What was the importance of immigration with regard to westward expansion?

1 Answer

pohnpei397's profile pic

pohnpei397 | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted on

The main importance of immigration for westward expansion is that immigration provided many of the farmers and laborers who made this expansion possible.  Let us look at two examples of this.  First, many of the men who worked on the transcontinental railroad were immigrants.  In the East, there were many Irish immigrants while many Chinese worked in the West.  Second, many of the people who came to the Great Plains to farm were immigrants from Germany and Scandinavia.  Thus, immigrants built the railroads that facilitated westward expansion and immigrants came to farm the lands gained during that expansion.