The Oregon Trail Essay

Rivers were hard to cross and the weather didn’t help either. The biggest problem however, was a disease called Cholera which claimed the lives of many travelers, averaging one grave every 80 yards along the trail (Tindall, Shi 503). Along the way however, they still adopted the same lifestyle as they had back in the east. The women took the chores of being a housewife doing things such as cooking, cleaning, taking care of their children while the men took the jobs of steering the wagon, taking care of the animals and doing heavy labor (Tindall, Shi 503).

It was the demands of the Oregon Trail that started to test the travelers with new tasks. Women were then starting to do things such as gathering buffalo dung as fuel, pitching in help to get wagons out of the mud, and etc. , mostly things that were very “unladylike” back in the day (Tindall, Shi 503). At the end of the trail, many of the settlers went about their own ways and started to establish stable communities (Tindall, Shi 503). The Oregon Trail played an important part in American history because it was the first path to western land.

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This route enabled the United States to fulfill its idea of Manifest Destiny, which was the expansion of United States territory from the Atlantic to the Pacific Ocean. Lands in which the trail went through eventually became six of the U. S. States including Missouri, Wyoming, Oregon, Idaho, Kansas and Nebraska (Wikipedia). It also led settlers into land that would also become U. S. territory including California, Utah, Colorado, Nevada, Washington and Montana.

If it wasn’t for the Oregon Trail, the U. S. may have never fulfilled the idea of Manifest Destiny and much of the west would probably still be unknown. The Oregon Trail was probably one of the most significant things to happen in American history. Because of this trail, it changed a women’s way of life in ways that they were now beginning to do things that they wouldn’t have done in times before the trail. This trail also gave Americans many hopes in finding a better future.

Because of the impact of the Oregon Trail, I think in the future many people will see that anything is possible if we actually set our minds to it. If these settlers, years before technology took over the world, were able to do such an amazing feat, why can’t our generation, the ones who have everything imaginable, can’t? I think the Oregon Trail was a great success despite the hardships that went on during the journey. The legacy of the Oregon Trail will be hard to forget in American history.


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