Created by fbundy on Nov 30, 2010
Last updated: 12/03/10 at 08:26 AM
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The Space Race was a competition between the Soviet Union and the United States during the mid-twentieth century for supremacy in outer space. The race involved both technological and ideological plans in order to launch artificial satellites and pilot voyages to the moon and back. It began in 1957 when Russia launched Sputnik 1, the first artificial satellite built for space. This immediately affected the U.S. as they felt behind in technology and education; thus, they raced to launch satellites and sought to begin the process of orbital human spaceflight. 12 years later, the U.S. was successful as they became the first country to send a man to the moon as this achievement was accomplished on July 20th, 1969. This was a huge technological advancement for the U.S. as they left earth for the first time to explore space as the "final frontier."
The Roosevelt Corollary; an extension to the Monroe Doctrine, was issued by President Theodore Roosevelt in 1904. The new policy gave the U.S. the right to intervene at any time in order to assist in stabilizing the economic affairs of small states in the Caribbean as well as Central America. This didn't do so much for national expansion; however, the U.S. now served as the "international police" as they looked over small countries while gaining power and allies at the same time.
The Alaska Purchase was the addition of Alaska to the United States acquired from the Russian Empire in 1867. The U.S. was pleased as they had received 586,412 square miles of new territory. It originally was organized as the District of Alaska until being admitted to the union as a state in 1959. The U.S. had paid 7.2 million for the new land but little to their knowledge, Alaska turned out to be rich in resources such as gold and oil and also provided them with an advantage in the future coming of the cold war.
The Pacific Railway Acts were a set of acts that enabled railroads to stretch across the entire United States with government assistance. Railroad companies were given mass amounts of land to build their railroads with an additional ten square miles surrounding each mile of railways that were laid. With newer, faster, and easier transportation available to the public, movement and expansion to the west increased significantly. The new acts also served well for transporting mail and products that needed to be shipped across the US in days and hours instead of weeks or months. The creation of the new railways expanding over the entire U.S. greatly enhanced the industrialization and expansion by shrinking America and growing enterprises.
The Homestead Act of 1862 is only one of two United States federal laws that allow an applicant up to 160 acres of land outside the original thirteen colonies with freehold title. The original act was signed into law by Abraham Lincoln on May 20th, but in future years to come, the act was replaced with more efficient rules of homesteading. The intent of this act was to allow farmers to gain land for free where they could grow their crops and mass produce for a large number of people. Farmers desired to expand and with the new policy in place, they were able to for very little money. This was successful for many years because the amount of land available was not an issue leaving Americans happy with more food being provided with a result of more money.
The California Gold rush greatly aided the speed in the expansion of America. With the discovery of gold in 1848 by John A. Sutter and James W. Marshall, people from all over the world set out to California to get their own hands on the shiny stuff. This helped the movement of Americans westward by providing people with reasons to leave their homes in the east. With the massive amounts of Americans and foreigners moving to California, the population sky-rocketed by 80,000 in the first year alone. Soon after the discovery, large companies were established in California that mined the gold in vast quantities that allowed for growth in American industries. With population and industry both sprouting extremely fast, the United States quickly recognized California as an official state.
The Mexican-American War was a two year battle between The United States and Mexico over the dispute of the Annexation of Texas in 1845. Mexico had always considered Texas part of its territory even after the Texas Revolution of 1836. Territorial expansion to the Pacific Coast was the goal at this time as Manifest Destiny was still supported and with the addition of California and New Mexico, the U.S. felt they had succeeded. Land was the only bid the U.S. had received but states like California make a big difference in expansion of one country as the U.S. see today.
Almost 40 years after the Louisiana Purchase with the country rapidly growing, America was still hungry for more land. As America continued to expand, they realized that their neighbor to the south, Mexico, controlled much of the land they wanted to conquer. Mexico at first, tried to convince the Americans to move to Texas because they would receive free land and all Mexican rights. Upon hearing this, 35,000 Americans moved there and began new lives. Shortly after, they realized that they still desired to be Americans but also posses Texas as their home. This conflict resulted in a war between the two countries with America prevailing. With the new victory under America's belt, the United States then forcibly took and bought land known as Texas, California and what is now New Mexico. This war led to the expansion of the U.S. border as well as quicker industrialization of the new territory.
The Indian Removal Act signed into law by President Andrew Jackson on May 26, 1830 was part of a government policy known as Indian Removal. It was supported throughout the U.S.; however, the south was eager to gain the land inhabited by the five Indian tribes. It was difficult for Native American leaders to sign removal treaties but they demanded land to the west in return. Many tribes cooperated with the new policy, but as for the Seminoles, they put up a fight until 1842 when many of their men were lost. This caused the Indians to fall back and explore the west where there was much more land to be obtained leaving the U.S. the territory they wished to obtain.
Manifest Destiny was the belief that America was destined with the idea of expansion across North America's reign from the Atlantic to the Pacific Ocean. The term wasn't introduced until 1845 although expansion had been known about long before. It was accepted by the democrats as they used the concept to justify the war with mexico; however, whigs such as John C. Calhoun and Abraham Lincoln wanted to focus improving the enclosed economy rather then broadening its horizon. Up until 1860, it was in favor by most of the U.S. and allowed for extreme growth in every category along with the creation of new opportunities like the California Gold Rush. New land was now accessible and anyone was free to claim it as there was enough to go around.
The Monroe Doctrine was a policy issued by President James Monroe on December 2, 1823. It stated that between the United States and Europe, there was to be no more colonization of the western hemisphere by either side. They agreed to not interfere with each other's existing colonies as well as their internal affairs. As this event portrayed the thought of restriction on expansion, the primary objective was to ensure newly independent countries from European intervention; thus, guaranteeing U.S. dominance.
The War of 1812 was a battle between the United States and the British Empire. The Americans declared war for numerous reasons as they greatly desired to expand into Britain's Northwest territory. Great Britain held their ground as they lasted up until 1815 with the burning of Washington D.C.; however, neither side obtained or lost territory in the war. This left the U.S. with only pride as they felt they had won the second war of independence but this historical event led to belief in greater freedom and a chance for America to prove itself in the future.
The Louisiana Purchase was an acquisition made by the United States in 1803 to the French claim of a territory called Louisiana. It cost the U.S. millions of dollars; however, it paid off in the long run as the land acquired served as all or part of 14 current states as well as two Canadian provinces. It was the beginning to a new era and helped jump start the U.S. and its dominance over the next century. This allowed for expansion to mostly the south and an increase in population growth, production of jobs and the future to a new and strong-coming country.
The Jamestown Settlement was the first successful English settlement on the mainland of North America. Named after King James I of England, Jamestown was founded in the Colony of Virginia on May 14, 1607. This event is significant to expansion of the United States because there was a new place that finally served as a success of colonization as well as establishment of a permanent foothold in North America for England. It allowed the English to per say, "test the waters" and experiment with new land and the process of colonization.