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The Oregon trail was the longest of the main western trails.
it ran some 2,000 miles. from independence,Missouri, to the Willamette River Valley in Oregon.
From 1843 to 1870, about 350,000 pioneers traveled along the trail.

The California Trail branched off the Oregon trail.
after 1848, people took this trail to seek gold in California.
it was a more difficult journey,crossing high mountains and deserts.

The Santa Fe trail was created in the 1820s, to trade with Mexico.
It ran from independence Missouri, to Santa Fe.
US traders exchanged goods for resources such as furs and silver.
trade grew after the southwest became part of the US in 1848.

The Butterfield-Overland trail was created to carry mail to the West.
Made necessary by population growth in West.
faster than travel by sea;22 days one way by stagecoach.
Operated from 1857 to 1861 closed due to the civil war.

the Mormons were a religious group formed by Joseph Smith in 1830.
The Mormons formed their own self-reliant communities.
in 1846, led by Brigham Young they began moving west.
they created a haven for Mormonism in Utah.

The Mormon trail led from Illinois to Utah Territory,where the Mormons settled by the great Salt Lake.
The trail stretched 1,300 miles.
some 70,000 Mormons took the trail.
thousands died from hardships faced along the way.

By the 1870s, railroads replaced the western trails.
the transcontinental railroad was finished in 1869.
Other railroad lines followed.
Railroads were faster, cheaper, and safer than travel by wagon or stagecoach.

Travelers taking the California Trail had to cross the high,rugged Sierra Nevada Mountains.
Was hot in the day and cold at night.
Had steep and dangerous mountain passes.
Passes blocked by heavy snow.

The California and Santa Fe trails each crossed deserts.
slow travel across the sandy terrain.
exposures to harsh sun.
lack of water for animals and people.

Many pioneers were afraid of attacks by American Indians.
Indian groups reacted to pioneers in different ways,but many were peaceful
Attacks were rare on the Oregon trail.
Travelers on the Santa Fe trail were at greater risk of attack.

the arrival of pioneers brought new economic opportunities for American Indians.
Traded furs and other resources for manufactured goods.
Acted as guides for pioneers.
Formed peace treaties.

As the population of American settlers in the west grew, so did competition and conflicts with American Indians.
Differences between cultures.
Different ideas of how to use the land:develop it or leave it as is.
Competition for resources.

Pioneer trails had an impact on the life of American Indians and on the environment.
Drove away wild game.
polluted water supplies.
Spread diseases such as measles and smallpox, killing thousands.

settlement had an even greater impact on the land.
Brought plants and animals that completed with or pushed out native species.
Plowed up and fenced off land.
completed for water supplies.
Pioneers saw many of these changes as positive and helpful.

Over time, settlers also brought new industries that changed the western landscape.
Timber companies cut down forests.
Miners blasted hillsides and polluted streams.
Such industries provided many resources for development.

Today water is one of the most valuable resources in the west.
Supplies farmers and ranchers.
needed by growing cities.
used for hydroelectric power.
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