Westward Expansion Essay

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Westward Expansion There are many factors to consider when trying to decide which force had the greatest impact on the nation. Nationalism, when people hold great pride in their country, influenced heavily on the nation by bringing us closer to our neighbors and unifying us as a society. January 1815, a British fleet with 7500 troops lands near New Orleans. When the United States conquered the British, it was our nations first true look at nationalism. While this impacted our nation, the other competing forces still had a more significant impact. Just like nationalism, sectionalism also had an impact on American history. Sectionalism is when the nation becomes divided over a controversial issue. For example, the North and the South were divided for a very long time because of the issue of slavery. The division was so strong, it eventually led to the Civil War. But sectionalism still isn't the top competing force. In my opinion, the force that had the greatest impact on the nation was expansion. Expansion is the process of extending a states territory by claiming new land, which the United States did a lot of. Expansion affected the nation in many ways other than size. It also affected our country's population, culture, economy and social structure. America's economy was the first to experience the effects of Westward expansion. Most of the settlers that moved out west were planning on becoming farmers, if they were not already farmers. Along with new farmers came new products that the United States (US) could ship out to other countries as a profit. While farmers were moving West and gaining more land, they soon figured out that they needed a quick and easy way to transport their goods back east for sale. Shortly after, the invention of steam boats, rail roads, and thoughts of canals came into play. Canals allowed products to be shipped to the
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