The story of the American West is the story of the meeting of French fur traders and a variety of Indian communities, of American settlers and soldiers and Mexican families, of black miners and Chinese laborers. The creation of the continental United States was made possible through the acquisition of vast tracts of land that were not, contrary to the opinions of many, simply an empty wilderness. Thus, the history of westward expansion is a history of accommodation and adaptation, of conquest and colonialism. The following primary source set contains primary and secondary source documents accompanied by annotations and questions, classroom activities, and relevant standards. Download PDF.
1801 – 1822