Westward Migration

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  • Westward Migration
    • Why move West?
      • Pull factors: Freedom & Independence, Fertile Land, Space, Gold, Oregon Trail
      • Push factors: Collapse of Wheat Prices, Overpopulation, Persecution, Unemployment.
      • 1836 - First migrants travel the Oregon Trail.
      • 1837 - Financial Crisis Economic Depression.
        • Banks w/ no money, loss of savings & jobs, businesses closed. Unemployment reached 25% in some area.
      • 1848-49 - The Gold Rush
      • Manifest Destiny: God's will that white American's should settle all over America.
    • The Gold Rush of 1849
      • Gold was discovered in 1848 in California
      • A famine in China led to 20,000 Chinese people migrating there in 1852.
      • Most of the many tens of thousands of migrants did not find gold.
      • Consequences
        • Increase in Conflict & Tension = More racial tension due to large immigration (300,000 by 1855).
          • Genocide
        • Gold boosts US economy - development & railroads
          • Farming business booms
    • Oregon Trail & Donner Party
      • 3200-3800km long, starting at Independence, Missouri.
      • Before Winter, risk of stuck.
      • Dangers = sandstorms, quicksand extremities, disease, storm, buffalo.
      • DP - 1846-47
      • Crossed 2 mountain ranges.
    • The Mormon Migration 1846-47
      • Joseph Smith founded the Church of Latter-Day Saints.
      • He was murdered in Illinois in 1844
      • Brigham Young took over in 1846, forced to migrate with 1500 others.
        • To make the journey: split everyone into groups with a leader, specific roles, taught safety wagon positions, insisted on discipline & regular rest.
      • Young's party had enough food for a yea
      • Succes in Utah - faith, control, Church own resources.
        • Dug irrigation ditches, farming was easier.
    • Problems of Farming the Plains
      • Climate, Grasshoppers, Lack of water & trees, thick sod, prairie fire and weather.
      • Lack of timber = sod houses.
        • Thick walls & roof = good insulator & fireproof.
        • Impossible to clean & full of insects.
      • Tough Environment
        • Farming - unpredictable crops & soil (broke ploughs).
          • At first, farmers had to dig sod with spades.

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