Westward expansion was a time in American history where people moved out west to unite the country coast to coast. People moved west for a variety of reasons including Manifest Destiny (the belief that it was the God-given right for Americans to control the country), opportunities, jobs, and land. Many different events shaped westward expansion including the Gold Rush and the Homestead Act. The railroad helped move people out west and it also allowed access to the abundant natural resources which were then shipped to cities in the east helping nurture the industrial revolution. As a result of this expansion, Native American tribes were eliminated or placed on reservations, natural resources were destroyed (specifically the buffalo), but the economy saw significant growth, and the west became a major player in the future of America having some of its major cities and sources of industry.