English Comprehensions: American History

English Comprehensions: American History
The pioneers were emigrants who travelled across the Great Plains of America to settle in the American West. Many of them were farmers and they moved to areas such as Oregon because land was cheap, or in some cases free, and it was believed to be very rich and fertile, ideal for farming. They followed the Oregon Trail which started at various points in Missouri, Iowa or Nebraska and was created between 1811 and 1840 by fur traders and trappers. Initially it was only passable on foot or by horseback but by 1841 it had been cleared enough to let small wagons pass.
Some years later came what is now known as The Gold Rush. In January 1848 James W. Marshall found gold in the river at Sutter’s Mill, New Switzerland (now called Sacramento) in the territory of California, USA. Word got out and soon there was a massive migration of people hoping to find their fortune in California.
People arrived by ship, in wagons, and on horseback from North America, Latin America, Europe, Asia and Australia. It was hard to get to California as there were no proper roads, no river crossings, no hotels on the way and only a few trails such as the ‘Oregon Trail’ to cross the west of America. It took some people nine months to reach their destination. Once they arrived the work was backbreaking and there was no guarantee that they would find gold.
For more on both of these, including work at two levels of comprehension go to:
English: Comprehension: Great Events and Explorations

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