How Much Do You Know About the American Frontier?

By: Tasha Moore

About This Quiz

It's history trivia time! American history, that is. How much do you know about the great ol'American frontier? Can you differentiate legislative acts from land ordinances and treaties? So many expansionist trails and so little time for you to identify the correct pathways that made the wild, wild West happen!  You won't need a covered wagon (do you know what they were called?) for this quiz, just a computer and your thinking cap!

The American frontier was a crucial time in American history that occurred in several chunks. The first two nuggets are covered in this fun and educational quiz. And speaking of nuggets, what would a drill about the American frontier be without a few sizable lumps about the American gold rush? You'll find that economics played a huge part in motivating folks to brave and carve out the untamed unknown. Religion was also a massive motivator, so was free government land. Then there are the great American pioneers, like Lewis and Clark, whose early nineteenth-century ink fashioned the maps we rely on to this day. 

All of these facts and more are waiting to be explored just a few scrolls yonder. So slog on to your destiny of truth!

In what direction did the American frontier expand during the 19th century?

Connecticut, Virginia, New York and Massachusetts controlled this area before ceding power to the central government between 1780 and 1800. What was the name of this territory?

What was the patch of unclaimed land called during the American expansion?

Attacks from frontier natives, disparate land grants for English courtiers, tax inequities and egregious English mercantile laws led to what 1676 rebellion?

Which 1803 transaction nearly doubled the land mass of the United States?

The first two frontier expansions were motivated primarily for what purpose?

Who wrote the 1836 text "A New Guide For Emigrants to the West"?

What notable American pioneer marked out the Cumberland Gap in the Appalachian Range, where Virginia, Kentucky and Tennessee connect?

What is the name of the construction material used to pave the first roads in the frontier?

What is the name of the historic 2,000-mile American trail that funneled new settlers into the Oregon Territory in the early to mid-nineteenth century?

The commercial trader William Becknell cleared this trail, which was used as a trade route between 1821 and 1880. What was the name of this important pathway?

What war was prompted by the United States annexation of Texas in 1845?

What was the name of the route that the Mormons took after the group was expelled from Nauvoo, Illinois in 1846?

Who was the second Mormon president who also served as unofficial governor of Utah Territory between 1850 and 1857?

Who was the American historian who devised the term "frontier"?

What renowned pioneer duo conquered untrodden territory between St. Louis, Missouri and the Pacific Northwest coast during a three-year span?

What poverty-born businessman was the richest man in America near the time of his death in 1848?

What piece of American legislation most significantly aided the spread of settlers into the West by offering them land?

What is the name of the frontier soldier and politician who organized a vast expedition to settle the American Southwest region?

What is the name of the epic 1872 painting by John Gast that's considered a metaphor of Manifest Destiny?

Which American president greatly shaped American policies and political democracy during the frontier era?

From July to August 1845, this frontier philosophy was explicated in the "United States Magazine and Democratic Review," advocating for the subjugation of the American westlands and its indigenous inhabitants. What is the name of this ideology?

What 1854 legislation substantially influenced the course of American slavery into America's new territories?

What was the name of the 1830s campaign that forced nearly 100,000 indigenous people to relocate westward in order to make land available to new settlers?

Which political doctrine affirmed a territory's right to self-government?

What 1830s legislation authorized the United States president to give indigenous inhabitants unsettled prairie land in the west in exchange for more desirable land in the American Southeast region?

What was the name of the major 1848 American economic event that took place at Sutter's Mill in northern California which prompted an influx of new settlers in the region?

Who was the Indian chief who united the Sioux tribes to resist U.S. expansion efforts into the Great Plains?

Can you identify the name of the 1890 massacre which resulted in the killing of 150 to 300 indigenous people by United States soldiers?

Which set of statutes set forth a procedure for incorporating land Northwest of the Ohio River into the Union?

What is the name of the religious movement whose revival in America during the expansionist period coincided with increased missionary activity in the western territories?

What is the name of the author who chronicled her experiences as a young girl living on the western frontier during the mid- to late nineteenth century?

Which author penned the novel "The Last of the Mohicans: A Narrative of 1757?"

Who was the landscape painter who reproduced captivating nature scenes of the new western frontier during the nineteenth century?

What was the name given to disparate groups of men who lived in the American wilderness trapping and selling animal pelts during the 1820s and 1830s Rocky Mountain fur trade?

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