How does the Pulling a Handcart to the Mormon Zion suggest about the changes occuring during this time period for many ethnic groups?
The expanding Republic brought new opportunities for some immigrants as well as white Americans, but it also brought increasing dislocation for Native Americans, so what does these documents of the Pulling a Handcart to the Mormon Zion suggest about the changes occuring today during this time period?
Merriman Evans' account of her conversion and then travel to the Utah territories is an interesting one in a variety of ways. It serves as an example of many changes that were happening to the world because of advances in transportation and communication as well as the different opportunities available in the "new world" when compared with the old.
One of the most obvious differences between Evans' life and those of her mother and other ancestors was the opportunity to even consider moving to a different country let alone a different continent. For her the considerations were difficult and the circumstances made the move very difficult, but it simply was not a possiblity not many years prior to her experience.
An important cultural change also occurred as immigrants had the opportunity to either insert themselves into the community of their countrymen and women within the ethnic enclaves present in many places in the U.S. or they could connect themselves with a new group, in Evans' case that of the Mormons in order to open up different opportunities.