Westward Movement By Lesley Fargnoli P.4 When people talk about “The west”, “The Wild West”, or even “The Old West” they’re most likely referring to the people or events in the westward region during the 1800’s when many people moved there. A few hundred thousand people moved to the west in the time of the westward expansion. There were many reasons for people to move west. Moving west was a real challenge, but for some people it was worth it. Gold was found in California in the mid 1800’s. This caused people from all over the world to come over and seek for gold. This was a big reason for people to move west including many Chinese. Other jobs many people who came west would look for would be agriculture. The west had good land that was great for farming. “Washington is not a place to live in. The rents are high, the food is bad, the dust is disgusting and the morals are deplorable. Go West, young man, go West and grow up with the country.” — Horace Greeley This quote is an example of how some people favored movement to the west. Horace Greeley thought that people needed to go west and farm so a country can grow the materials needed and so a country can become a country. Other reasons someone would move would be freedom from the government. Some people were beginning to practice the religion of polygamy. Polygamy was not allowed in the American states, but in the west not all the same laws applied because they were territories and not states. A lot of people would also move because they would get the free land there. Moving west was a new start for many people. Moving west was a big challenge though. If you moved west in the 1800’s you would need to be very careful of the winter snow at the mountains. You’d also have to know what to take and what to leave behind. You most likely would travel to the west on foot causing you to deal with diseases, exhaustion, the heat, equipment breaking down, and getting lost. Also you’d have to make sure you’d have fresh water to drink. Traveling west was a very hard task; it came with both its pros and cons. People traveled west for many reasons and many died on their way there. As a result of people moving west the populations increased causing later for the territories to soon become states.