Browse Exhibits (1 total)

The Oregon Trail

The Oregon Trail was flooded with idealistic settlers searching for a fresh start or a quick way to strike it rich for around three decades prior to 1850. This western boom was due to a newly founded American principle that would be known as “Manifest Destiny”. This is the notion formed by Americans to justify their westward migration with the fact that the western land must be there for a reason, and the reason that these settlers gave was that God put this land there for them to make their claim to. Not only was the expansion justified, it was popularly seen by Americans as unavoidable as this rich unknown land was scarcely populated by Indian tribes and not much more. There was not necessarily a large foreign force guarding this land and the white Americans already put themselves high above the Natives on the social ladder, and with them being the only real opponents besides the landscape, it made the decision to endorse western migration very easy.