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History of the Western Frontier

History of the Western Frontier

The western frontier was a newly acquired asset with unlimited potential for the United States. Rich with mineral resources, fertile land, and overall open space, the frontier was to be prosperous indefinitely, but it was first necessary to determine which action would be initiated. Agriculture was the only true necessity for survival, and with the land, large farms could be created to produce food for the nation. For this reason, farmers and their agricultural agenda should have had the precedence in setting up the western frontier.

During the time period between 1840-1890, immigrants were crowding into our nation, causing a population boom, especially in urban areas. Our nation was growing, industry was improving, and transportation, especially through railroads, was progressing rapidly. Following the Civil War, many settlers, including immigrants and freedmen, were moving west to begin a new life farming. But, the United States was wastefully granting the railroad companies fertile lands which were more suitable for agriculture.

With the arrival of thousands of immigrants each year into the United States, food was obviously a necessity for the nation. With all the land for which to cultivate in the west, farming was a sensible way to begin setting up the frontier. The government should have allowed farmers to choose their land on which to farm, and then support the nation with a steady food supply. The government could have still given out free land, like they did, as long as the farmers would supply the nation with a partial amount of their crops. In this way, if the farmers were allowed to choose their land first, the production of food would have been more efficient and prosperous, and the nation would have gained more profit.

With the profit gained from such a prosperous agricultural region, the government could have then funded other areas of westward expansion, such as railroad construction. Once the boundaries were created and farms were stable, the railroads could have then been built through the less fertile lands, such as the deserts in the Southwest. This method would have been logical, and in this way it would have also been easy to transport the goods to the East for consumption. The railroads would run around and between the farms, instead of the farms being created around a railroad. With a...

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