Lead: Thomas Hart Benton had a vision of a vast expansion United States to the West, the problem was that nobody wanted to go there.

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts

Content: Thomas Hart Benton, the Senator from Missouri in the 1830s, wished to push the border of the United States 1000 miles beyond the crest of the Rockies to the Pacific, unfortunately several things stood in the path of his goal. First, Native Americans had rather enjoyed their homelands for centuries and didn't wish to be pushed aside. Second, Mexico controlled vast sections of southwestern North America and were understandably reluctant to turn it over to the United States. Finally, the British shared with the United States, joint occupancy of Oregon territory. The biggest problem however was American apathy. The risks associated with settling the west appeared too great.