If the US is expanding out west due to overcrowding, gold and personal wealth, rather than more land for slave-staffed plantations producing cashcrops, I could see US settlements remaining more concentrated, urban, and along bodies of water, not bothering to settle in the Great Plains to the same degree as OTL.Fascinating. The US does take a bit longer to settle out west than in OTL. Maybe I should amend the Mexican-American war section. Nevertheless, the US in JATS (TTL) uses western expansion as a way to reduce overcrowding in the cities or to reduce immigrant pressure by settling people in the west.
Prisoners are being sent to both Australia and British Columbia. The British government in this case, uses a "why not both" approach to the prisoner question.
This is actually reminding me of Canada, with how the vast majority of their population is along the Atlantic and Pacific coast, as well as on the Great Lakes.