Westward expansion : a history of the American frontier / Ray Allen Billington, Martin Ridge.

  • 6th ed., abridged.
  • Albuquerque : University of New Mexico Press ©2001
Physical description
xi, 444 pages : illustrations, maps ; 23 cm
  • 0826319815
  • 9780826319814
  • Includes bibliographical references (pages 391-425) and index.
  • Introduction: The Frontier Hypothesis -- Ch. 1. Westward to the Mississippi -- Ch. 2. The Land and the People -- Ch. 3. The Spanish-Mexican Frontier, 1540-1776 -- Ch. 4. The Traders' Frontier, 1776-1840 -- Ch. 5. The Mississippi Valley Frontier, 1803-1840 -- Ch. 6. The Taking of Texas, 1820-1845 -- Ch. 7. The Occupation of Oregon, 1825-1846 -- Ch. 8. The Great Basin Frontier, 1830-1846 -- Ch. 9. The Conquest of California, 1830-1846 -- Ch. 10. Conquest and Controversy, 1846-1850 -- Ch. 11. The West and Slavery, 1850-1860 -- Ch. 12. The Miners' Frontier, 1858-1875 -- Ch. 13. The Transportation Frontier, 1858-1884 -- Ch. 14. The Indian Barrier, 1860-1887 -- Ch. 15. The Ranchers' Frontier, 1865-1887.
Other names
  • Bibliography
  • History.
  • Illustrated
  • Nonfiction.
  • text
  • English


  • When it appeared in 1949, the first edition of Ray Allen Billington's Westward Expansion set a new standard for scholarship in western American history, and the book's reputation among historians, scholars, and students grew through four subsequent editions. This abridgment and revision of Billington and Martin Ridge's fifth edition, with a new introduction and additional scholarship by Ridge, as well as an updated bibliography, focuses on the Trans-Mississippi frontier. Although the text sets out the remarkable story of the American frontier, which became, almost from the beginning, an archetypal narrative of the new American nation's successful expansion, the authors do not forget the social, environmental, and human cost of national expansion. While most Americans take pride in the nation's frontier heritage and its associated myths, they also share that history with others--especially with people of color--in whose collective memories the story of the American west is rendered both dark and painful. Westward Expansion encourages an understanding of American "westering" that is mindful of the racism and excessive nationalism that frequently marred the Western frontier experience. At the same time, the authors understand a sense of optimism, a profound faith in individuals' own abilities, the willingness to innovate, and an abiding trust in democracy to be the transcendent values of the frontier experience, traits that continue to influence the character of America's people long after the close of the western frontier.

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Location of copy Shelfmark Online location Holdings Notes
Bangor University Library: Main Library E179.5 .B63 2001
University of Birmingham Libraries: Main Library, Collection E179.5 .B63
University of Cambridge Libraries: Gonville and Caius College Library: Upper Library 978.02 B
Manchester Metropolitan University: All Saints Library 2nd floor: west wing - 2 week loan 973.2 BIL
Manchester Metropolitan University: All Saints Library 2nd floor: west wing - 2 week loan 973.2 BIL
University of Reading Library: University Library: 4th Floor 973-BIL
Sheffield Hallam University Library: Adsetts Main Collection 973.5 BI (LEVEL 6)
University of Warwick Library: Main Library E 179.5.B4
University of York Libraries: University Library: Morrell - Ordinary Q 73 BIL