Settlers on the Plains
Once the first settlers had colonized the Eastern part of the American continent in the seventeenth century, they lost their taste for pioneering. The rest of America remained uninhabited by anybody except the Plains Indians for a very long time. In the nineteenth century, however, all that began to change. Travellers in search of adventure started to explore the land, and found that parts of it were good for farming, while other parts were rich with gold and silver. The government, eager to prevent any part of the land being settled by the Spanish, British or French, encouraged American citizens to move into the uninhabited areas, offering incentives for the bravest pioneers. As we'll hear in this title, these incentives combined with a lot of other factors to encourage all kinds of people out into the Great American Desert.
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Curriculum and Exam Board Information
- Mountain men, early immigrants and miners
- The Mormons; their beliefs and early history; their leadership, the move to, and successful settlement at, Salt Lake City
- Attitudes to the Great American desert
- The origins of, and early settlers' belief in, their 'Manifest Destiny'
- Early migration and settlement: trappers and miners in the far West
- The reasons for increasing migration
- The Oregon trail
- The Mormons at Salt Lake City
- The reasons for the growth of Western settlement: the role of governments
- Motives and aspirations of migrants
- The reasons why the first pioneer families moved west in the 1840s
- The experiences of the first pioneer families during the journey west
- The Mormons: their origins, their experiences in Salt Lake Valley
- The significance of Joseph Smith and Brigham Young
- The impact of the railroad and railroad companies
- Wagon trains, railways and westward expansion
- The effects of westward expansion by prospectors and Mormons
- The reasons for settlement
- the effects of the Civil War
- the implications of the building of the transcontinental railroads
- Type of settlers
- new technology and methods
- Communications: the horse, pony express, stage coaches, the spread of the railroad
Daryl W, Student
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