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Once that must’ve felt like forever. Cannibalism

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   Once upon a time, there was a group called the “Donner Party”, this group was led by two brothers. The brother’s names were Jacob and George Donner, haha get it the “Donner Party”. They thought they could beat the system with a shorter route to California. Ya know because why not try and figure out a better way than others?  Turns out not everyone’s plans work out the way they think they will. These brothers started their trip way late in the pioneer season. Also back then they didn’t have cell phones to just pull out and check this week’s weather forecast. Jacob, George, and their group of 89 people faced some rough terrain and a numerous amount of delays. When these troopers reached the Sierra Nevada Mountains they ran into some heavy snowfall. This snowfall left them in trouble, delaying several valuable days for their journey. Settlers who followed George and Jacob had to spend five months in cabins and covered tents, during one of the harshest winters on record. By the time they were rescued in 1847 nearly half of them had perished. That rescue process took over two whole months. Being that cold and that hungry that must’ve felt like forever. Cannibalism started to happen too, because with all the dead bodies and no food (including children). Another thing where are you supposed to find food in the snow? After all of this happened Hastings wants the settlers to camp out for a couple days after warning the route they had chosen was worse ahead. They waited for Hastings for days. When Hastings was a no-show the group decided to send a messenger to ask what the better route was. Waiting on the messenger for several days I’m sure it did not help anything, although the messenger did show up with a message from Hastings. Hastings told them to take a different trail and told them what trail to follow. It turns out that this new trail was way worse than the Weber Canyon Trail. With Hastings route it costs them 18 important days, By the end of their journey, only 45 of the 89 made it to California in the end. All in all, I guess you could say it wasn’t really a shortcut to California like planned. Other problems that could have factored in with all of this is that most of the people in the “Donner Party” were mostly children, with this they could have been less helpful, and more could’ve died. One of the members of this party murdered two innocent people for food so he could survive when they were all really wishing for the same thing. Only two of the families made it through intact out of the 89 people.    Now I am here to tell you about some of the challenges of the Westward Expansion. Here are a few and after I will explain how these were challenges. The trips were costly, leaving belongings behind, loss of 200,000 lives, adjustments of transportation, climate, starvation, dehydration, illness, old age, and selling of businesses before moving west.Coming up are the reasons why. If things are costly it means you’re losing money for food and such things you need to survive. When you leave your belongings behind you could be leaving memories behind, which could hurt your emotions and such. Loss of lives can hurt in so many ways, whether it’s a loved one, friends loved one, or somebody you know. Also, fewer people to support and help the group, which goes along with starvation, dehydration, and illness. As far as climate goes well if it was too cold then that could have caused frostbite. If the weather was too hot that could cause dehydration. Old age could affect how well you move, in turn, affects your travel times and things. That is some of the challenges the settlers had to face. Facing any of these could not have been easy for anybody traveling west. Would you want to go through that? Ya me neither.    Some of the reasons people started to move west are because they wanted to secure land. Securing land is important, if you lose it then there are chances of some things happening. Maybe a war or something could start. People thought it would help them financially and get more materials. Another reason and my last reason is the manifest destiny. This was a belief that the United States was planned by God (some said) to expand across North America to the Pacific. They had a good reason to do this. Actually working for what they needed to get.    In conclusion during the Manifest Destiny or the Westward Expansion, there were a lot of lives lost. Some people probably think all of this is dumb, but in reality, it was a good cause and something in history that was good to learn about. It could also teach you a good lesson. The lesson to me was not everything back then was just handed to you, you actually had to work for things. Also, you couldn’t be scared of much, and just had to keep pushing through even at the hardest times. At first, I thought to do this essay was going to be hard, but know I know it was a good thing I did it and learned more than I knew before. The westward expansion was a big part of what North America is today.

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