"The Westward Movement"

Forging the National Economy

This painted portrait portrays the vast migrations to the West.


The Republic and the People were young, restless, and energetic. They were inspired to move Westward after Andrew Jackson became the first president from beyond the Appalachian Mountains. The push for movement west is seen in one “tall tale’’ that described chickens that voluntarily crossed their legs every spring, waiting to be tied for the annual move west. Life on the frontier could be rough and crude, but it present opportunities that could be gained in no other area of the United States.

The Pioneers

The Pioneers were the groups and individuals who moved westward into the United States. The Pioneers were drawn to opportunities of new life, abundant grazing lands of “Kentucky Bluegrass,” and new tobacco lands. The Pioneers lived a rough and extremely difficult life out on the frontier. Frontier women often felt isolated and shut off from human contact. Fits of “madness” and mental breakdowns were extremely common for pioneer women. Men took out their frustrations in violent no-holds-barred wrestling in which men had noses bitten off and eyes gouged out. Despite some short-comings and rough nature, the pioneers were very independent, but also great neighbors.

The Pioneers often lived in small cabins with large families and few neighbors.

The reason I chose this primary source is because it talks about someone's movement westward. Most accounts say that moving and living in the west was hard and this journal helps prove that this belief true.


All the following are true about pioneer families except

A) Breakdowns and madness were all frequent “opportunities’’ that the frontier offered to pioneer women.

B) They were poorly fed, ill-clad, housed in shanties.

C) Loneliness haunted them, especially the women.

D) They were often victims of disease, depression, and premature death.

E) They lived longer than those who lived in more urban areas.

By the eve of the Civil War the “demographic center” of the population

A)Had moved across the Ohio River.

B) Had decreased drastically.

C) Had increased exponentially.

D) Had remained about the same.

E) Had moved further south.


Kennedy, David M., Lizabeth Cohen, and Thomas A. Bailey. "The Westward Movement ." The American Pageant: A History of the Republic. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Company, 2001. Print.

Pioneer Life. 2003. cemeteries-madison-co-in.com. Web. 29 Oct. 2013. <http://www.cemeteries-madison-co-in.com/maps.htm>.

Rudd, Lydia A. "Diary of Western Travel." (1852): Web. 29 Oct. 2013. <http://engineofsouls.activeboard.com/t14074569/primary-source-13-diary-of-western-travel/>.

Westward Movement 2. Westward Movement 2. Web. 29 Oct. 2013. <http://www.mediahex.com/Westward_Movement_2>.

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