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How did/does the existence of a vast western frontier shape America’s values and society in the period 1790-1860?
One of the most defining features of the modern United States of America is the regions of the West, existing from the Mississippi River to California. This area originally started being settled during the early nineteenth century, and settlement continued into the late nineteenth century. As the number of settlers grew, the number of states in the Union also continued to grow. This profoundly affected American culture and social characteristics. Earlier, when many Americans lived near the East Coast, Americans were still extremely European and followed many distinctive features of Europe. However, once settlement in the West began, Americans started developing their own distinctive features different from Europe. The vast western frontier allowed for the settlement of immigrants in farms. The existence of a vast western frontier also shaped American values by creating a distinctive pioneer culture among Western settlers.
The vast western frontier allowed for the settlement of immigrants in farms. Many immigrants were arriving from Europe during the time period of 1790-1860. In the early 1800s, most immigrants came from Britain, France, and Scandinavia. They had similar values compared to the Americans already living in the United States and were readily accepted into society. These people mostly settled on the East Coast and moved west with the same pace that the American population moved. However, during the 1840s-1850s, the origins of immigrants shifted to northern central Europe and Ireland. These immigrants were less readily accepted because they were Catholic and spoke different languages than the average American. These immigrants quickly moved westward and settled in farms in the territories because land was easily available and they already had farming skills from Europe. One group, the Scots-Irish, was known for their rebellious attitude,...
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