THEMATIC FOCUS Geography and the Environment (GEO)
Geographic and environmental factors, including competition over and debates about natural resources, shape the development of America and foster regional diversity. The development of America impacts the environment and reshapes geography, which leads to debates about environmental and geographic issues.
Unit 5: Learning Objective B
Explain the causes and effects of westward expansion from 1844 to 1877.
The desire for access to natural and mineral resources and the hope of many settlers for economic opportunities or religious refuge led to an increased migration to and settlement in the West.
Advocates of annexing western lands argued that Manifest Destiny and the superiority of American institutions compelled the United States to expand its borders westward to the Pacific Ocean.
Westward migration was boosted during and after the Civil War by the passage of new legislation promoting western transportation and economic development.
U.S. interest in expanding trade led to economic, diplomatic, and cultural initiatives to create more ties with Asia.