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    Hi, so I'm thinking of doing the development of the American west for my history A-Level coursework. This is my question so far:
    'To what extent was the American government the most important factor in the advancement of the American West between 1805 and 1896?'
    I'd really appreciate any help or advice anyone can offer for answering this question. Also I would really be greatful if anyone could link me to any sources, books or any useful studies that could be helpful.
    Thanks - Becky
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    (Original post by BeckyPollock)
    Hi, so I'm thinking of doing the development of the American west for my history A-Level extended project. This is my question so far:
    'To what extent was the American government the most important factor in the advancement of the American West between 1805 and 1896?'
    I'd really appreciate any help or advice anyone can offer for answering this question. Also I would really be greatful if anyone could link me to any sources, books or any useful studies that could be helpful.
    Thanks - Becky
    Only do something you are interested in and for which there is good research material. I expect there will be masses.


    You mean EPQ or is this just a long essay you have to write ? I assumed the latter?
    You made the question? If so its fine and a lot better than many of the suggested ones on here because it has a clear question of what it wants to find out.

    I'd suggest the following. Read up to get an overview. A text book or article or several about the west during these periods so you understand what happened and key events.

    Make notes and ideas about questions you need to ask and answer. What do you wish to say and what will the reader want to know?

    - Somewhere towards the beginning I would discuss the state of the West in 1805 and then in 1896.

    - You also need to look at what is your measure of advancement? Is it population? Territory occupied? Civilisation? State of the Union? Peace? Industrial output? Think about these very carefully because they are your guideposts where your argument will need to run.

    - Thnk about some of the tasks needed.

    -How did people get from East to west? What did they need to do to settle? What obstacles did they need to overcome? What motivated them?

    -Look at the role of government? What was it responsible for? How did its policies make it easier for people to win the west?

    Maybe peace? Indians? The army? Civil war and one union. Slavery?
    Distribution of land? Incentives? Law and order? Railroads?

    -Research what the US government did and how well these policies worked. Finance, taxes and incentives what laws did they pass?

    You can then pose the question? Were there any other factors?
    Peoples desire for a new life? Gold rushes and opportunity to make money?
    Population growth and immigrants? Opportunity pioneers and adventurers?
    Are these more powerful factors?

    Would it have happened anyway without government?

    Once you are familiar with all these areas then you cna start to get a measured view of how you wnat to answer your question, the areas and reasons you want to include and how much you agree with the question. It should help you have something more involved i.e do your investigation first, have an open mind and then reach your conclusion later based on the evidence..

    Quality of research is important. Dont be boring and use the internet plus library to its full extent. come up with interesting facts an figures. Ask the questions an Historian would want answered and then show the examiner you have done the research to answer them.

    Theres going to be so much material available so a plan helps you identify knowing what you are looking for. I suggest starting with getting an overview so articles from 10-60-100 pages long covering the period.

    You can also watch this film (its a film/ fiction ), but easy and it can generate ideas of the issues faces. Dont forget its a film not a documentary.

    How the West was won. 1962.




    Anyway thats how i might start looking at it. Have fun.
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    Thank you so much for your help. As you seem very knowledgeable, do you have any suggestions on what other factors I could talk about, other than the work of the US government? Thanks again - Becky
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    (Original post by BeckyPollock)
    Thank you so much for your help. As you seem very knowledgeable, do you have any suggestions on what other factors I could talk about, other than the work of the US government? Thanks again - Becky

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/schools/gcsebit...tiverev2.shtml

    https://opinionator.blogs.nytimes.co...-was-won/?_r=0

    If you want to do well you need to do the research and ask the questions the examiner wants answers to.

    Dont forget about events.
    Slavery
    Civil war
    Indians
    Mineral rushes
    Immigrants/ settlers/ homesteaders, cattle ranchers
    Individuals.

    Also dont forget to be critical and point out if things the government did made things harder.

    Would things have happened anyway. Inevitable for settlers to move west and take over from the Indians?
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    I can't really help with your question because my coursework was from another topic, but when looking for sources i suggest you take a look at jstor.org and enter key words about your theme. Also, make sure the sources you use are from actual historians this is VERY important! When you find your chosen source on jstor you can download the document in sci-hub.cc . It's in Russian but it's easy to figure out. Good luck and work hard, don't leave it to the last minute!
 
 
 
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