A.One of the most significant that contributed to the expansion of the United States was the California Gold Rush that started in 1848. In 1848, word of a bounty of gold to be found in California caught the attention of many easterners. They had dreams of becoming rich. So in the year 1849, many men left their families and homes for the California wilds to make their fortune. They figured that a year away from home was worth the riches they would return with. These men were referred to as “forty-niners” as they left in the year 1849. As hundreds of gold seekers flooded California, the gold eventually ran out. Thousands of people made the journey west for gold. Many stayed seeing the potential of the new western land. This also gave way to farming the fertile land of California. Farmers came and stayed to sustain the new population and eventual state. This helped make the state what it is today. It is still a place where thousands of people live trying to eek out a living or become rich.
Another contributor to the expansion of the United States was the Oklahoma Land Rush of 1889. In one day the city of Guthrie exploded into a population of ten thousand residents. The government opened land in the state as a first come first served basis. People lined up to stake their claim on land at the border. At 12 noon, the barriers were lifted and one of the most chaotic events in history unfolded. Hundreds of people on foot, wagon and horseback bolted for their unclaimed property. Within hours, almost all of the plotted out townships were taken. This expansion contributed greatly to the population moving west and economically gave a boost to the new “frontier”. It was one of the biggest and fastest western moves in history.
B.Mesopotamia was one of the most significant factors that contributed to the development of society today. Mesopotamians were a highly intelligent people. Their society revolved around a temple with a priest acting on behalf of their God. Later these priests were more like kings but still were considered a mouthpiece for God. The Mesopotamians wrote down all of their laws on tablets. No one, not even the king, was above the law. This way of governing trickled down through societies to today. The metal workers developed a way of using furnaces to heat their metal works to make them stronger. This act of smelting was passed throughout other areas and countries. Smelting made the metal much stronger. The land of Mesopotamia was fertile. The location of the two rivers led to irrigation of farmland, while the hospitable climate made farming an easy prospect. This led the people to change from hunters and gatherers to a more sophisticated society rather quickly. This leads me to believe that agriculture was the most significant factor in the development of their society as a whole.
The Mesopotamians began to export their goods they invented. Axes for war and building, pottery wheels, and glass are just a few of the exported goods. They were thought to have also invented the wheel. The wheel made everyday life so much easier for their people and others as this invention was spread around.
The use of a divided day and night into two 12 hour blocks was made by the Mesopotamioans to make trade easier with other cities. They then divided their weeks into seven days. The Jewish people then made this seven day calendar into Sundays as a day of rest and worship which then morphed into our modern day weekend.
Currency was also developed by the Mesopotamians to make trade easier. The worth of a cow, pottery and a slave, was all written down to make trade fare. Mesopotamia contribute to many economic cultures by starting this way of fare trade. Mesopotamia and Egypt used cultural exchange through war, trade and migration to diffuse their two cultures. With these two rivers of Tigris and Euphrates so easily accessable for both cultures, trade was easily obtained while workers were needed to help with the progression of cultural advancement. Trade and warfare were huge factors in diffusion of these two cultures. Both Mesopotamia and Egypt began to depend on the other for various trades of produce, animals, products, and people.
The Oregon Trail, 2011, Boettcher/Trinklein Inc., www.america101.us/trail/Oregontrail.html
The Rush to Oklahoma, 1889 Harpers Weekly, William Willard Howard, www.library.cornell.edu
Walker, Ann-Marie, The California Gold Rush Led to Development and Expansion of the United States, August 2011, voice.yahoo.com
Annenberg Learner, Video on Demand, The Western Tradition, Mesopotamia,
Guisepi, Robert, Egypt and Mesopotamia Compared, The Origins of Civilizations, history-world.org