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Pikes capture by the Spanish 19th century ( colorado history ) - Essay Example

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Lieutenant Zebulon Pike’s capture in the hands of the Spaniards in the 18th century contributed significantly in the history of the modern day Colorado. According to Ubbelohde, Benson, and Smith, the U.S. Army gave him his first opportunity to explore the Louisiana Purchase of…
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Zebulon Pike’s Capture Lieutenant Zebulon Pike’s capture in the hands of the Spaniards in the 18th century contributed significantly in the history of the modern day Colorado. According to Ubbelohde, Benson, and Smith, the U.S. Army gave him his first opportunity to explore the Louisiana Purchase of the state under the presidency of Thomas Jefferson inn 1806 (20). His team was a follow-up of the successful expedition of Lewis and Clark in the northwest part of the present day Oregon (Lawson, Cerveny, and Mock par. 2). Pike’s errors while traversing to find the Red River made him discovered the strengths and weaknesses of the Spanish military, as well as the Spanish dwellers in the area who claimed to be the territorial owner of the place. When they were arrested by Governor Joaquin Del Real Alencaster after intruding a Spanish-owned Conejos River, Pike was able to gather information about the Spanish government and lifestyle in the area as evident by the writings in his memoir. He wrote all the scenery that his team had gone, as well as the distance they travelled from one place to another. His capture enhanced the knowledge of the Americans who bought the land beyond Mississippi River since the land was largely unknown to the Americans. For instance, their journey led them to a peak which he described as a “small blue cloud” (Ubbelohde, Benson, and Smith 20). History books would tell that Pike never reached the summit of the assumed Mount Miller.
Pike’s contribution to the Colorado history is shown in the agreement signed between the United States and Spain in 1819, clearly dividing each territory along the Arkansas River and the Continental Divide. It clearly established the territorial power of the state from the European conquerors; the French colonizers already awarded the land to the Americans through the Louisiana Purchase. His capture, moreover, gave him additional insights into how Mexicans hated the way the Spanish ran the colony. Because of the published manuscript after his journey, Mexico was afforded with independence (Ubbelohde, Benson, and Smith 23). The descriptive account of his expedition also paved way for the transformation of the Santa Fe Trail, a route that links present-day Missouri and Santa Fe in New Mexico.
The Louisiana Purchase in 1803 awarded the United States with the northern part of Arkansas River, as well as the eastern part of the Rocky Mountains (Ubbelohde, Benson, and Smith 23). Because of Pike’s expedition and capture, the federal government was filled with enthusiasm and interest towards developing the mountainous areas, now called Colorado. Pike’s memoir written after his captivation shed light on the geography and politics in the area, and triggered further expeditions from the United States government to enhance the natural resources and politics of the soils that were part under the Louisiana Purchase.
Pike’s detailed account of his journey described the geography and natural resources in the southwest part of the soil. He was, in fact, the first American to describe the mountain, which is now called the Pike Peak, and other important geographical sites now owned by the United States. His chronicle paved way for an American expansion and initiated agreements with the Spaniards on putting boundaries between the west and the south (Ubbelohde, Benson, and Smith 20).
Works Cited
Lawson, Merlin P., Randy Cerveny, and Cary Mock. “Zebulon Pike: Great American
Explorer or Climate Spy?” Weatherwise. Taylor & Francis Group, 2010. Web. 17
Oct. 2012.
Ubbelohde, Carl, Maxine Benson, and Duane A. Smith, ed. A Colorado History. 9th ed.
Boulder, CO: Pruett Publishing, 2006. Print. Read More
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