Capitalism. All of the practices on this land since settlers arrived have been driven by capital and extraction, perhaps a sense of pioneering and conquering...but what are the underlying motivations of Westward expansion? -accumulation of territory for capital, extraction, and political power. Also important to think about motivation of the government figures encouraging expansion as opposed to those who are actually engaged in it. Maybe settlers are analogous to foot soldiers. settler:expansion::foot soldier:war.