Westward Expansion Study Guide
This unit will establish background knowledge about a changing and expanding nation to provide
context on growing internal conflict which will eventually lead us into the Civil War Period. We have also
examined the positive and negative effects of the nation’s growth from differing perspectives (Native
Americans vs. settlers, slave states vs. Free States, progress vs. decline.)
Essential Questions:
These questions will require you to think about and apply the information you have in your notes from
class and from your homework assignments.
1. What factors led to Westward Expansion?
2. What was the impact of Westward Expansion on the development of the United States?
3. How did technology, innovation and culture influence regional differences in Pre-Civil War
America? (Think about Pioneers, NC Gold Rush, California Gold Rush, Manifest Destiny, War of
1812, etc)
Key People:
Thomas Jefferson
Andrew Jackson
War Hawks
Lewis and Clark
Z. Pike
Concepts to know:
Louisiana Purchase: 1803 President Thomas Jefferson buys the Louisiana Territory from France
for $15 million. This purchase doubles the size of the United States and provides a large area to
the west of the country for expansion. (NC is worried about the new territory becoming Free
Goals and Outcomes of the Lewis and Clark / Pike Expeditions
o Lewis & Clark: 1805 Explorers commissioned to map out areas of the Louisiana Purchase
and find routes to the Pacific Oceans
o Explore the Northern territory of the Louisiana Purchase
o Z. Pike- Explores the Southern territory of the Louisiana Purchase & river ways for trade
US Embargo Act of 1807 President Thomas Jefferson prohibits US trade with foreign countries
with hopes of American neutrality from the war between France & England
Impressments- British kidnapping of US sailors in response to US trade with France
Causes for War of 1812 (Know who was involved and why US declared war)
o British blockades of foreign trade routes
o British Impressments of US sailors and sea violations
o British involvement with Native American violence towards US settlers in the Northwest
o War Hawks cry for declaration of war against Britain
Effects of the War of 1812
o US economy is negatively impacted
US manufacturing increases due to Embargo Act of 1807 (We have to create factories in
our country)
o Nation sense of pride increases; patriotism
Trail of Tears – 1838 The Cherokee Nation is forced to march from the east coast to Oklahoma.
Many thousands die along the way (From America the Story of US)
Manifest Destiny- 1845 Journalist John O’Sullivan uses the term “Manifest Destiny” to describe
the westward expansion of the United States
o It was America’s destiny to spread and grow across the continent
Oregon Trail- 1841 People begin to travel west in wagon trains on the Oregon Trail. About
300,000 pioneers take route on the trail for the next 20 years.
NC & CA Gold Rusho NC- 1799 discovery of a 17 pound gold nugget in Cabarrus County marks the beginning
o California: 1848 people start moving west to California to strike it rich. The gold rush is
over after five years.