Causes of Westward Expansion?


Westward expansion was greatly motivated by Manifest Destiny, the ethnocentric idea that the United States and its accompanying culture should spread across the entire continent. There was no single cause to lead the US westward. Instead there was just the notion that America should and the possibility that America could expand.

The beginning of westward expansion happened relatively early on in the history of the United States with the purchase of the Louisiana Territory in 1803. Thomas Jefferson made the Louisiana Purchase from France to prevent conflict amongst two nations in the same general vicinity. It doubled the size of the United States. This ultimately set the stage for further acquisitions to the nation. From Oregon to Mexico, the US continued to purchase, negotiate, or go to war over territory on the North American continent.
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