the War of to the beginning of the American Civil War, has been called the "age of manifest destiny".
During this time, the United States expanded to the Pacific Ocean—"from sea to shining sea"—largely defining the borders of the. Both the African American and Native American communities in the United States suffered great hardships since the dawn of the Republic. Southern plantation owners held the black community in enslavement while greedy American settlers stole the Indians’ land.
After the Civil War, however. Manifest Destiny is a nineteenth-century belief that the United States had a mission to expand westward across the North American continent, spreading its form of democracy, freedom, and culture.
The expansion was deemed to be not only good, but also obvious ("manifest") and certain ("destiny. Culture definition, the quality in a person or society that arises from a concern for what is regarded as excellent in arts, letters, manners, scholarly pursuits, etc.