The West American West GCSE

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  • Created by: Zanib
  • Created on: 19-05-11 16:36

Why did people travel west? 

Push factors are -

  • The US was hit by an economic depression. Banks collapsed, savings and salaries were lost and 20,000 people were unemployed.

Pull factors are -

  • The west had lots of land, in enormous quantities, and in California, it was there for the taking
  • Trappers described California as a place where the sun always shone, and fruit grew everywhere. They also said there were plentiful supplies of fish, furs, rivers and land
  • People said that wine was made in large quantities, as were olives, figs, apples, pears, peaches, cotton and oranges.

What were the dangers of travelling west?

  • weather
  • food
  • Indians
  • wagons
  • animals
  • terrain
  • route


Brigham Young

  • Took over after the death of Joseph Smith
  • Organised the Mormons for their journey west
  • Created a new home in the west: Salt Lake City
  • Brought Mormons from across the world to the USA.
  • Created the foundation for the state of Utah
  • Had 27 wives

Why did Mormons face problems in the East?

Key points - 

  • Joseph Smith
  • New York State
  • Kirtland
  • Missouri
  • Nauvoo
  • 1827 - The angel told Joseph where the book was to be to found. Smith claimed he dug it up on a hillside near Manchester, New York.
  • 1830 - A book was published about his translation of the plates (written in graphics) called the 'Book Of Mormons' It claimed statements that 8 people had seen the plates when Smith was actually the only one who had. Towards the end of 1830, there were several hundred Mormons.
  • 1831 - The Mormons had increased to 1000. There was progress on building a temple, alongside a mill, store, bank and a printing press.
  • 1837 - Economic crisis occurred, and many banks collapsed. Although it wasn't the Mormon's fault, people chased them out of Kirtland.
  • 1838 - Smith and his followers fled to the colonies, which the Mormons set up in Missouri. However, they weren't popular there. As soon as Mormons arrived in Missouri, attempts were made to stop them voting. Settlers rioted and destroyed property.  The Mormons were held responsible, and the leaders were imprisoned and condemned to death. In the winter, the remaining Mormons left Missouri. 
  • 1839 - Smith was let out, as long as left with the remaining Mormons. Smith led them to a tiny town called Commerce, and re-named it Nauvoo. The Mormons developed it as an Independent city state. They even made their own laws. 
  • 1844 - Nauvoo became the largest city in Illinois. The Mormons tried to create a perfect society - no drinking, smoking etc. There were now 35,000 Mormons with more on the way from Europe. These people were promised a new life, but were not given one.

Brigham Young - Good organizer or not?

  • Young was a brilliant organizer
  • He was practical and down to earth. He was also incredibly determined and considerate.
  • He made preparation for Winter. Wagons were built, oxen bought, equipment and food were made.
  • They would split up into groups when travelling. A captain would be in charge…


Georgia Drake



thanks alot  this is a very useful tool!

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