By Dennis Evans
In the early history of our country, we were an agrarian society and were encouraged by the federal government to expand westward to recently acquired land.
Thomas Jefferson wanted small tracts of land available to farmers, so that democracy would spread in the new territories.
Many of the immigrants were not wealthy landowners of their native county but peasants depending on the landowning nobility.
As the eastern US became populated, it was more difficult to acquire inexpensive land, which encouraged the western migration.