Created by atrulaske on Nov 19, 2009
Last updated: 12/06/09 at 12:45 PM
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The Interstate Highway Act was passed by President Eisenhower. It was passed to start the construction of interstate highways throughout the United States. The main reason President Eisenhower wanted to create these highways was in order to have an easy emergency escape route in case of a nuclear attack, however, the highways created easy transportation for people to other places. The Interstate highways started the expansion into the country outside of major cities and created suburbs for people to live in. The construction of interstate highways also boosted the automobile industry, because of the need for more cars and fuel to transport people to the cities and the suburbs. After World War Two, the soldiers came home and began starting families. Because of the expensive living and small space in the cities, the suburbs were a cheaper way for families to live safely. The interstate highway system was an easy mode of transportation for people to use to get to and from their jobs in order to support their families. The chain reaction of the interstate highway, the suburbs and the baby boom all lead to expansion and industrialization in the United States. They worked together to create jobs and boost the economy with the need of more things and more jobs due to the increase in population. Sources: "Graph showing the birth rate, Baby Boom, 1940-1960." (Illustration by George Barille. The Gale Group. ).Student Resource Center - College Edition. Gale. MARY INSTITUTE & ST LOUIS DAY SCHOOL. 6 Dec. 2009 .
The Cold War was a competition between the United States and the Soviet Union. It was not only responsible for expanding the American population but also many aspects of life. During this time, there were many wars including, Vietnam, Cambodia, and Korea. The US was trying to stop the spreading of communism to the rest of the world. The US and the Soviet Union battled through weapon development, propaganda, and industrial competition. The US created the Marshall plan to help rebuild Europe after WWII so communism could not spread to weaker countries. The main goal of America was to spread their democratic ideals while preventing the spread of communism. The Arms race was a time period during the Cold War when the US and the Soviet Unions competed to create nuclear warfare, expanding industrialization and innovation. The Space race was another competition to see who could get satellites and eventually humans into outer space. The US was the first country to get man on the moon in 1969. This was the beginning of the expansion beyond earth. The Cold War played a large role in expansion and industrialization because it allowed for its technology, people, and influence to spread across the world and beyond. Sources: "Atomic Bomb Blast over Bikini, July 25, 1946." Student Resource Center - College Edition. Gale. MARY INSTITUTE & ST LOUIS DAY SCHOOL. 6 Dec. 2009 .
The Purchase of Alaska was initially viewed as "Seward's Folly" and as a waste of money. The Alaskan Territory was purchased from Russia for 7.2 million dollars. The Secretary of State, William Seward, initiated the idea of the purchase and was frowned upon by many people, however, it eventually was a great investment for America. This purchase pushed away Russian influence in North America and influenced the US to expand north. Although at first this seemed like a bad decision, years after the purchase, Oil was discovered there raking in lots of money for the US and boosting the economy. The discovery of oil proved to be a huge expansion for America because it was eventually used for heating, and the auto industry among other things. Sources: "The Alaska Purchase." Student Resource Center - College Edition. Gale. MARY INSTITUTE & ST LOUIS DAY SCHOOL. 6 Dec. 2009 .
The Homestead act was created at the beginning of the Civil War and allowed anyone to receive a 160 acre section of free land. The person could own the land if during a five year time period they, built a house on the property, plowed and cultivated ten acres, dug a well, created a fence around the land, and actually lived on the land. The hope of this Act was to benefit the people and the government because both of them could make money off of the land, which would boost the economy. However, this isn't how it turned out; the people who received the land could not end up paying to maintain it. The Homestead Act encouraged Americans to expand West. It also created controversy within the country. The south didn't want to see their land being given away because they wanted to use it for expansion of Slavery. Since the South left the Union, the north was able to pass the act. The Northerners were happy because this meant that slavery would slow down and not expand into the West. This spread of Americans to the West encouraged western expansion and strengthening of the Union. This act greatly increased influenced an increase in westward expansion for Americans. Sources:Homestead Act of 1862. Digital image. American Government. Web. 6 Dec. 2009. .
The Pacific Railway Act was signed by President Lincoln. From 1850-1871, the railroad companies received more than 175 million acres from the government to build railroads for expansion. With the building of these railroads expansion became easier with new ways of migration to the west. The construction of the Railroads and jobs for maintaining business and the railroads created many jobs for citizens, boosting the economy. The Railroad companies made much profit off of this by selling some of the land back to settlers. The railroad business boomed with all of the money flowing in from farmers who used the trains to transport their produce. This also made agriculture more efficient. The Pacific Railway Act greatly improved the transportation from east to west and opened more opportunities for American Expansion Sources: "Typical Railway Construction Scene on the Prairie." Student Resource Center - College Edition. Gale. MARY INSTITUTE & ST LOUIS DAY SCHOOL. 6 Dec. 2009 .
The Panama Canal connected the Atlantic Ocean and the Pacific Ocean and was fifty one miles long. This was needed so the boats did not have to go around Cape Horn. America started a revolution in Panama and signed a treaty stating that they had control over the canal instead of it being Columbian Territory. America controlled it for eighty-five years. The Panama Canal was important to expansion and industrialization because it made it easier for boats to get from the two oceans. This boosted trade and expanded the American economy. During this time, the idea that the US needed to help "inferior" countries and America thought that they were doing this at the time. Again, America instilled this idea that they had the ultimate power over the world. This sparked a controversy because of the past Monroe Doctrine which said that Europe could not interfere with Western Hemisphere. Now the US was interfering with other countries in New World which was a gutsy move and made America look powerful and imperialistic. Sources: "Building the Panama Canal." Student Resource Center - College Edition. Gale. MARY INSTITUTE & ST LOUIS DAY SCHOOL. 6 Dec. 2009 .
On January 24th, 1848, James W. Marshall discovered gold near a sawmill in California. A few months later, a newspaper in San Francisco printed the first story of Marshall's discovery. The Gold Rush started in 1849 and ended in 1860 and caused the population of California to grow exponentially. In just the first year after discovering gold, around 80,000 people traveled to California to acquire wealth. The Gold Rush caused the state to become chaotic, wild,and violent. Many immigrants moved here in search of wealth and as a result California was the most diverse place in America. There were few women here during the time. Mining companies took over because of the high inflation and few people ended up really benefiting from gold. The Gold Rush caused for a huge part of the American population and world population to expand west and follow ideas of 'Manifest Destiny'. Now there were mining machines that could mine for Gold much faster than a human being and the first American Identity of ruggedness and wilderness is ruined but now an industrialized and modern idea of America is established. Sources: "How We Get Gold in California: Part 1." Student Resource Center - College Edition. Gale. MARY INSTITUTE & ST LOUIS DAY SCHOOL. 6 Dec. 2009 .
In 1845 during the annexation of Texas and many Americans moving into the land controlled by Mexico caused the start of the Mexican War. Before the war began, President Polk offered five million dollars to Mexico for their territory which is now known as, New Mexico, Nevada, Utah, and four other parts of states. He also offered twenty-five million dollars for California. This war eventually increased the United States' territory by 1/3. Many people who were against the war believed that the supporters only wanted to pick on Mexico to gain land and to gain slave territory for southerners. This sparked political partition and the controversy of slavery in the West. The Mexican War also had a large impact on the relationship between America and Mexico. This helped the United States expansion because it increased the territory and increased Western expansion and development by re-establishing America as a World leader and power. Sources: "The Battle of Vera Cruz, Night Scene." Student Resource Center - College Edition. Gale. MARY INSTITUTE & ST LOUIS DAY SCHOOL. 6 Dec. 2009 .
Manifest Destiny was a feelings or a belief. The idea was coined by Louis O'Sullivan in 1845. It was the belief that the Americans and the Colonists had the God given right to expand into the Native American land. This was a huge step for expansion because it pushed the Colonists' expansion into western territory. Manifest Destiny was also the main reason that people used for why the Americans needed to expand. This instilled the idea in the Americans that they were superior beings to the Natives and needed to "help" them by civilizing them and spreading their religion and ideas. Sources: "American Progress." Student Resource Center - College Edition. Gale. MARY INSTITUTE & ST LOUIS DAY SCHOOL. 6 Dec. 2009 .
The Oregon Trail was a trail from Independence Missouri to the West. The trail was established to move people into the west, and was very difficult to travel on while many died from disease and accidents. Many people going to the West on the Oregon trail were going for financial reasons or for land. Because the people using the Oregon Trail were moving into uncharted territory, they had to create their own governments and rules. This instilled the idea of the ruggedness and the American Identity to the rest of the country and the World. The Oregon Trail impacted Expansion and Industrialization for America because it was a route that many people took the expand into the West. Sources: "Map of the route of the Oregon Trail." (The Gale Group. ).Student Resource Center - College Edition. Gale. MARY INSTITUTE & ST LOUIS DAY SCHOOL. 6 Dec. 2009 .
The 1800s was a time period when America made huge advancements and industrialized a lot. When the French invented photography in 1839, the US took it another step further and in 1888, Kodak invented a camera that was affordable, and portable. This was a huge step not only because of the advancement in technology but photography becomes much more prevalent and people start to see the world differently. Another huge step for industrialization was the transcontinental railway. Before civil war, railroads had different gauges which made it hard to get to distant places. Lincoln created a railroad with one standard gauge and switched from iron rails to steel rails. This made it easier to carry heavier and larger loads. These railroads changed business and were a model for future monopolies. Also during the 1800's Women started to play a larger role in society with the creation of textile mills. This took women out of the home and into the labor force. This leads women to become involved in political and social reforms. Thomas Edison played a huge role in the way that inventors worked. Now it was a career and not just a side job for people. 1864 was the year with the most medical advancements including, the first anesthesia, rabies vaccine, and x-rays. This was one of the first times where people started to see the benefits of medicine and supported it and there was a decrease in the death rate. The creation of patents created a courage in America to go out on a limb and invent something, and encouraged people to have an innovative mind. All of these inventions and innovations helped instill a new identity in America. Now it was not just the wilderness Americans but the modern and industrialized county. Sources: "Thomas Alva Edison." (Edison, Thomas Alva, photograph. The Library of Congress. ).Student Resource Center - College Edition. Gale. MARY INSTITUTE & ST LOUIS DAY SCHOOL. 6 Dec. 2009 .
The Monroe Doctrine was written by John Quincy Adams, an expansionist who wanted to mark America's place in the world. The Monroe Doctrine was very important to expansion and industrialization because it was an early representation of American independence from Europe. America had been facing many difficulties while trying to expand because of the mutual interest in Europe. The Monroe Doctrine ended European colonization in America thus eliminating the threat of European expansion. This enabled America to expand further and become a world power. The Doctrine also stated that America would not interfere with the existing colonies of the New World or intrude on internal affairs in Europe. The Monroe Doctrine was a significant piece of American government that helped to establish it's role in the World. Sources: "Leaders discuss the Monroe Doctrine, which declared the Western Hemisphere to be free of further European expansion or ideology." (The Library of Congress. ).Student Resource Center - College Edition. Gale. MARY INSTITUTE & ST LOUIS DAY SCHOOL. 6 Dec. 2009 .
○ In 1801 President Thomas Jefferson authorized the purchase of France's land from Napoleon. 820,000 square miles were exchanged for 15 million dollars. The land stretched from mouth of the Mississippi river at the Gulf of Mexico north to Canada and westward to the Rocky mountains. Many people argued that the President did not have the right to make this dramatic decision because in the Constitution states that Congress has to make that decision. Still Congress approved this purchase in 1803. Thirteen states were created from this, the first one being Louisiana in 1812. This was a huge step for expansion and industrialization in the United States. America doubled its territory by this purchase. Sources: "Louisiana Purchase." American Government. ABC-CLIO, 2009. Web. 24 Nov. 2009. .