The American West as both place and idea—a landscape as well as a complex and often contradictory process. It is the product of the pursuit of wealth but also of the search for the unknown, of imperial ambition and conquest but also the mixing of diverse groups of peoples, of brutality and genocide, but also common cause and perseverance. The West is in many ways an ideological invention, but it is also the place where the efforts to pursue those ideologies played out. Using this conception of the West as both process and place, discuss the “American West” at three of the following points in time: 1535, 1680, 1803, 1848, 1862, 1890.
How did the landscape itself shape ideas about the West? What were those ideas, and how did they change over time? How did colonization efforts shape each period? How did Native societies respond to colonization efforts in each period?
During the nineteenth century, who went west and why? Compare and contrast the experiences of these westward migrants. Remember to use at least three sources from course readings to help illustrate your claims.
There is no cap on how long the essay should be.
You may write as much as you as you like, but the essay should be a minimum of 1200 words. Your response should be in essay format (meaning it has paragraphs and is not simply an outline or list of bullet points). Use 12-point, Times New Roman font, double-spaced, with one-inch margins.
For quotes from Hine, simply put the page number in parentheses at the end of the sentence like so (37). If it is a quote from another course reading include author and page number like so (Quaid, 137). Please use Microsoft Word, because other formats may not be compatible with Turn-It-In and thus the dropbox will not accept them.
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