By Steve Sheinkin
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History--with the great bits positioned again. notice the drama, discoveries, soiled deeds and derring-do that received the yank West. With a storyteller's voice and a focus to the main points that make background actual and fascinating, Steve Sheinken offers America's maximum experience. From the Louisiana buy (remember: if you are negotiating a treaty on your state, play it cool.
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Additional resources for Which Way to the Wild West?
Americans continued moving west for all the usual reasons—the desire for land, the hunger for adventure, the need to find work or escape debt. A twenty-one-year-old teacher named John Bidwell had a slightly stranger motive. When he came home to his Missouri farm after summer vacation, some other guy was living there! The guy claimed the farm was his now—and did so while pointing a shotgun at Bidwell’s chest. That’s when Bidwell decided to move west. He knew about Oregon, of course, but he had also heard interesting stories of California, a vast land of mountains and grassy valleys in northern Mexico.
You have shot me,” he said to Cruzatte. Cruzatte denied it, which was silly since the bullet from his gun was clearly lodged in Lewis’s leather pants. So for a few weeks Lewis had to ride in the canoe lying on his stomach. Still, the Corps made it safely back to St. Louis in September 1806. In two and a half years, Lewis and Clark had zigzagged more than eight thousand miles across the West, met with about fifty Indian groups, and found hundreds of species of plants and animals. Reports of their adventures got Americans excited about exploring the West.
James K. Polk thought so. “Who Is James K. ” When leaders of the Democratic Party met to choose a presidential candidate in 1844, they couldn’t agree on anyone they really liked. So they decided to compromise on someone they sort of liked—a former Tennessee governor named James K. Polk. The leaders of the Whig Party—the other major political party in the United States at that time—were thrilled to be running against this guy. The Whigs’ campaign motto was “Who is James K. ” He may not have been too famous, but Polk was very clear about what he would do if elected.