Oregon Trail Research Paper

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The Oregon Trail: A Route for Westward Migration The denotative meaning of the term “Manifest Destiny” is defined as the 19th century idea that the United States was justly destined to expand westward throughout the continent. Meanwhile, the connotative meaning, which was shared many families living in 1800 America, is defined as the enthusiastic spirit that the United States will reach ultimate liberty by expanding its domain towards the west. While the nation was starting to rapidly expand, there were other various events taking place. For example, the independence of Texas, Mexican War (1846-1848), California Gold Rush, and Mormon migration were also transpiring during the mid-early 1800s. There were many factors like these that influenced…show more content…
During the many families’ journeys, they would face numerous challenges and obstacles. Some of these perils included severe weather, starvation, rugged terrain, and Indian attacks. One of the most infamous journeys that took place in the Sierra Mountains on the Oregon Trail was the calamity of the Donner Party. The two primary factors that made the Donner Party’s migration a tough challenge was the treacherous mountains and starvation. George Donner and the people that followed him experienced the grueling forces of the Sierra Mountains, one of the last checkpoints on the Oregon Trail. Some of the followers had to resort to cannibalism in order to survive. For example, a journal entry by a person in the party wrote, “The Donnos told the California that they commence to eat the dead people” (Breen). Even though this incident was an extreme case of what could have occurred migrating west, it clearly expresses the dangers that many people faced. Despite of the physical challenges, there were other forms of obstacles that made the expeditions tough. Leaving one’s home and moving across the country would have psychological impact on the majority of trekkers. Thus, making the journey more complicated. The Oregon Trail, and other routes toward Western America, involves an assortment of challenges that impact the journey by making it difficult to

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