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The Three Usual Stages of Frontier Development

The frontier development was the turning point in the history of the US because it marked the expansion of European colonies in America and defined the American spirit and character for centuries ahead, along with the permanent conflict between colonists and Native Americans. At the same time, the frontier developed passed through three distinct stages, which marked the first contact and further penetration and invasion of the Wild West by European colonists.

The first stage is the exploration by European expeditions of the territory beyond the frontier. For instance, the expedition headed by James Cook in search of the Northwest Passage contributed to the exploration of Western coast of the US (Loy, 2001). In this regard, it is worth mentioning the Lewis and Clark Expedition in Oregon, which contributed to the exploration of the territory of the state by European colonists (Loy, 2001). The same trend could be traced in other territories as well.

The second stage was the development of contacts between trappers and missionary, on the one hand, and the native population, on the other. First Europeans penetrated the territory to develop economic and cultural links (Loy, 2001). They had commercial and religious or cultural goals without distinct aim to invade the territory of Native Americans.

The third stage is building up forts and settlements and further exploration of the territory. For instance, Fort Astoria at the mouth of the Columbia River, which became the western outpost of Pacific Fur Company, was the first permanent settlement of Europeans in Oregon (McLagan, 1980). Similarly, other territories were explored and invaded by colonists in the West.

Thus, the frontier development passed through three stages, including exploratory expeditions, first economic and religious contacts by traders and missionaries, and, finally, building up forts and settlements to invade the new territory.

Loy, W. et al. (2001). Atlas of Oregon. University of Oregon Press.
McLagan, E. (1980). A Peculiar Paradise. Georgian Press.