This inquiry prompts students to investigate the factors, conditions, and conflicts related to westward expansion in the United States before the Civil War. In the inquiry, students wrestle with various economic, geographic, and social ideas as they consider the value of the push westward. The compelling question “Was it destiny to move west?” prompts students to think about the historical justification for white Americans moving west in light of what we now understand as the problems associated with that expansion. In doing so, students explore the economic, geographic, and social conditions as well as ways new technologies contributed to westward expansion. Students also examine conflicts that arose as whites encountered Native peoples as well as the conflicts with Mexico over western lands.