People wanted to move west because there was more land that they could use. One use of the new land was for farming. The new land provided more surface area for crops to grow and in some areas, better growing conditions. For example, the Oregon area had very fertile soil. People believed that this land would be more fertile than their home countries, so they planned to create large plantations in order to create income for themselves and their families. They used that income to increase their farm size, as well as create a home for themselves. Another reason people wanted to move west was because the land was being given away at very low prices. The Louisiana Purchase enabled settlers to have access to more land, and at a very cheap price. There was also gold found in the California area which started the gold rush. People packed up their whole lives and moved there in the hopes of striking it rich.
California Gold Rush Infographic
This infographic shows information about the California Gold Rush, including images from the time and facts.