Continental Expansion - Conclusion




Why did American continental expansion come to such an abrupt halt after the Alaska purchase? Perhaps the unsavory rumors of corruption were responsible but bickering and carping had not lessened American ardor for long after the Louisiana Purchase or the Mexican War. More likely, the formerly irresistible American expansionist impulse encountered a powerful counterforce, for in 1867, only three months after the annexation of Alaska, the Canadians formed a self-governing dominion, and soon afterward, the regime of the first prime minister, Sir John Macdonald, began construction of a transcontinental railroad that would bind the dissident provinces such as British Columbia and Manitoba to the nation. Probably also American businessmen came to realize that economic ties could be as valuable to them as political control over a people who, like the Americans themselves, wanted to be independent.

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