The American West has been romanticized in America's collective imagination since the early days of the nation From backdroppings of dusty deserts and isolated mountain ranges to the eponymous cowboys and outlaws, the American West is a legendary land with a long and varied past.
The American West encompasses the geographic area of the United States between the Mississippi River and the Pacific Ocean, including most of the Great Basin, the Great Plains, and the Rocky Mountains. It also typically covers areas of the four southwestern states including Arizona, Colorado, New Mexico, and Utah. Within the West, the term can also refer to a broad geographical, economic, and cultural region of the United States.
The history of the American West is vast and varied. The area itself played a key role in the expansion of the United States during the 19th century and continues to hold a significant cultural, political, and economic designation in the United States today. From the gold rush of the 1800s to the counterculture movements of the 1960s and 70s, the American West has been a site of much change and upheaval.
Whether it’s the classic Western movies, literature, or even the myths and stories, the American West continues to fascinate and draw in people from near and far. If you are looking for a great topic for an essay on the American West, then the following are five of the best ideas to consider.
1. Exploring the Myth of the Cowboy: The American West is known for its cowboys, but what does the word mean and how did it come to define the region? This essay topic can explore the history, culture, and influence of the cowboy on the West.
2. Exploring the Gold Rush: The Gold Rush of the 1800s played a major role in the influx of settlers to the West and the development of cities. This topic provides an opportunity to explore the various aspects of the Gold Rush, including its impact on the region and its people.
3. Exploring the History of Native Americans in the West: This essay topic provides an opportunity to explore the tragic and complex history of the Native American people in the American West.
4. Exploring the Legacy of the Counterculture in the West: The 1960s and 70s saw a dramatic shift in American culture and values, and the West was a key part of the counterculture revolution. This essay can explore the legacy of this movement, as well as its impact on the region.
5. Exploring the Role of Railroads in the West: The Railroad was an indispensable part of the development of the West, shaping the region’s economy, politics, and culture. This essay topic can explore the role that the Railroad had in the expansion of the West.