- from Westward Expansion
As you sweep up the back room of your dad’s shop, you hear him talking with some other men. Many people in your little town think of themselves as Americans, even if the Oregon Country isn’t really a state.
But some of your father’s customers are British, and they say this town will belong to Britain someday. You wonder what that means. Could you wake up one morning and find yourself suddenly living in a different country? “Don’t worry,” your mom says later. “The government will figure it out, and one day we will be part of the United States.”
Western expansion gave Americans many exciting new ways to make their lives better. But it brought the U.S. government into conflict with Britain and Mexico. Those countries also had claims on western lands. Sometimes there was just a lot of arguing over where borders should go. Other times the arguments led to full-on war.