White culture spread out from the Atlantic to the Pacific, slowly at first, and then in a great rush in the second half of the 1800s. Everywhere White settlers went, Native American’s resisted the loss of their territory, but, to use a sports metaphor, there were never any successful goal line stands. Certainly, there were moments of successful resistance, Little Big Horn being the most notable. But they never made a difference in the final outcome.

Was this destiny? Was it a foregone conclusion that once Europeans had established themselves at Plymouth and Jamestown that these tiny settlements would eventually lead to a nation that would overrun an entire continent worth of Native cultures?

Or, alternatively, was it design? Was the westward expansion of White culture a series of many conscious decisions to be conquerors, some big like the Louisiana Purchase or the declaration of war against Mexico, and many small, such as the decision of a single family to cross the plains on wagon train.

What do you think? Was the spread of the United States from sea to shining sea fated to happen, or a choice that could have been made differently?