Thank you Jordan for doing 12, even though you really didn't need to. It's much appreciated.
Santa Fe Trail-Between 1821 and 1880, the Santa Fe
Trail was primarily a commercial highway connecting
Missouri and Santa Fe, New Mexico. From 1821 until
1846, it was an international commercial highway used
by Mexican and American traders. In 1846, the
Mexican-American War began. The Army of the West
followed the Santa Fe Trail to invade New Mexico. When
the Treaty of Guadalupe ended the war in 1848, the
Santa Fe Trail became a national road connecting the
United States to the new southwest territories.
Commercial freighting along the trail continued,
including considerable military freight hauling to
supply the southwestern forts. The trail was also used
by stagecoach lines, thousands of gold seekers heading
to the California and Colorado gold fields,
adventurers, fur trappers, and emigrants. In 1880 the
railroad reached Santa Fe and the trail became obsolete.