Have you ever seen anything in your life that just seemed to good to be true? Have you ever saw something at a restaurant menu that looked like “a double dose of all that” but it turned out to be “toe up from the floe up”. The point that I am trying to reach is that western expansion was not good for America. The reason why I say this is because a lot of people got caught up in the western myth. The western myth is a belief that all will profit, all would be equal, and all will be free. Hays Jackson states that “Chinese immigrants started arriving in the United States around the late 1840s and early 1850s.” In his article Paper Sons, he states “for many Chinese, however the United States was the Mountain of Gold”.
Basically Chinese immigrants came looking for a better life but what they found themselves taken advantage of, discrimination, hatred, and abuse. One of the ways that they legally got discriminated was the Exclusion Acts. The Exclusion Acts were laws saying those of Chinese descent were not welcome in to the United States unless you were educated a merchant or a son of a US citizen. Mariano Vallejo is just one of the many people who got caught into the Western Myth. To make a long story short, Vallejo was this man who owned a lot of land and property. After the gold rush he had nothing.
How did he lose it all? The same way the Native Americans did. Land hungry settlers came upon his lands like roaches come to a dirty kitchen and Mariano Vallejo was raid-less. Mr. Vallejo life represents the life of many Mexican and Mexican Americans. Even though Mexican and Mexican Americans accepted the settlers, their new country treated them like foreigners. By the end of the 1800s the Mexican and Mexican American found themselves a minority with little or no power and occupying the lowest rungs of the economic ladder.
The author Scott Minerbook says that “Blacks viewed the west as a land of promise both economically and racially even though most came to the west as slaves”. In the story The Forgotten Pioneers the Author talks about how Black towns were suppose to be set up. Minorbook says ” Among the most prominent all black towns was Nicodemus Kan., established in1877 by a White speculator and his Black partner. As was often the case during the settling of west , Black pioneers were promised fertile fields abundant water shady trees and plenty of game by the alluring avartisement . Instead arriving Blacks found that the best farmlands surrounding the city had already been taken by whites.
There were no trees and the game was scarce.” In other words Whites said “Hmmm we already have the nice land for ourselves lets give the not so nice area to the Blacks. We can tell them the land is just like ours and make a profit!”Also the Article says “Nicodemus lost a competition for a railroad station that would have tied it into the larger regional economy and went into an economical decline. But the Legacy of racism played a role; Jim Crow laws barred Blacks from voting and hampers Black laborers. Four Black people were lynched in a town in Oklahoma in 1910” Just another example of the western myth. All was not free all was not rich and all was not equal. Western expansion was not good for America.
On the good side you had more land more money and who doesn’t want that. One the bad side you had racism, discrimination hatred and distrust. But to get this land and wealth, was it necessary to steal it from Native, Mexican, Native Americans and Mexican Americans? Was it necessary to make laws to keep other people from getting their share of the pie?.