- from Westward Expansion
One day you’re sweeping 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.
They say this town will belong to Britain someday. You wonder what that means. Could you wake up one morning and suddenly be living in a different country? “Don’t worry,” your mom says later. “The government will figure it out, and someday we will be part of the United States.”
Western expansion helped many Americans find better lives. But moving west brought the U.S. government into conflict with Britain and Mexico. Those countries also had claims on western lands. Sometimes they just argued a lot over borders. Other times the arguments led to war.