The West

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An Overview of the wild west.

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PowerPoint Presentation:

1860-1900 The West

Go West, Why?:

Go West, Why? Before the Civil War, the South did not want the land in the West settled They feared more non-slave territories Government decided it was time to settle the west by offering free land Homestead Act – You can have 160 acres for free if you live on it for 5 years and improve it Many African Americans settled in Kansas, Missouri, Indiana, & Illinois after the Civil War The Railroads were growing It’s easier to head west

Influence of Railroads:

Influence of Railroads Railroads helped settle the West Trains carried resources like: minerals, timber, crops, & cattle to the East coast Trains also carried miners, ranchers, & farmers to settle the West Trains & Native Americans – not friends Train routes often went through the routes of the animals they hunted or even through their own lands

Challenges in the West:

Challenges in the West Many challenges faced the people who moved West There were no trees, so houses were built from sod (thick grass) Had to dig wells for water Blizzards, hailstorms, tornados, fires, drought Insects ate crops New inventions helped some of the challenges Steel plow – helped farming & built sod houses Windmills – helped pump water from wells Barbed wire – kept cattle in or out Reapers & threshers – helped harvest crops

PowerPoint Presentation:

Native Americans

Plains Indians Culture:

Plains Indians Culture Semi-nomadic hunting culture, centered around buffalo Adaptations: horse & gun By the 1840s, only 30,000 Native Americans remain east of the Mississippi Major groups: Sioux Cheyenne Blackfoot Pawnee Nez Perce Apache

The Government Lies:

The Government Lies The Native Americans were promised no one would take their land (HA! We know better) When the settlers kept whining they wanted more land the government broke their promise The government set up “boundaries” or “reservations” for the Native Americans Some Native Americans went along with this while others resisted Sand Creek Massacre – The Cheyenne fought back & the militia killed 150 tribe members

Native American Leaders:

Native American Leaders Sitting Bull & Crazy Horse – Sioux chiefs who tried to push settlers off their land Chief Joseph – Nez Perce chief said, “It makes my heart sick when I remember all the good words and all the broken promises.” Geronimo – an Apache leader who resisted to being put on a reservation No matter how hard they tried, unfortunately the Native Americans ended up on reservations anyway

Indian Policy, 1831-1887 :

Indian Policy, 1831-1887 1850s, white movement into the Great Plains leads to conflicts with western tribes Discovery of gold and silver in CA, CO, NV, MT Homestead Act 1863 – 160 acres free land per settler RRs – Pacific Railway Act 1862 Transcontinental RR built 1863-1869 Treaty of Ft. Laramie (1851): tribes accept “boundaries”, promised to leave emigrants alone on westward trails Problem: no central tribal authority; many subgroups don’t accept terms

Indian Policy, 1831-1887 (2):

Indian Policy, 1831-1887 (2) By 1860s, whites encroaching on Indian lands 1850-1860: 150,000 Minnesotans illegally move onto Sioux lands

PowerPoint Presentation:

Peace commisisoners gather at Ft Laramie

The Indian Wars :

The Indian Wars Sporadic warfare and raiding from 1860s to 1870s, tribes forced to relocate on reservations

Major Indian Conflicts:

Major Indian Conflicts Sioux Uprising, 1862 Sioux Indians attempt to move back onto land in Minnesota.

Major Indian Conflicts (2):

Major Indian Conflicts (2) Sand Creek Massacre, 1864 Col. John Chivington attacks a Cheyenne settlement (under a flag of truce) at Sand Creek. Fetterman Massacre, 1866 US building a road through Sioux hunting grounds. Sioux warrior Crazy Horse attacks the construction party and mutilates the bodies. Sioux call off attacks and sign the Treaty of 1868, promising their land in the Black Hills will be protected.

Major Indian Conflicts (2):

Major Indian Conflicts (2) Red River War, 1874-75 US wages war on Comanche and Kiowa Indians who refuse to settle on a reservation. Gen. Philip Sheridan: “destroy their villages, kill their warriors, bring back all women and children.” Second Sioux War, 1876 Gen. George A. Custer investigates claims of gold in the Black Hills. Settlers encroaching on Sioux land; US won’t protect Sioux, but offers to buy land. War with Sioux results…ends tragically for George Custer athte Battle of Little Big Horn and for the Sioux who lose the war.

PowerPoint Presentation:

Wounded Knee, 1890 Wovoka: Sioux medicine man who promotes the “Ghost Dance” religion. Apocalyptic: dance will bring about the return of buffalo and death of whites. 25,000 Sioux At Pine Ridge Reservation, US troops attempt to disarm 350 Sioux indians at Wounded Knee Creek…a massacre results. A Sioux “Ghost Shirt” worn by Indians performing the Ghost Dance. Some Sioux believed that those wearing these special garments would be impervious to bullets…a fact proven false at Wounded Knee.

Destruction of Indian Life:

Destruction of Indian Life Extermination of the Buffalo In 1865, over 15 million buffalo on the prairies: source of food, fuel, shelter, clothing, etc. Railroads speed the extermination of the herds buffalo seen as a nuisance: herds block tracks labor gangs consume buffalo meat William “Buffalo Bill” Cody shoots 4,000 in 18 months working for the Kansas Pacific RR sportsmen pay to shoot buffalo out of train windows By 1885 less than 3,000 buffalo remaining

Destruction of Indian Life (2):

Destruction of Indian Life (2) Dawes Act 1887 a misguided attempt at reform dissolves tribes, established private land ownership (160 acres per household) funds from remaining reservation land used for education and “assimilation” by 1900, Indians had lost 50% of the 156 million acres allotted under the act

Destruction of Indian Life (3):

Destruction of Indian Life (3) A Century of Dishonor by Helen Hunt Jackson Carlisle Schools (PA)

Three “Frontiers”:

Three “Frontiers” Cattle Farming Mining

The Cattle Frontier:

The Cattle Frontier

Cattle Industry:

Cattle Industry Longhorn Cattle First brought to America by the Spaniards, along with horses Those that escaped thrived on the southern plains

PowerPoint Presentation:

Prior to the Civil War, cattle ranching was limited Ranchers sold hide and meat to local markets 1849 – some ranchers drive cattle to market in California to collect $25-$125/head 1854 – cattle driven to Muncie, Indiana and then shipped by rail to NYC. Stampede on 3 rd Avenue! Post Civil War – demand for beef grows, esp in cities How to get cattle to market?

PowerPoint Presentation:

Joseph McCoy- Creates first stockyards in Abilene , KS 1866-1888: 4 million steer driven north by hired hands (1/4 black ; 1/10 Mexican ) Beef Barons: Swift , Armour industrialize meat packing.

Ft. Worth Stockyards:

Ft. Worth Stockyards

The Trails:

The Trails The Western Trail The Chisholm Trail The Goodnight-Loving Trail The Shawnee Trail Fletcher's Route

PowerPoint Presentation:

Demise of the Cattle Drive Population of west grows; farmers and ranchers don’t want herds trampling over their land. Barbed wire – Joseph Glidden. Invented in 1874 – 10,000 lbs sold. By 1878 – 27 million lbs sold Great Freeze Up of 1887 Temps below -68 F Overgrazing and drought Cattle breeding/ranching

The Farming Frontier:

The Farming Frontier

Farming Expands West:

Farming Expands West Homestead Act 1862 160 acres per settler free IF A settler can live on and improve land for 5 years Pays $30 Also authorizes the immediate sale of land a low cost ($1.25/acre) Purpose: rapid settlement; not $ is the goal. 500,000 families move west under the HA Railroads – Railroad boom 1850-1871 Railroads given land grants to pay cost. Land then sold to settlers, many are immigrants. Transcontinental RR completed in 1869 – Union Pacific and Central Pacific. Oklahoma Land Rush 1889 2 million acres given away in 24 hrs. “boomers” and “sooners”

PowerPoint Presentation:

Factors encouraging settlement Cheap, accessible land Railroads New railroads help bring settlers out and send crops to eastern markets RRs given land by gov’t as payment; sell land to immigrants Technologies Steel plow Dry farming techniques west of 100 th meridian, rainfall drops from 20-30in/yr to 10-20in/yr Drought resistant crops (Russian wheat, etc) used Windmills pump water up from wells Barbed wire McCormick’s Harvester-Thresher Can cut and thresh wheat in one pass 1830: takes 180 minutes to produce a bushel of grain; by 1900: 10 min Seed drill High prices. Wheat and corn prices up due to crop failures in Europe in the 1860s and Civil War in America

PowerPoint Presentation:

Life in the West Hardships Lonely existence Difficult conditions: heat, wind, dust, insects, rattlesnakes, drought, and harsh winters. Locusts Lack of water and trees Adaptations Dugouts and Soddies Locusts used as a food source Buffalo chips (dung) used as fuel A dugout (above) and a soddy (below)

PowerPoint Presentation:

The Cycle of Debt High prices for crops encourage investment. Farmers get loans to purchase machinery to produce more. Drops in the prices in the 1870s make it difficult for farmers to repay loans. Bonanza Farms High prices encourage massive investment Huge farms run by corporations and investors Some had 10,000+ acres in cultivation Many fold because of droughts in the 1880s/90s. Railroads Farmers grow upset at railroad rates that charge western farmers more then eastern farmers, and sometimes charge more for hauling items short distances than they do long distances.

The Farmer’s Movement:

The Farmer’s Movement In response to hardships, debt, and discontent, and anger at railroad monopolies, farm organizations emerge.

PowerPoint Presentation:

The Grange (1860s-70s) Originally a communal organization Cooperative efforts: grain elevators, negotiated rates with RRs Political efforts: Granger Laws Farmers Alliance (1880s) Political organization (a modern day P.A.C.) Endorses candidates: Alliance Yardstick Southern Alliance; Colored Farmer’s Alliance. Populist Party (1892) Significant 3 rd party that challenges the Dems and Republicans in 1892 & 1896 A grain elevator.

PowerPoint Presentation:

Schematic of a Grain Elevator

Farmer’s Alliance & the Populist Party :

Farmer’s Alliance & the Populist Party Alliance Yardstick Populist Party Platform Gov’t regulation or ownership of RRs, pipelines, telegraphs   Graduated income tax   Free coinage of silver @ 16:1   Lower tariffs   Direct election of senators   Gov’t sub-treasuries (to hold grain off the market) & loans   8-hr workday  Australian ballot  Restriction of immigration 

Populist Party & the Election of 1896:

Populist Party & the Election of 1896 Populist successes in 1892 and discontent over the Panic of 1893 pave way for a major campaign in 1896 Central issue: bi-metallism Gold bugs vs. silverites “Popocrats” – a fusion ticket Populist Party nominates William Jennings Bryan (NE) and VP Tom Watson (GA) Democrats nominate WJB and VP Arthur Sewall (a Maine banker)

Election of 1896:

Election of 1896 GOP nominates William McKinley (OH) Protectionist Marcus Hanna (Cleveland) runs the campaign Backed by wealthy industrialists Bryan campaigns vigorously, speaking in 27 states and traveling over 18K miles McKinley’s campaign targets industrial workers, immigrants, and business interests.

The Mining Frontier:

The Mining Frontier

Mining:

Mining Gold Rush Gold discovered in California in 1848 Most surface gold is gone by the 1850s. Mining in the West 1858 – Gold and silver discovered in Pike’s Peak, Colorado. 1859 – The Comstock Lode is discovered; $340 million dollars of gold and silver mined 1860-1890 Settlers pour into the western states of Colorado, Nevada, Utah, Montana, and Idaho. Industry becomes highly mechanized, with large businesses dominating. Mining towns “boom” then “bust” “Helldorados” – 1 in 3 buildings is a saloon.

PowerPoint Presentation:

Map illustrating the location of mining and supply towns in the western US in the late 19 th century

Western Cities:

Western Cities Cities grew for a few reasons Gold & precious mineral strikes A “refueling” or supply renewal point Railroad stops Many cities did not have formal laws or government Cities & towns were rough Some people took the law into their own hands Vigilantes made their own rules

Don’t Forget Us:

Don’t Forget Us There were many groups of people who helped make the West what it is today Vaqueros – the 1 st cowhands from Mexico African Americans – cattle ranchers & western army soldiers Chinese immigrants – builders of the railroad in the West Native Americans – promises broken & forced to leave their homes Pioneers – all those crazy, um, I mean brave people who took a chance

Closing the Frontier:

Closing the Frontier Fenced in fields replaced open plains In Oklahoma thousands of people rushed at the sound of a gun shot to claim land for themselves – 2 million acres were sold The frontier meant opportunity for many You could make something of yourself if you moved West You could start a new life A good day - was a day of good, hard work

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