The Year Of Decision, 1846 by Bernard DeVoto

The Year Of Decision, 1846

Book Title: The Year Of Decision, 1846

Publisher: Kappa Books

Author: Bernard DeVoto


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1846 was the year in which the United States of America began to spread westward in earnest.



Over forty years after the Louisiana Purchase and Lewis and Clark’s expedition, this year marks the point at which men and women from the east began to travel westward and populate the land near the Pacific.

Bernardo DeVoto’s fascinating study of this movement fully captures this moment when Western frontier was first truly settled by adventurers and explorers.

This year marks the point at which troubles with Mexico come to a head and the Mexican-American War broke out.

It was also the year when the Mormons made their famous trek across from Illinois to Utah.

Immigrant trains spread across the breadth of the country and men and women aspired to make new lives for themselves in the west. Some of these made in through the treacherous passes, but others like the Donner Party ended in tragedy.

DeVoto uncovers the famous adventurers and explorers who were instrumental in forging new paths westwards like Jim Bridger, Frances Parkman and Jim Clyman.

This brilliant book uncovers how through the course of the year and through a variety of different reasons the United States greatly expanded as areas that would become known as Texas, new Mexico, California, Oregon and Utah came under its sway.

“A scholar's book, packed with minute detail, and colored by the hopes and fears and pleasures and ambitions of the motley throng that stirred, and uprooted themselves, and moved westward.” Kirkus Reviews

Bernard DeVoto was a Pulitzer-Prize-winning historian of the American West. He was a lifelong champion of American Public lands and the conservation of public resources as well as an outspoken defender of civil liberties. His book The Year of Decision, 1846 was first published in 1942 and he passed away in 1955.