AMERICAN WEST (1840-1895)


The American West was settled and developed by Newcomers to America in the years between 1840-1895. The first people who moved out from the Eastern Seaboard to strike out Westwards are extremely interesting. The first 'Mountain Men' were soon followed by the Early Settlers, then by Gold miners, Traders, more Farmers and Women.

The Early Settlers:

The Europeans who moved from the East to the Western coast of America are extremely important to the history of that country.

Why and How did the first Settlers move Westwards?

  • The first white Americans to move West were the Mountain Men, who went to the Rockies to hunt Beaver,Bear and Elk in the 1820s and the 1830s.
  • Then, in 1841, a wagon train pioneered the 3,200km-long Oregon Trail to the woodland areas of the North-West coast of America.
  • In 1844, 1500 Settlers made the dangerous journey Westwards.
  • That same year, a few farmers managed to cross the Rockies to California

The Mountain Men were not Settlers, and all these trailblazers were moving across The Great Plains, rather than onto them. However, they were vital in the process of settling the West, because they discovered the different trails West across The Plains, which were later followed by genuine Settlers.

Discovering Gold:

In 1848 gold was discovered in California, and soon thousands of prospectors rushed there, hoping


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