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Category: Research Paper

Subcategory: History

Level: High School

Pages: 2

Words: 550

[Student’s Full Name]
[Professor’s Full Name]
The West and the Formation of Modern United States of America
In this essay, we shall do a thorough analysis regarding U.S. and the westward expansion. The Westward expansion began with the annexing of Texas and California and marked a new era for the country. In this essay, we shall speak specifically about the Buffalo soldiers; the northwest ordinance, and the concept of manifest destiny. These three situations shaped the west, and the America we know today, turning it into the country we know.
The Buffalo Soldiers. On 28 July 1866, after the Civil War, U.S. Congress enacted a legislation that aimed to reorganize and restructure the Army. The act, known as reorganization Act authorized the creation of six regiments composed of African-American soldiers (Williams 1). This Act revolutionized the army, as for the first time in the country’s history; black men could serve in the army as regular soldiers. Their name come from the Native Americans, who considered after seeing the texture of the soldiers’ hair, said it resembled buffalo’s hair. The functions of these regiments in the Westward expansion were many since their abilities were employed to fight against rebellious natives; outlaws; Mexican revolutionaries, and cattle thieves. In the same way, when there were no enemies in sight, the Buffalo soldiers repaired and rebuilt forts and towns, providing safety to the new settlers of the cities recently created in the west. This way we can regard Buffalo soldiers a makeshift police force that made life in the West, possible.
The Development of the Frontier Timeline. From the Northwest Ordinance to 1890.
1785: Land Ordinance of 1785 was enacted to avoid territorial claims of the newly acquired territories in the Northwest.
1803: The U.S. buys the Louisiana territory
1804: Louis and Clark explore the Northwest (Pbs.org 1)
1812-1815: The war of 1812 against the British
1816: Illinois and Indiana became states.
1823: Signing of the Monroe Doctrine
1843: The Westward Migration
1845: The Texas annexation
1867: The Alaska Purchase
1898: The Annexation of Hawaii.
We can say that the event that eventually sealed the end of the U.S. Westward expansion was the Annexation of Hawaii, from that moment, the country began to consolidate itself politically, to become the power it currently is.
The American belief in a Manifest Destiny. The term was first coined by John O’Sullivan in his magazine “The United States Magazine and Democratic Review” in 1845. However, its roots are at the beginning of the 19th century with the purchase of Louisiana. The purchase gave the U.S. a territory that was as big as the original thirteen colonies territory, effectively doubling the country’s size. The belief in a manifest destiny meant that it was a God-given mission that Americans expanded their rule in the rest of the continent, to provide those territories with progress, and liberty. For the Americans, their expansion was justified, as they did not want the Europeans to recolonize the Americas, thus, expansion was to be American.
As we could see in this essay, the process that lead to the colonization of the West, was slow. However, it was part of the America’s destiny, to conduct it, stretching the country from the Atlantic to the Pacific. During the expansion, there were many important factors that contributed. Those factors shaped the country and gave the Americans a sense of self-reliance that prevented them from being recolonized by the Europeans, helping the U.S. citizens to assert their identity as North Americans.
Works Cited
“American Experience: TV’s Most-watched History Series.” PBS. PBS. Web<http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/americanexperience/features/timeline/wild-west/>15 June 2015. .
McMiller, A. “BUFFALO SOLDIERS: THE FORMATION OF THE TENTH CAVALRY REGIMENT FROM SEPTEMBER 1866 TO AUGUST 1867.” Africanamerican.com. U.S. Army, 1990. Web.<http://www.africanafrican.com/buffalo%20soldiers/a229157.pdf> 15 June 2015. .
“Manifest Destiny.” History.com. A&E Television Networks. Web<http://www.history.com/topics/manifest-destiny>. 14 June 2015. .