Lewis & Clark Expedition
It is not common for people to voluntarily go on an adventurous expedition or voyage with the aim to explore, have fun and discover “hidden” territories. It takes a lot of passion, determination and courage to embark on such a mission.
It is important to note that in the modern day, there are very few explorers in the world due to the rapid economic growth and development and also social changes in human lifestyle; however this is in sharp contrast to the ancient days when there were explorers in every corner of the earth. The reason for this being in the ancient days most corners of the earth were not occupied and exploited and it is for this reason that most explorers “competed” against each other in order to discover the unexploited territory.Purpose of the Research PaperThe purpose of this research paper will be to focus on some of the best explorers to ever grace the face of earth and left a huge mark on the American history; Captain Meriwether Lewis and William Clark. It is however important to note that this expedition was the brainchild of the then President of the United States of America, Thomas Jefferson who himself was an advocate of western expansion. With the help of the congress, he sent a side $250 that was to support Lewis and Clark and other explorers in their quest to explore the western ocean.This research paper will primarily discuss the impact of the Lewis and Clark’s journey.
It will also look at the goals of their expedition, events on the expedition itself, and their successes and failures. Appropriate references will also be given in the paper and in conclusion, it will give a brief summary of the important points that would have been discussed in the course of study.Goals and Success of the Lewis & Clark ExpeditionWhen Lewis and Clark left for the great expedition on 14th May 1804, most of America was still being developed and this was one of the main goals of the Lewis & Clark expedition; to discover the American regions that were yet to be discovered. In addition to that, the explorers who followed Missouri through the modern day Kansas City, Missouri and Omaha, Nebraska then crossed the Rocky Mountains and descended by rivers Clearwater, the Snake and the Columbia respectively via the current Portland, Oregon until they reached the Pacific Ocean wanted to discover important information in relation to the regions’ topography, the biological science of the people of the region, the ecological and finally the social, ethics and linguistics setting of the inhabitants of this region majority of whom where Americans of Indian descend. The question therefore is did Lewis and Clark achieve these goals?According to Nebrakas Studies, one area that President Jefferson was interested in was the discovery of the vast hidden geographical features that most people in the world were not aware of (Nebrakas Studies). It is noted that some of the unique geographical features that the explorers discovered and recorded were those related to longitude and latitude on the region, in addition to that the two explorers and their team made detailed route maps most of which are used up to date.
In any region, understanding the linguistic composition of the area is very important in the growth and development of the region, this was another task given to the more than 30 explorers. In their efforts, they (Lewis and Clark) held a series of meetings with number council tribes they met during their voyage that took more than two years (1804 – 1806). The main reason for this was to try and open up new trade routes and diplomatic ties between Europe, North and South America. It is wise to note that, the Lewis and Clark expedition was a success since they were able to accomplish most of the assignments given to them.For any assignment given, there are challenges that are encountered on the way and the uphill task is always how to overcome this challenges. Lewis and Clark were faced a number of challenges most of which they managed to overcome during the two years expedition.
Challenges faced by Lewis and ClarkAccording to Large, the change in the weather conditions as the explorers moved along had devastating impact on the voyage. It is noted that they (explorers) lost one of its main “pillars”; Sergeant Charles Floyd who passed on as a result of acute appendicitis. It is however good to note that it was the only death that occurred during the voyage (Large). Apart from the rapid change of the weather conditions, difficulty in find the appropriate route to use was also another barrier to their quest, in some scenarios, they had to change routes a couple of times before finding the perfect passage. It is also noted that there was a time when they (explorers) got lost and had to retrace their steps before finding the correct path. The reason for this was that when they set out, they mostly relied on ancient benchmarks and route maps most of which were not in existence.
The tough terrains in the terrain also took toll on most of the explorers and this left most of worn out.Language barrier is one of the major hindrances to the modern day socio economic and political development of many nations around the globe; this was the same challenge that faced the explorers more specifically in their quest to understand the cultural, social and economic practices of the American Indians and build a relationship with them. They however managed to establish a good relationship with the different Indian councils that they held meetings as they traversed the region. The Louisiana Purchase and Lewis and Clark expeditions had some important impact on the American history because of the accomplishments that it made.Major Accomplishments of Lewis and Clark ExpeditionThe overall achievement so the expedition which came to close on 23rd September 1806 can be categorized into social, political and economical perspective.
The biological significance of the expedition cannot be left out either. From a biological angle, they (explorers) were able to name hundreds of species of plants and animals, apart from naming they carried samples of the plants and animals back to American research laboratories for further analysis to establish the origin and other biological operations of the species. Economically, America opened its doors for business with the nations in the west, this also was boosted the positive ties that the nation established with the American Indians. The United States of America was better positioned to claim the Oregon territory which was yet to be occupied. Another mile stone of the expedition was the publication of the first literature detailing the life style of the West, they are known as Lewis and Clark Diaries which included details of major rivers and mountains found in the west.Summation of the Research PaperThe Lewis and Clark expedition is one that will forever be studied in history for years to come.
This research paper has looked at the most of the events that happened during the two years of the expedition, it has looked at the goals and success of the expedition. The research paper has also mentioned the route (path) that was followed by the explorers from the start to the end of the journey. There are some challenges that the explorers faced in the course of the voyage, this have also been discussed in the paper. In conclusion the over major achievements of the expedition have been discussed in the paper. It is also important to note that the Lewis and Clark expedition opened doors for others explorers like Zebulon Pike (1805 – 1807) to venture out.