Movies that Change Your Attitude to Westward Expansion

The history of the United States cannot be complete without the history of the Westward expansion. The expansion begins along the East Coast and continues to the pacific ocean. As an optimistic student getting a western education, you might wonder if the good social media benefits we have now would have impacted the expansion. However, many intellectual writers have argued that the westward movement didn’t just start in a day. It started before American Independence; Americans started moving up to what is now called Kentucky and Tennessee. Not only that, the Westward movement saw to the acquisition of Hawaii, Alaska.

In the early 1800s, there was a deep cause to break free from the monarch ruling of the British. The history of the westward movement goes on and on. You can check the library or the Internet if you need the westward expansion essay examples for any academic research. Also, if you ever need writing tips or help with history essay on the westward movement, this article will give you a solid background to your coursework. Interestingly, in any American school or college, you will be taught a thorough lesson across several amazing histories of the country.

Movies that Change Your Attitude to Westward Expansion

It’s been centuries after the Westward expansion; there are several changes, especially the social media and access to the Internet. If the expansion had taken place during the social media era, it would have been a great lesson on how to use social media for best record purposes. Due to poor visual documentation of the expansion, movie makers and individuals have preserved this memory and history for us and generations to come. If you ever get bored of your University lectures, below are a few movies that would change your attitude to westward expansion.

The Gold Rush (1925)

The Gold Rush, written, produced, and directed by Charlie Chaplin, is a silent movie that tells the story of a gold digger, Jim, who goes to Alaska to find gold. It wasn’t a big deal to be on the gold-finding quest. Everyone else was also digging different places. This movie is symbolic of the California gold rush’s tale of 1849, where almost everyone was obsessed with finding gold. This movie is both sad and comedic at the same time.

Depicting how desperate Jim was to find the gold and his string determination despite the storm that raged outside his cabin. In hunger, sickness, homelessness, and all sorts, he made sure he was wealthy at the end of it all. Jim – Chaplin’s unique acting made the scenes fun to watch, and though it’s a sad movie, you can’t help but laugh your head off.

The Big Trail (1930)

Raoul Walsh’s The Big Trail witnessed the new Hollywood windscreen presentation. This movie got national recognition as a culturally and historically significant movie. The plot of this movie is similar to The Covered Wagon, shot in 1923. The Big Trail is John Wayne’s first lead role. Playing Breck Coleman, a young trapper who seeks to avenge the death of his friend who was killed for his furs. Standing face to face with Flack, the killer, Coleman immediately suspects Flack of being his friend’s murderer.

As the plot evolves, both the viewers and Coleman find out that Wellmore hired Flack and his right hand. The movie also takes us through the young romance built up between Coleman and his first love, Ruth Cameron. As Coleman and Flack moved westward with the settlers, they fought the struggle that rose between them.

Westward the Women (1951)

Westward women by William A. Wellman has been argued to be a true-life event, but there is no evidence to claim that the story had happened. Set in the mid-1800s, Roy Whitemen comes with the news of an arranged marriage for 150 women if they would move to California with him. The women chose their prospective partners from their displayed pictures as Whitman picks beautiful and well-dressed women. The women and their prospective partners begin the journey westward.

The journey became a tough one that made them almost turn back. However, they decided to go through the journey and witnessed brutality, rape, and a love triangle.

Buck and the Preacher (1972)

Although never proven, Buck and the Preacher is also a critically acclaimed true-life event. A brilliant movie directed by Sidney Poitier, Joseph Sargent is a history of the old west and the struggle of the African Americans to make it safely to the unsettled territory of Kansas.

Buck, a former soldier, and his wife led the safe passage of a bunch of African America from Louisiana to a safe place. As they went on, they experienced several difficulties, like a group of white mobs who were paid to send them back to Louisiana or kill them. Buck, the preacher, and Buck’s wife fought the mobs, robbed the back, and saw the people’s safe passage.

Meek’s Cutoff (2010)

Meek’s Cutoff by Kelly Reichardt is the story of a group of settlers who saw Meek Stephen as a hero, one who would take them across the Oregon high desert. A journey that was meant to take them two weeks was beginning to last for five weeks. The families on transit began to suspect that Meek had lost his way, and they were also lost. They had begun to go short of food and water, and there was a need to question Meek’s leadership.

The movie shows us how women gave the moral compass to their husbands. The women prevented the killing of an American native, and they also encouraged their husbands to trust Meek’s direction to lead them home.


The westward expansion had come and gone, but the memories and effect still lived with us. Even though we learned about the expansion in the university and read about it in a history book or two, we cannot dismiss the potency of media preservation.

As a student, you get to have a visual knowledge of the story, who the hero is, and how the events in this movie will help them in their coursework and their academics in general. If you are doing academic research about the westward movement, you could use the help of reading a book on history or watch these movies.

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