Westward Expansion Essay Conclusion Structure

Western Expansion Essay

In the early years of the American government, expansion of the United States was a very big issue. Our countries leaders believed in Manifest Destiny, or the right to rule from the tip of the east to the western shores. There were many different people who supported this idea for many different reasons. These groups of people included economists, militants, intellectuals, journalists, as well as religious leaders and missionaries.

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Economists pushed for the expansion of American soil. With more land came more worth. There would be more room for settlers and immigrants to build homes on. New towns would develop, and along with that came businesses. The more business, the more money, the more power and economic stability. One supporter from this point of view was Thomas Hart Benton. Benton preferred gaining territory through occupation rather than conflict. His ideas were used to create the Homestead Act of 1862, granting free land to settlers so long as they stayed on it for five years. He also encouraged the creation of overland transportation making travel to the west shorter and easier. Benton was chairman of the Committee on Indian Affairs as well, and strived towards the removal of Native Americans to make room for the white settlers. He might not have had the most honest intentions, but he was driven to expand. His Son-in-Law followed in his footsteps and is well known for his conquests in California over the Spanish. With enough land and citizens, the U.S. could become a very stable and powerful nation.

While journalists wrote of gold and free land, and the militia fought with the Native Americans all over the continent, religious leaders and missionaries began to act as well. Missionaries spread out far and wide, trying to save the "savage" Native Americans from hell. They decided that the Native American way was wrong, and that they had to save these people from themselves. Many socially rejected religious leaders on the other hand saw the expansion as freedom from persecution. One such man, Brigham Young, was waiting for just such an opportunity. Young was the leader of the Mormon church. At this time the Mormons were feared because of their un-Christian ways. Young determined to lead his followers far west, where church members could gather without interruption. Other religions wished to follow in the same footsteps. New land meant freedom from the violence and negative attitude of others, and they could actually build communities based on their religions.

Later came a very important advocate for more expansion, President Theodore Roosevelt. He wanted to further expand the U.S., thus forth furthering the United States trade and power. Roosevelt wanted the U.S. was to be strong. He felt that through more expansion, the U.S. could become an even bigger and richer world power. As the president, he had very much success in doing so.

There were many reasons for expansion into the west, and everybody had their own. Religion, military, and economy were just a few. Although a lot of the methods used to expand were not quite honorable, they worked. And, U.S. citizens got what they wanted. Because of the expansion into the west, we have one of the strongest military powers in the world, along with a very strong economy, and open religious worship everywhere in the country. Those who dreamt of expansion, and those who made it happen helped this country succeed.

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By Scout Garrison

If you went to high school, chances are you’ve written five paragraph essays, especially if you participated in any sort of AP course. Many of us simply adopted this format of writing for convenience. If we followed the rules, then we were granted an A. However, many of us never gave a thought about why we use a five paragraph essay format in the first place.

In college, these kinds of essays seem to completely disappear. If that’s the case, then why use them in the first place? Well, one reason we used five paragraph essays in grade school is because of time constraints. The AP tests, for example, were only a couple hours long and required you to write multiple essays that were expected to cover a breadth of topics.

More importantly, we were taught the five paragraph structure to learn about organizing our thoughts and ideas. This organization begins with the first and most important piece of the five paragraph essay: a “three pronged thesis.” Many teachers taught us that our thesis should include a claim and three arguments that support this claim. This structure allowed us to easily organize our thoughts and create an effective road map. An example of a three pronged thesis is “The Civil War occurred not because of slavery but as a result of the Missouri Compromise, westward expansion, and the Southern economy relying heavily on cotton.”

Once we created that thesis statement, the three following paragraphs would talk about the Missouri Compromise, westward expansion, and cotton, but there is opportunity for more expansive writing. A five paragraph essay is designed to be two to three pages, but in college, assignments can easily surpass ten pages. In order to meet this requirement, you’ll need a lot more than five paragraphs, but you can still utilize the same thesis you crafted.

The thesis you created for a five paragraph essay is still relevant for a ten page paper, but instead of one paragraph per “prong,” you can do two, three, or sometimes much more. In fact, a thesis for a longer paper may include only one “prong.” Our previous thesis statement may become “The Missouri Compromise was the impetus needed to start the Civil War.” Now instead of having one paragraph that relates the Missouri Compromise to the Civil War, you create one paragraph defining what exactly the compromise was. You lay out the date it occurred, who wrote it, its purpose, etc. Then perhaps you can identify how it affected different populations. An entire paragraph may be dedicated to the Missouri Compromise and its effects on the North, then a paragraph for the South, then a paragraph for minorities. Soon you’ll find that the Missouri Compromise may breach into all aspects of antebellum America, from politics to religion. Only after you have defined all of these ideas can you properly relate the Missouri Compromise to the Civil War.

After you show how the Missouri Compromise caused the Civil War, you are able to write a conclusion. Luckily, the ten page paper’s conclusion is similar to the five paragraph essay’s conclusion. You will redefine what you wanted to prove, and then you will concisely explain all the ways the Missouri Compromise lead to the Civil War.

And you are done! To recap, the best way to move away from a five paragraph essay format is to write a concise thesis and then expand in every possible direction. Don’t keep yourself limited to those three body paragraphs!

This entry was posted in General Writing Advice and tagged five paragraph essay, organization, thesis statements, UNR Writing Center. Bookmark the permalink.

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