History: I Wish I’d been there


History: I Wish I’d been there

Question 1

The book ‘I wish I’d been there’ focuses partly on the best explorers that left a mark on the American history; Lewis and Clark. It is relevant to note that the expedition by this two was that start of the then president of the US. Thomas Jefferson, the president, supported Lewis and Clark as well as other explorers to the western ocean. This section will assess the impact that the expedition had on the explorers and how they managed them.

Challenges faced by Lewis and Clark and how they were Overcomed

In reference to large, the explorers were victim to bad weather; heavy rains, strong winds, thunderstorm, floods, boat spills and freezing temperatures. Clark, a slave, and interpreter’s family were close to be swept by flash floods. They went to look for cover from the storm in a hanging rock; they however met floods that were fast increasing (Hollinshead). This made Clark to lose his compass and tomahawk among other things. Sacagawea’s child on the other hand lost a cradle board. With these adverse weather conditions, the explorers forged with such cases where they built Fort Mandan from cottonwood logs. The structure was used when the weather was cold and rainy. This similarly served as a form of rest place from the journey which was rough and long that took energy from most of the explorers. The explorers suffered from heatstroke and hard labor from pulling the boats and carrying their luggage’s, climbing trees and building structures; caches and canoes as well as lack of sleep.

The crew led by Lewis and Clark at certain instance got lost. This was due to using the wrong path this was since they used maps that had paths that were not there. They hence had to retrace their paths so as to go back in line. The land was ever different from the last one they had, the campers at a certain point moved far from their camping site as they were in search for two of their horses. It took them two weeks to get back.

Due to the varied socio-economic and political setting of varied nations, most people speak different languages. This was similarly encountered in the expedition. The crew led by Lewis and Clark had encountered a number of people that spoke different languages from what they spoke. The explorers met American Indians who the explorers med efforts to get to know their cultural, social and economic aspects. The explorers were able to create good connection with them who frequently met in the course of the expedition. They were of great use to the crew as they knew the terrain well and offered them useful tips on how to go about their journey.

Common with most expeditions, the explorers would have to carry food for them so that they are able to get energy as they go about their journey, this can however be challenge with the lack of it. This can be said of the expedition by Lewis and Clark who had most of their reserves coming to an end. The mountain that they traversed had no food and they crew went to the extent of eating candles and colts, the horses did not have grass (Hollinshead). The crew got weak as a result and this affected they journey. The crew was however able to overcome this challenge with the help of Sacagawea who sort and collected wild fruits.

Some of these challenges took a toll on most of the explorers and adversely affected the crew and made them take much time that they could have used in the journey. However, with of all the challenges, they were able to push forward with their exploration of the western expansion.

Question 5

‘James k. Polk and the election of 1844’ is focused on the election of 1844 where James Polk won and major events that took place after that. This question in focus is focused on the war that took place between America and Mexico. This American-Mexico war took place based on territorial issues. America wanted to acquire a section of land that Mexico had and advance the country’s boundary from Texas to California. The president at the time was James Polk who had the goal to take up this land. His strategies involved developing a military set up so as to attack them (Hollinshead). This war however did not get much support as it wanted to.

The section of Mexico that was being contested was Texas and its invasion by the US brought about the war. In the period from 1864 to 1848, the US engaged in war with Mexico so as to take up this land that went to the Pacific Ocean.

The America-Mexico War

The war came about in the 1830s with the massive number of Americans in the Mexico region feeling that they were being mistreated. The leadership at the time pulled down any efforts that were rallied so as to reject him; the rebels that were noted in Alamo were killed. With the Republic of Texas suffering to stand on its feet, it made efforts to become part of the US. In spite of the rejection from the congress, the US captured Texas in 1845.


President James K. Polk got elected in 1845 and was keen in getting back the land from Mexico. Polk was sure that the acquisition of the land from Mexico that went up to California was vital for the prospect of the US. Polk had the intention of buying the land and not uses war so as to acquire it. The war however came about since America got strong opposition from the occupants. This led America to engage in war with Mexico; violence erupted with the claim that the Mexicans had fired first. Though with opposition from the congress, most notable was the senator from Illinois Abraham Lincoln who was not convinced that the war had started on American land, James K. Polk was successful. He argued that the war was necessary as there were American citizens who had suffered for long in the hands of the Mexicans and actions had to be taken against the, stating “…the two nations are now at war” (Hollinshead).

The war between America and Mexico had varied responses, most notable were journalist who attributed the war to be a ‘manifest destiny’; stating that it was necessary so as to extent the aspect of liberty. However those opposing it saw it as a crime. The war ended up with the America taking possession of Texas as part of its own as well as a number of casualties from both sides.






Work Cited

Hollinshead, Byron. I Wish I’d been there. New York: Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group,     2007 Print.


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