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The Main Struggles of The Oregon Trail

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You might wonder what it was like to travel in the early and mid-1800s. What did Pioneers struggle with in their 2,000-mile trip to Oregon just for fertile soil and a good amount of rain. In this essay I will discuss about the landscape in the way, who they met and diseases, and their food supplies. First, I’ll talk about the landscape they had to face.

The landscapes were probably one of the hardest challenges on the Oregon trail. This was such a hard challenge because they were traveling in a wagon with no roads. This was a challenge because they can not get up hills that may be steep. The only way wagons could get up some hills was they would have a windlass at the top or people pulling a rope attached to the wagon. A windlass is a system that works like getting water from a well. They had a to attach a rope to the wagon a and a pull system that pulled the wagons up. Also, the windlass was used to get wagons going down hills slower, so it won’t roll away or trample livestock. Another Big problem for Pioneers on the Oregon trail was rivers since there was only wagons there Wasn’t much ways to cross the river. The most used way was to have flipped over canoes and a rope on both sides to pull them across. Also, many people tried to have the livestock, but this could make the wagon fall over, people fall over, and livestock getting scared which can kill them. Another struggle was who they met and diseases.

Many Pioneers met American Indians on the way and most Indians did not like it. When some settlers came some Indians would try to steal their food but mostly livestock. The pioneers would put their wagons in a circle in case Indians came the Indians would make the livestock go to the middle if attempted to raid. American Indians would usually wait at a river because pioneers usually stopped there at night. With American Indians there was many diseases for instant cholera. Diseases killed the greatest number of pioneers on the Oregon trail. Cholera was the most common disease on the Oregon trail. Cholera is a bacterial disease that usually kills people if they get it. They got it by having contaminated water. This usually caused very bad vomiting and diarrhea. Cholera could kill you in just a few hours. Many people got it because other pioneers left trash behind that could carry cholera. When they vomited and had diarrhea it dehydrated them until the die. If they didn’t die in the 12 to 24 hours they usually recovered. Now we need to talk about their food supplies.

Pioneers usually ate to much food to make it all 2,000 miles. It started when the first pioneers left they didn’t know how hard it would be. They would eat too much and run out of food. This made them have to eat their livestock to live. The other pioneers came readier now, but they only packed how much for the time to get there without stopping. Now that pioneers learned to pack more they had to have they right stuff to cook it sometimes there was no water or wood and they might have to eat raw or stale food. When they ran out of food they have to eat livestock if they eat the livestock they have to do cannibalism. Cannibalism is when someone dies you eat their body to survive. Some people had to do this, or they would starve to death. Also, if they were to slow and didn’t make it before winter they ran out of food fast because many animals are hibernating, so they couldn’t hunt for food. Another problem is tat sometimes water was scarce especially in the desert. Another problem was that some water was contaminated which means the livestock and humans could not drink it. Another problem was some food could get unsanitary and give them a disease.

Now we know what it would be like to travel 2000 miles in a wagon or on foot. Now the main struggles where the landscape with deserts mountains and more, who they met Indians and Disease such as cholera, and their food shortages with not packing enough. You can still see some historical spots on the Oregon trail. Even some wagon engravements are left in the ground. 

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The Main Struggles Of The Oregon Trail. (2021, August 06). GradesFixer. Retrieved March 29, 2023, from
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