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Westward Expansion

The quest to expand our borders from "Sea to shining sea".

Jefferson and the Louisiana Purchase
A look at President Thomas Jefferson's motivations and the impact the Louisiana Purchase had on the United States which greatly increased the size of the United States.

Excavating Lewis and Clark
Join About's Archaeology guide on a visit to archaeological and historical sites associated with the Lewis and Clark expedition.

Fifty-Four Forty or Fight!
In 1844, James K. Polk won the presidency of the United States using this famous campaign slogan. While he stated that he would fight for the entire Oregon Territory, soon after taking office he negotiated a treaty with the British and set the boundary between the U.S. and Canada at the 49th parallel. Read the details in this article.

The Donner Party
The highlight of this site is the extensive collection of excerpts from the logs and diaries kept by party members.

Lewis and Clark--The Corps
Read about the members of the Corps of Discovery. From the PBS TV show's companion site.

Manifest Destiny: The Philosophy That Created a Nation
This essay with links to additional information tries to prove as it states in its introduction, "...that Manifest Destiny can be argued as the sole reason for why America itself has a history." While it is always important to suspect single cause theories, this paper provides good background information to the desire to move west.

The Many Shades of Manifest Destiny
Read about the many different ideas America used over time to promote the ideas of Manifest Destiny including Imperialism, Yellow Journalism, White Man's Burden, the Monroe Doctrine and the Roosevelt Corollary.

New Light on the Donner Party
Detailed information on the Donner Party including biographies, timelines, myths and frequently asked questions. Make sure to check out the "New Documents" section full of primary sources written before and after the fateful Donner Party expedition.

The Oregon Trail
This awesome web site was written by the creators of 'The Oregon Trail', the award-winning documentary film which aired on PBS. Find a history, sites to visit, facts and primary source documents about the Trail.

Turner's The Frontier in American History
Entire text of Frederick Jackson Turner's 13 pivotal essays on the importance of the westward expansion to American History.

To the Western Ocean: Planning the Lewis and Clark Expedition
An exhibition of the maps Lewis,Clark, and Thomas Jefferson used to plan their search for a water route to the Pacific.

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