Description of Course
Study of the exploration, conquest, and development of the American West in the 19th century.
Introduction to the American West
The ceremony for the driving of the golden spike at Promontory Summit, Utah on May 10, 1869; completion of the First Transcontinental Railroad. At center left, Samuel S. Montague, Central Pacific Railroad, shakes hands with Grenville M. Dodge, Union Pacific Railroad (center right). Source: Golden Spike
Definition of the West
The Encyclopedia of the American West definines the American West as "the area west of the Mississippi and including Alaska Hawaii, and "spill over" areas in Canada and Mexico--that gave birth to something recognizable as a Western experience."