Santa Fe Trail

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The Santa Fe Trail was beneficial to the growth of New Mexico. It was a highway that allowed passage between Missouri and Santa Fe. It was also used as a major passage way to get to other places like Los Angeles, Mexico city, and Camino Real. It allowed for trade to occur in Santa Fe. The Santa Fe trail was one of the big three trails in United States history that opened up the roadway to the west. Before Mexico declared its independence, trading between the United States and Mexico was illegal.

Many people were arrested because they would smuggle goods in to Santa Fe to try to make a profit. After Mexico declared its independence trading was allowed between Santa Fe and the United States. On September 1, 1821 William Becknell and four other explorers made a trip loaded with goods from Franklin, Missouri to the west. There they met some Mexican soldiers who took them to Santa Fe to trade their goods. The trip was 1, 203 miles long. It was also hard but the trading was good. Becknell returned with a lot of money and stories of Santa Fe and the people who lived there.

After Becknell made his journey many travelers followed him and traveled to Santa Fe to make money. This became important because the Santa Fe Trail became a busy highway where trade occurred. In twenty years 150 people and 80 wagons had traveled the Santa Fe Trail. The Santa Fe Trail became the highway connecting Santa Fe with eastern trade centers. The trail also connected with other trails such as the Cimarron Cutoff and the Camino Real Trail. This allowed travels to go to other cities. The Santa Fe Trail made he travel to these cities shorter. These trails later became the starting blocks of many highways we travel today. Some of these highways are US 60 and US 24 from Franklin Missouri to Kansas City, I-35 from Missouri and Kansas to what was known as the Oregon Trail near Dodge City Kansas, US 56 from Dodge City to Oklahoma to Springer, New Mexico, and I-25 to Santa Fe. In 1846, the Mexican-American war broke out because of suspicion and tension between the two countries because of the call for the independence of Texas.

The Santa Fe Trail became the highway for troops to carry supplies to New Mexico and other places. The war ended and the treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo was signed which made Santa Fe a territory of the United States. This led to attacks on travelers from Indians. The United States then built forts along the trail to protect the travelers from attacks. This became important because later on the trail would be used by the military to win the battle of the north of the Glorietta Pass. This led to more and more traffic on the trail.

The traffic was due to the transportation of military goods to forts located on the Santa Fe Trail. This brought in more than 5,000 wagons each year carrying goods to be traded. After the war, there were huge wagons carrying goods to be traded in Santa Fe. These goods were then traded in Santa Fe for other goods like burros, gold, furs, horses, and silver. This allowed the trail to connect Santa Fe to Los Angeles for trade. It also gave Mexican families a chance to send their children to the United States to be educated.

If William Becknell had not traveled westward and met the Mexican soldiers and ended up in Santa Fe New Mexico, the history of the United States would not be the same and the expansion to the west would not have happened. His travel to Santa Fe and his trading with Santa Fe’s people and his telling of stories to other travelers about his experience in Santa Fe changed the way New Mexico developed. It became popular so more people moved to New Mexico. The United States would have not had one of the greatest trade routes between Mexico and the United States leading to the trading of goods between the countries.

If he had not followed this trail the United States would not have one of the greatest passage ways be here today that helped create some of the roads we have today. If this trail did not exist the Mexican- American war may not have happened and the United States would have never expanded and New Mexico might have stayed part of Mexico. If the Santa Fe Trail wasn’t there for the Battle of the Glorietta Pass the south might have taken over and slaves could still be here today. The trail made sure we had a passage to California.

The Santa Fe Trail was one of the most important creations in the United States because without it so much history would be changed. Out of this discovery came the expansion of the west and New Mexico’s culture was shared with the rest of the world. It was the first major trading route and highway of American history. Bibliography www. 42explore2. com/santa fe. htm http://gorp. away. com/gorp/resource/ustrail/santafe www. bicknell. net/sftrail. htm www. santafetrailks. com/ www. santafetrailresearch. com/

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