What four factors influenced America's expansion?

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mkoren | Middle School Teacher | (Level 3) Senior Educator

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There are many factors that influenced the expansion of the United States.  One of these was the desire for cheap land.  People wanted to move westward since there was plenty of land available. Much of this land was inexpensive. For a period of time in our country, in order to vote a person had to own land.  Thus, the desire for obtaining land was important.  Another reason why we expanded was because we believed it was our destiny to do so.  This was part of the belief of the concept of Manifest Destiny.  We believed our way of life was the best way of life, and therefore we had an obligation to spread it over the continent. We also believed it was meant for us to expand from the Atlantic Ocean to the Pacific Ocean.  Some people felt this was a divine plan for our country. A third reason for expansion is that people wanted opportunity, especially economic opportunity. When minerals were discovered in the west, people flocked to the region to get rich.  As people settled in the west, this also created more opportunities for business to expand and develop more markets in which to sell their products.  Finally, we wanted to expand beyond our borders because we wanted to be viewed as a world power. Countries that are considered world powers have lands and markets beyond their borders.  We believed we were as good as any nation in the world. In order to prove that we were a world power, we needed to establish colonies beyond our borders. These are some of the reasons why the United States expanded.

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