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Did you know that over 500,000 people traveled the Oregon Trail?  The pioneers on the Oregon Trail usually traveled in covered wagons and faced many hardships, including disease, treacherous weather, accidents, and famine.  The Oregon Trail was an insanely hard Trail to complete about 20,000 people died trying to complete it.  Some common diseases that were caught in the Oregon Trail were Typhoid, Mountain fever, Cholera, the flu, measles, and smallpox.  About one out of ten who set off didn’t survive.  Pioneers all had their different reasons to venture off to explore Oregon.   Some of the pioneers went to Oregon to farm or went to California to search for gold. (Britannica.com)  In the United States, there is a 2,170-mile historic large wheel wagon route that connects the Missouri River to the valleys in Oregon.  From 1811 through 1840 the Oregon Trail was conquered by immigrants and pioneers.  It crosses through Missouri, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Nebraska, Wyoming, Idaho, Oregon.  Pioneers brought many things along with them onto the Trail, including bacon, coffee, flour baking soda, dried beans dried fruit, molasses, dried beef, vinegar, pepper, eggs, salt sugar, tea, lard, blankets, cloth, pillows, tent poles, stakes ropes.  Just the usual for a 2,170-mile wagon ride.  Dangerous acts for pioneers included falling off donkeys, drowning from river crossings, or even from deserts and rocky terrain.  The Oregon Trail could only be completed by foot or horseback. (History.com).The Oregon Trail was the answer for those who were looking for better dreams and a new hope or for people who wanted to live in peace.  After each and every family gathered their teams and hitched to their wagons a trumpeter played the trumpet to signal “Wagons Ho”, to start the wagons down the Trail.  The usual distance covered in a day was about fifteen miles, on a good day, the pioneers could probably conquer a good 20 miles down the Trail.  The Oregon Trail started in Missouri and ended in Oregon and came across as about 2,000 miles long.  The Oregon Trail wasn’t just one set path, there were several pathways and choosing the right one was the challenge for the pioneers.  The pioneers conquered everything from disease outbreaks accidents or wagons tipping over and dry dirty deserts or freezing deep water crossings, this wasn’t your everyday Trail. (American History.com)Over 400,000 people traveled on the Oregon Trail during the popular years of 1840-60.  The Trail went from California to the Rockies, and then into present-day Canada. The very first Europeans in America quickly moved further west into the far river valleys with better farming lands. Their ancestors were inspired by people like Thomas Jefferson or Lewis and Jedediah Smith.  Towns like St. Louis and Independence Missouri is where settlers left to set foot on the greatest journey of their lives. (history.com).After the 2,000-mile stretch is finally done, the Trail ends in Willamette valley better known as the goldfields of California.  In the middle of the nineteenth century, the main pathway was the Oregon Trail. It was for immigrants finding new life and opportunity.  It was banned North of the Southern boundary of Missouri.  If pioneers were worried Indians were going to raid their livestock they would hide all their animals so the Indians wouldn’t be able to find them.  It was tough for the immigrants to adapt to the pioneer lifestyle they had to face deep ascents in wagons over rocky terrain, or freezing deep water river crossings, sometimes even run-away wagons! (history.com).A boy named Carl Hawks wrote “We leave today, April 25, 1848. About 2,000 miles to the promised land.  I’m the son of the captain of this wagon train.  Pa says I’m his right-hand man, even though I just turned 13.  My job is to deliver messages and keep an eye on settlers.  On January 18, 1803, Thomas Jefferson asked Congress for 2,500 dollars to cover the costs of an expedition to Missouri.  Little did Jefferson know that he discovered the Oregon Trail, the most popular wagon route with the record of 400,000 people filling up the Trails on the Oregon Trail. Army captain Meriwether Lewis had grown up by Jefferson’s home in Virginia.  Lewis was one of the world’s best. (Olson).Thomas Jefferson had always wanted to send his men on an expedition to explore the Louisiana territory to find the Northwest passage and China.  Lewis was wise and smart enough to prepare a good enough team to help him on his journey.  While Clark was easy going Lewis got frustrated and angered easily.  Lewis had training in science while Clark made maps and was a great navigator and boatsman.  Both were solid men and good people. Their crew knew about carpentry blacksmithing, hunting, and more.  Together Lewis and Clark shaped their men into strong individuals.  Supplies were sprinkled throughout the Oregon Trail as more of the population on the Oregon Trail increased. (Olson).President Jefferson bought the land of the Louisiana territory from the French for about fifteen million dollars!  The purchase of Louisiana doubled the amount of space in the United States.  Jefferson thought to expand west was going to make America better, the other compelling reason wasn’t enough to land to sustain the ideal population, together these two reasons were the dawn of the Oregon Trail.  The new land spanned from Mississippi to the rocky mountain plains. In 1820 the Missouri Compromise answered the call for freedom. This resulted in Missouri being a slave state while Maine is a free state.  Before people came back from the Oregon Trail people thought it was an easy route but they were wrong.  The pioneers on the Oregon Trail usually traveled in covered wagons and faced many hardships, including disease, treacherous weather, accidents, and famine. (History.com).All the travelers were excited to embark their journey on the Oregon Trail.  After six decades after the purchase, all the people traveling to Oregon nearly broke the republic. Most of the people associated westward migration with better farming lands which is one of the reasons why more farmers moved westward.  Farmers unhappy with the prospects in Ohio, Kentucky, Illinois, and Tennessee wished to find better lives and farming grounds in Oregon.  While travelers were traveling to the Oregon Trail the question of slavery being allowed in other states was a big concern and had a lot of people begging for the answer.  This canceled out the peace that the Missouri Compromise had started.  By 1840 about seven million Americans lived in the western Appalachian territory.  The westward expansion of the United States is one of the biggest and greatest themes in American history. (Aronin)The Oregon Trail was the answer that the Americans had been looking for.  They wanted to seek better dreams and hope to live a wonderful life in peace.  The Oregon Trail didn’t just follow one path. There were several pathways.  Choosing the right one was the challenge for the pioneers.  The main factor that drew people to the west was Manifest Destiny.  America conquered a lot of hardships in the period.  There was already a lot of immigrants in California from the Oregon Trail, but the Gold rush added almost twice as many people.  Even though it was crowded, Americans kept on migrating west in the years after the Missouri compromise was finished, thousands of people kept migrating west onto Oregon territory.  Senator Douglas in 1854 added Kansas and Nebraska to the Louisiana purchase.  People were thrilled when they heard the news they often enjoyed new land to explore. (Winters)In the nineteenth century Manifest destiny meant “attitude prevalent”.  It was used in the American expansion.  Manifest destiny was a well-known belief in the 19th century that immigrants were going to expand land to their destiny.  Manifest destiny was thought to be an excuse to be selfish, and for Americans to push their culture around the world.  The completion of the Oregon Trail was announced in 1890, finally, the west had been explored.  There were only four more states that needed to be added to the United States.  From 1800 to 1900 during the westward expansion, the United States population went from 5 million to 76 million. Although most people loved the Westward expansion and thought it was a good idea, some thought it was not efficient because it forced many Indians out of their homes and into the reserves. (History.com)Manifest Destiny was created and claimed by John L. O’Sullivan.  He thought it was our nation’s destiny to spread over the nation.  John was an American columnist and editor and used the term “Manifest Destiny” in an article about the annexation of Texas published in August 1845.  People who wanted to expand the U.S. started the Manifest Destiny.  They wanted to secure the land of Mexico, California, and Cuba.  People thought destiny was the inevitability of the continued land expansion of the U.S.  At first, the population didn’t like Manifest Destiny but a democratic issue is what kicked it off with the Republicans. (softschools.com 6-8)Manifest Destiny was used to validate the continental acquisitions in Oregon Texas, Mexico, and California before the American civil war.  After the Westward expansion, the purchase of Alaska fixed the belief of Manifest Destiny after the civil war.  Manifest Destiny was often looked upon as interesting or just plain irritating.  Since there were supplies sprinkled over the Trail the merchants picked up the items and sold them to pioneers.  The merchants also tricked the pioneers into buying more provisions than they need.  Having too many provisions on board your wagon will slow you down and make it harder on the oxen so the pioneers would just leave the provisions all over the Oregon Trail. (Britannica.com).Oregon benefitted itself and the United States in a number of ways but the most important one was the population change.  Before the Oregon Trail, the U.S. only had about a population of about 5 million but after Oregon was considered “over” it was 76 million!  The Oregon Trail helped spread around the population evenly.  Most of the states in the West had not be created if it weren’t for the Oregon Trail, as more travelers blazed the Oregon Trail it became a great influence in our American history and slowly the East became less filled.  Before the Trail was developed people were unhappy with the population, finally when the Trail was done people were happy and relieved so they moved to the East. (Ducksters.com)As the Oregon Trail grew bigger and bigger the population changed.  The U.S. used to be empty but after the population was equally spread.  The men that wanted to expand hired quasi Darwinist almost everyone thought it was America’s destiny to expand.  The Oregon Trail completely changed America because it was the only way to go west. The Trail was the only reason why travelers made it to the west before the transcontinental railroad was done.  Without the Oregon Trail, I might be living in Canada. Nevada, Idaho, Oregon, and California could have been formed differently or not even formed at all if it weren’t for the Oregon Trail.  When the pioneers traveled west their beliefs, cultures, and religions came with them even our religions could have been altered if it weren’t for the Oregon Trail.  (OregonTrailrus.com)The customs in America could not be formed like they are today.  Native American culture and religion would’ve probably been the main customs for the United States.  In the western lands the customs and beliefs could’ve changed the whole we believe in God.  Imagine not even living in California because California doesn’t exist. Or California being as small as Rhode Island!  These are all possibilities of what could’ve happened if the Oregon Trail was never formed.  Some people that never ventured on Oregon thought it was too easy.  Death, starvation, murder, and a lot more accidents like running out of supplies were all things that could’ve happened on the Oregon Trail.  Spending money carefully on the Trail was another hardship to face on the Oregon Trail. (Stefoff)ConclusionAccidents were no strangers on the Oregon Trail.  It was very likely that every pioneer suffered at least one accident or death of a loved one on the Trail.  When celebrating people could get too happy and (believe it or not) actually accidentally shoot someone. This actually happened quite often on the Trail.  The pioneers on the Oregon Trail usually traveled in covered wagons and faced many hardships, including disease, treacherous weather, accidents, and famine.  The Oregon Trail was opened and established in 1811, and used by over 400,000 pioneers until the first Transcontinental railroad.  People stopped using the Oregon Trail in 1840 because of the first Transcontinental railroad. (Encyclopedia.com)When the Oregon Trail was first created many workers had to clear a clean cut path for the pioneers to follow through.  The improvements on the Oregon Trail included better roads, bigger bridges, and better path cutouts. The immigrants were motivated to go out because of the diseases in the East and the high housing market.  Over 20 years of use around 350,000 people used the big wagon route, the california gold rush also played a role in drawing people to the Oregon Trail.  From start to end pioneers would spend a good six to eight months of hard work on the Oregon Trail.  If you visit Independence, Missouri you can see the wagon wheel marks engraved in the sand, rock and stone.  (Blackwood 21) The Oregon Trail is one of the coolest to learn about in American history, I wish I lived in that time period.  I would travel and embark on my own journey to the Oregon Trail.