The Corps of Discovery was the first American group to undertake the journey, and its impact can't be underestimated. The expedition introduced Americans and Europeans to hundreds of varieties of plants and animals, met with dozens of native tribes and produced an accurately mapped route to the Pacific Ocean -- and returned home safely. The group came to embody the values of manifest destiny, prodding other adventurers to embark on their own journeys of discovery and exploration.
The expedition opened up new territory for the fur and lumber trade and pointed out the best lands for future settlement and agriculture. It allowed a young country to blossom into greatness, because more land had equated to more resources and therefore, more power. The influence of the expedition is incalculable. For better or worse, there is no doubt that the expedition of Lewis and Clark forever changed the course of the country's history.
To learn more about the Lewis and Clark expedition, take a look at the links on the next page.