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Continental Expansion

The American experience after the colonial settlement was characterized by continental expansion and it was motivated by various factors within the young country.

Imperialism was one of the fundamental factors that motivated the continental expansion of America. This was witnessed before and during the Jacksonian era. Imperialism drove Americans into expanding to wider areas with the need to advance various interests. Imperialists were influenced by the need to look for more land to expand their territorial boundaries. This would eventually translate into more power. More political power was being sought so have more influence. It is important to mention that imperialists were looking for more votes and expansion made it easy for them to acquire new voters who helped them to get more political power. Leaders such as Jackson were aiming at uniting Americans hence those who were far had to be included through continental expansion. (Carnes, Mark, and Garraty, 2008)

Control over large trucks of land was a manifestation of great power than other states. That is the reason why leaders at that time made use of the available resources to undertake continental expansion. The growing population motivated westward expansion. People were looking for more land to settle and carry out their various economic activities. The spirit of nationalism also motivated the continental expansion of America particularly during the Jacksonian era. There was a rise in a number of nationalists who were pushing for several agenda in the country for instance the issue of discrimination and inequality was of major concern. This state of affairs particularly in the Jacksonian era led to movements that were struggling for equality in the society and they really helped in the continental expansion of America.

Commercial activities especially in the west also motivated the continental expansion of America. There was need for more goods that facilitated trade during the Jacksonian era. The search for more goods for instance minerals and other valuables made America to expand to areas that had never been reached before. (Carnes et al, 2008)

Agricultural activities were also motivating people into expansion. Farmers required more public land to carry out their farming activities. Potential agricultural land was a very important resource during the Jacksonian era. It contributed a lot towards the growth of the economy.  Apart from the potential agricultural lands, there were minerals that had been discovered in some parts of the continent. The Americans therefore moved out in search of the valuable minerals like gold. Having more minerals and land symbolized wealth in the nation and most people who were involved in the expansion benefited from what they got in new areas.

There were benefits that came with the continental expansion. The first thing concerned the economy whereby the commercial activities that were carried out facilitated the acquisition of more wealth in the country. The expansion so an increase in the number of commercial activities with the west as a result of the freedom and liberty that was there during the expansion.

American land increased to a large extent as the people moved further into the interior. Americans expanded into more areas of the continent and their land stretched into territories that had not been reached before. With more land, the population of the country continued to expand and more resources were acquired for its development. The leaders had a very large area to exercise their authority based on the many voters they were attracting from different parts of the continent. (Carnes et al, 2008)

The higher population that was emerging meant a lot of power for the country. For instance the army of America was so powerful with so many soldiers to defend the territory.

Bipartisan politics became more realistic in the country. The Democratic Party became a very strong party because of the numbers that were brought about by the continental expansion. The expansion led to more freedom and liberty for Americans. This was evidenced in the increased participation in politics and governance. This had not been witnessed during the colonial times. More Americans were also becoming literate especially the whites. The continental expansion led to the decline in slavery. The number of people with slaves reduced to a large extent during the time of continental expansion. (Carnes et al, 2008)

However, the continental expansion of American was characterized by a number of negative things. Conflict and War was a reality during the era of continental expansion. Civil wars for instance with the Mexicans was triggered by the expansion of America into the Mexican region.  The civil Wars led to tensions and divisions in the country especially amongst the political parties. The Democratic Party was strong in some areas for instance in the South and weaker in other areas. The expansion also led to further imperialism and discrimination against the minority groups in the country. Groups such as the African Americans suffered so much discrimination as the country continued to expand. The minority groups were not being given the same rights as the white who were considered to be superior. This was witnessed in the participation in voting whereby African Americans did not have the rights to vote for their political leaders like the Whites in the country. (Carnes et al, 2008)

In conclusion, it is worth mentioning that the continental expansion brought a lot of prosperity for the country with the population increasing and the area of the land also expanding. Commercial activities increased and the economy started growing during the era of expansion. However imperialism continued to prevail and the rights of the minority groups were undermined.

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