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Westward Expansion

Social Studies, Grade 4

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Study Guide Westward Expansion Social Studies, Grade 4

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Westward Expansion Lewis & Clar k In 1803, President Thomas Jefferson made the Louisiana Purchase from Napoleon. This piece of land made the United States twice as big as it had been before. Jefferson wanted someone to explore this new land. He chose Meriwether Lewis and William Clark. Lewis and Clark wanted to travel all the way to the Pacific Ocean. They were able to cross the Rocky Mountains with the help of Sacajawea. The Oregon Trail In the 1840s many people wanted to go to Oregon. There was good farmland there. If a family decided to go to Oregon, the U.S. government would give them free land. The way to Oregon soon was called the Oregon Trail. People traveled in wagons called covered wagons. Sometimes they were called “prairie schooners.” Going west was a very hard trip. There were prairie fires, Indians, blizzards, broken wagons, animals that got hurt or died, and illness. © Copyright NewPath Learning. All Rights Reserved. Permission is granted for the purchaser to print copies for non-commercial educational purposes only. Visit us at www.NewPathLearning.com.
The Gold Rush In 1848, James Marshall found gold in a California river. This was the start of the Gold Rush. Many people came to California to find gold. They were called prospectors. The Homestead Act In 1862, the U.S. Government passed the Homestead Act. This gave free land to people who would live in the Great Plains. It was hard to live in the plains. There were no trees to build houses with so the people made sod houses. People were far away from their neighbors and got very lonely. The Transcontinental Railroad It was very hard to travel west by wagon. People wanted a railroad to make the trip faster and easier. In 1862, President Lincoln signed the Pacific Railroad Bill. This bill gave money and land to build a railroad line to California. Immigrants did much of the work for this railroad. By1869, the first transcontinental railroad was finished. It connected the eastern railroad with California. © Copyright NewPath Learning. All Rights Reserved. Permission is granted for the purchaser to print copies for non-commercial educational purposes only. Visit us at www.NewPathLearning.com.
Try This! Circle reasons that people traveled west. Explore easier life gold adventure Prairie fires free land to be lonely to work What was the name of the large purchase the Thomas Jefferson made in 1803? A] California Purchase B] The Alamo C] Louisiana Purchase D] Oregon Purchase Cross off things that were not used to travel west on the Oregon Trail Prairie schooner airplane ship car covered wagon taxi stagecoach horse Write yes or no beside each of the following questions. Were children allowed to go on the Oregon Trail? Did Thomas Jefferson steal land from Napoleon? Did people die on the Oregon Trail? Has the United States always been the same size? © Copyright NewPath Learning. All Rights Reserved. Permission is granted for the purchaser to print copies for non-commercial educational purposes only. Visit us at www.NewPathLearning.com.
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