If you lived in the 1830s, would you have taken the dangerous journey to the Oregon Territory? Why or why not?

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On a question like this, it's important to be aware of the scale that this journey involved and the risks and difficulties that accompanied it. The famous Oregon Trail ran for approximately two thousand miles and involved months of travel through harsh conditions. A significant number of people died en...

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On a question like this, it's important to be aware of the scale that this journey involved and the risks and difficulties that accompanied it. The famous Oregon Trail ran for approximately two thousand miles and involved months of travel through harsh conditions. A significant number of people died en route, often from disease. The dangers involved in this journey should not be underestimated.

With that being said, one thing that makes this question difficult is that, to truly answer it, I think you need to take a somewhat imaginative approach. Remember, the United States has changed dramatically since the 1830s, as we've moved through the Industrial Age into the post-industrial and digital age. Society back in the 1830s was much less urbanized, and the economy was far more agrarian, so much of the lifestyle we enjoy today would not have translated to life back then. Thus, in order to answer this question, you would first need to ask who this hypothetical alternate you would have been and what your economic status would have entailed.

Ultimately, families would usually have made this journey out of the hope of achieving a better life for themselves (and be aware, these hopes tended to be of an agricultural nature). Thus, I think that if you wish to determine the likelihood of attempting this journey, you would first need to carefully consider the underlying questions (concerning one's background and occupation) that would have shaped that decision.

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