Presentation on theme: "Trappers and Traders Blaze the Way. Few American explorers and adventurers were moving beyond the Mississippi River into the Louisiana Territory and."— Presentation transcript:
Few American explorers and adventurers were moving beyond the Mississippi River into the Louisiana Territory and farther. Gradually many different kinds of people drifted into the West-Americans, Germans, French, and others. They were trappers, farmers, adventurers, and some were isolationists. The story of the West is one of possibilities, danger, and diversity.
Army officer John C. Fremont, his wife Jessie, and her father, Thomas Hart Benton, were eager expansionists. expansionists- people who believe that their country’s prosperity depends on the enlarging the territory.
The view of expansionism came to be known as Manifest Destiny. Manifest Destiny- the idea that Americans had the right to expand to the Pacific Ocean. Some people argued that by expanding the nation to the Pacific Coast, Americans could fulfill the dreams of Christopher Columbus.
The reports of Lewis and Clark’s expedition drew Americans to the Far West. The year after Lewis and Clark’s return, Manuel Lisa, a Spanish American Trader ventured west for fur. Other fur companies followed. The trappers were known as mountain men.
Mountain men worked alone or in small groups. Mountain men learned Indian skills and knowledge of the area and trails. Mountain men did not only trap animals for their fur. Later on mountain men guided settlers west due to their knowledge of trails.
After Mexico won its independence from Spain in 1821, it opened Santa Fe to American trade. William Becknell blazed the Santa Fe Trail. Becknell was a Missouri trader, having blazed a route that stretched 800 miles. Becknell is known as the Father of the Santa Fe Trail. The trail went from Independence, Missouri to Santa Fe, New Mexico
The stories of the Santa Fe traders, like those of the mountain men, encouraged Americans to move west. They led immigrants to believe that they could move into Texas, New Mexico, and California with little risk.