A major recurring theme in our course is the role of government. In this module we also explore the concept of expansion and American exceptionalism.
After the Civil War, the federal government actively promoted American industry and enacted policies that fostered expansion of the American West. The opportunity and prosperity enjoyed by some Americans as a result of these federal actions came at the expense of others. Native Americans found their homelands and their way of life under siege, and some immigrants encountered strong prejudice in their quest for the American dream. Within a few decades the federal government moved to reign in some of the excesses that its policies had permitted.
For your initial post, identify and objectively describe one of the policies meant to promote American industry or foster expansion of the American West. For example, you might discuss a law or policy designed to encourage railroad development or to stimulate industrial development or Western expansion.
In responding to your peers’ posts, select a post that identified a policy other than the one you identified. Could there have been an alternate solution than what was proposed, or was this particular solution inevitable given American progress at this time?