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Westward Expansion Reading Comprehension Worksheet

Directions: Read the passage and answer the questions below.

Traditionally, when one thinks of the expansion of the American West, the event most likely to come to mind is the California Gold Rush of 1849. While that profitable discovery did boost California's population by 80,000 eager prospectors, there remained an awful lot of land between the Pacific Coast and, say, St. Louis, Missouri. "Why mention St. Louis?" you might be asking. Because in actuality the young United States started exploring the vast land mass to the west from that very point and almost fifty years before those gold nuggets started hitting the pan in California.

1. What single event sparked the Westward Movement? Why?

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2. Where were was gold mining the most popular?

 

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3. Before the Westward Expansion, were was most of the gold coming from within the U.S.?

 

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4. Compare and Contrast the California Gold Rush with the new Internet economy.

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