• amanda0195

Wild West


EXPANSION TO THE WEST

  • Seven Years War 1783

  • Acquisition of territories of New France west to the Mississippi River

  • Louisiana Purchase 1803

  • Jefferson bought the territory from Napoleon for $15 million

  • Florida 1821 (Adam's Onis Treaty)

  • Texas 1845

  • Oregon 1845

  • In 1818, Britain and the U.S. agreed to "joint occupation" of Oregon, allowing citizens of both countries to settle there.

  • The Oregon Treaty of 1846 ended joint occupation and established the British-American boundary at the 49th parallel.

  • Mexican American War 1846-1848

  • U.S. acquired California, Utah Territory and New Mexico Territory.

  • Gadsden Purchase 1853

  • Bought from Mexico for $10 million

  • Alaska 1867 ("Seward's Folly")

  • Sec. of State William Seward bought Alaska from Russia for $7 million.

  • Hawaii 1898

  • Acquired after the Spanish-American War


MANIFEST DESTINY

  • Idea that the US was destined by God to expand and spread democracy and capitalism across North America

  • Slogan of journalist John O'Sullivan

  • Written 1845 when O'Sullivan was writing about Texas annexation and boundary dispute with England over Oregon territory

  • Controversial

  • Whigs and others opposed the concept believing it was just a code for spreading slavery

  • Proponents wanted to spread to Mexico and Canada and beyond

  • Popularized again in 1890s, the era of the Spanish-American War.


MOVEMENT WEST

  • Oregon Trail

  • Santa Fe Trail

  • California Trail

  • Mormon Trail


TRANSCONTINENTAL RAILROAD

  • Pacific Railroad Act 1862

  • Chartered Central Pacific and Union Pacific Railroad Companies

  • To build a transcontinental railroad

  • Connecting Sacramento, California to Omaha Nebraska.

  • They met at Promontory, Utah, May 10, 1869 (the "golden spike")


ENCOURAGING SETTLERS


  • Republicans

  • Wanted to settle people on farms in the West

  • Song "Uncle Sam's Farm" (1860)

  • "Come west and settle and labor on Free Soil"

  • Homestead Act 1862

  • Settlers could buy land for $1.25 an acre or:

  • Federal government offered 160 acres of land

  • To anyone who would cultivate the land, build a home and live there for five years

  • (that is, "homestead" it)

  • Best parcels of land were near railroad lines.

  • ​Owned by railroads themselves or speculators who sold it for $25 an acre.

  • Morrill Land Grant Act 1862

  • Created by the federal Department of Agricutlure

  • Set aside 140 million federal acres that states could sell to raise money for public universies

  • Goal of the land-grant colleges

  • to broaden education opporutniteis

  • and foster technical and scientific expertise.

  • Government also funded geological surveys.

NEW SETTLERS


  • Boomers and Sooners

  • 1889 Boomers came to claim 2 million acres of Indian territory

  • Just opened because of Dawes Severalty Act of 1887

  • New settlers had to wait until noon April 22, 1889 to claim the land

  • Sooners

  • Hid in gullies and thickets ready to leap out right after noon to claim their stake.

  • Great Plains farming and ranching was the main form of employment.

  • Water

  • Great Plains was very dry

  • William Gilpin, Missouri politician

  • Wrote that "rain follows the plow"

  • Myth that plowing the fields in dry lands would release moisture into the air that turned into rain.

  • Myth sustained by wet cycle from 1878 to 1880

  • John Wesley Powell

  • Warned that small homestead farms in the West could not support a family (white or Indian) unless farms were irrigated.

  • And that government should regulate the distribution of water

  • Said the problem in the West was lack of water

  • Hardships

  • Life was lonely

  • Mail (bringing mail-order catalogs) made it easier to communicate with East.

  • 160 acres in the very dry land in the West wasn't enough to be profitable

  • Except for bonanza farms.

  • Harsh weather

  • Overproduction

  • Competition from abroad.

  • Dry farming

  • Because of hard soil, farmers needed steel-tipped plow and spring-toothed harrows to turn over sun-baked prairie soil.

  • Left a blanket of dust on top to reduce evaporation.

  • Had to pay for expensive materials and fences

  • Threshers, combines, harvesters, steam tractors

  • Average farmer spent $1,200

  • Had to erect fences if they were near ranchers.


  • Bonanza farms

  • Large-scale commercial agricultural farms that could afford irrigation

  • Most common in wheat lands of northern plains.

  • Used steam tractors that could plow and harvest 50 acres a day - 20x more than a single person without machinery.

  • Hired up to 250 laborers to work 10,000 acres in return for room, board and 50 cents a day

  • Many westerners couldn't compete and worked as tenant farmers

EXODUSTERS 1879-1881


  • One of 1st general migrations of blacks after the Civil War.

  • Black people left the South

  • To settle in Kansas, Oklahoma and Colorado.

  • They were lured

  • By papers like The Colored Citizen, a newspaper in Topeka

  • And Benj "Old Pap" Singleton

  • a former slave who had escaped to the north.

  • Singleton recruited 1000s of freed slaves to Kansas

  • Name "Exodusters" came from the Biblical Exodus of Hebrews from Egypt

NEW STATES

  • 1867: Nebraska and Colorado

  • 1889: North and South Dakota, Washington, Montana

  • 1890: Wyoming and Idaho

  • 1896: Utah

  • 1907: Oklahoma

  • 1912: New Mexico and Arizona


TURNER FRONTIER THESIS

  • 1890 Frederick Jackson Turner declared that the American frontier was gone

  • He said the frontier was significant because:

  • It shaped the American character

  • It defined the American spirit

  • It fostered democracy

  • It provided a safety valve for economic problems in industrial centers by providing a place for people to flee.

INDIANS


  • Bison (American buffalo)

  • After the Civil War there were still many bison

But over hunting and introduction of European animal diseases (like brucellosis) were thining the herds.

  • ​Railroad companies paid people (ex."Buffalo Bill" to kill bison).

  • At first treaties were made with the Indians.

  • Reservations

  • Typically least desirable land

  • Indians were forced to move there and be wards of the state.

  • Reservation system failed:

  • Land was inferior

  • Incompatible tribes were groups together

  • Westerners ignored the arrangements and poached on reservation lands.

  • Sand Creek Massacre (1864)

  • Chief Black Kettle was told by American officers

  • ​That the Cheyenne would be safe from U.S. troops if they camped at Sand Creek

  • The Indian men were sent on a buffalo hunt.

  • Colonel John Chivington ordered Colorado militia to charge Sand Creek Camp, killing 200 Native Americans, mostly women and children.

  • Fetterman Massacre (1866)

  • ​Captain William Fetterman fell into a trap by Sioux war chief, Red Cloud

  • All 80 soldiers were killed.

  • Custer's Last Stand, Battle of Little Big Horn (1867)

  • Sioux and Cheyenne, led by Sitting Bull and war chief Crazy Horse

  • Understood they could only win a war if they suckered troops (like Red Cloud)

  • Colonel George Armstrong Custer fell into a trap

  • Every soldier and scout (including Custer) was killed.

  • Custer was considered a hero to Americans


  • Helen Hunt Jackson

  • Wrote A Century of Dishonor (1881)

  • detailing the injustices of hte reervation system

  • Inspired reformers to push for change

  • 1887 Dawes Severalty Act

  • Broke up reservations

  • Distributed some of the land to Native American families (160 acres to the head of the household)

  • If the families lived on the land for 25 years, the land would legally be theirs and they could become citizens

  • Failed

  • Most Indians weren't familiar with farming

  • Many Native Americans sold their land to speculators, leaving them homeless with not tribes to return to.

  • Ghost Dance Movement 1889

  • Inspired by the visions of the prophet Wovoka.

  • Wovoka promised that with the proper cermeonies, the great Spirit would

  • Bring back all the buffalo

  • Bring back the Indians who were killed by white people

  • And make the White people disappear.


MINING

  • Gold

  • Found in California 1849 (Gold Rush)

  • Found in Colorado Rockies (Nevada)

  • Black Hills (South Dakota)

  • Boom towns rose up overnight

  • With prospectors, saloons, prostitutes, traders etc.

  • Silver

  • Found in Nevada (Comstock Lode) in 1859

  • Ghost towns

  • When gold and silver was exhausted, people left the cities as ghost towns.

  • General Mining Act 1872

  • Allowed those who discovered minerals on federally owned land to work the claim and keep al the proceeds.

  • $5 per acre fee for filing a claim.

CATTLE


  • Removal of bison opened opportunities for cattle ranchers.

  • Cattle ranching

  • Began in Texas and California

  • Largely by Spanish Tejanos and Californios

  • Americans in Texas adopted methods

  • Use of mustangs and broncos (horses that managed cattle)

  • Branding iron for making herds

  • Corral for holding cattle

  • Riata, or lariat, for roping

  • Mexican chaps, spurs and broad-brimmed sombreros for shade.

  • By end of Civil War

  • 5 million longhorn cattle grazed on ranches in South Texas

  • Railroad

  • In 1865, the Missouri Pacific Railroad reached Sedalia, Missouri

  • Far enough west to be accessible to Texas

  • Profits

  • A longhorn worth $3 in Texas might get $40 at Sedalia

  • Profits = 25-40% a year.


  • Long Drive

  • Ranchers hired cowboys to herd cattle 100s of miles to new rail lines

  • First long drive 1866

  • Reached peak from 1880-1885

  • Drive lasted 2 to 3 months, sometimes more than 1000 miles.

  • Routes

  • To Sedalia, Missouri

  • And the Chisholm Trail from San Antonio to Abilene and Ellsworth, Kansas.

  • Western route to Dodge City, Denver, Cheyenne

  • Rail lines soon extended to Kansas

  • Cow towns

  • Denver, Colorado

  • Cheyenne, Wyoming

  • Kansas

  • At Abilene and Dodge City, Kansas, ranchers sold their longhorns (the cowboys to saloons)

  • The cowtowns became the symbols of the Wild West

  • Cowboys

  • 1/3 were African American freedmen and Latinos (Mexican vaqueros)

  • Rest were Anglo Confederate veterans (caused rivalries)

  • Worked long hours for low pay.

  • Overgrazing

  • ​By 1880s 7.5 million cattle were overgrazing on the plain's native grasses

  • ​Okay as long as weather was good

  • 1886 blizzards and cold followed by summer drought

  • ​Caused the cattle boom to collapse

  • End of Long Drive

  • ​Railroads reached Texas

  • Invention of the barbed wire by Joseph Glidden in 1874

  • Enabled ranchers and farmers (called "nesters" by cowboys) to fence in large areas cheaply where wood was scarce.

  • Some breeders fenced in their heavier cattle to stop them from mixing with inferior cattle.

  • Caused "range wars" over grazing and water rights (farms usually won)

  • Decline of cattle profits

  • Rivalry between cattle ranchers and sheep herders ("woolies")

  • Sheep grazed grasses so short that they ruined and for cattle grazing.

  • Overproduction of cattle herds

  • Competition from Canadian and Argentinian beef (which lowered the price)

  • Overgrazing

  • Nutritious grasses were eaten to the nub then replaced by unpalatable species.

  • Weather

  • Drought in 1880s and 1890s

  • Cold winters 1886 and 1887

  • Diseases such as "Texas fever" wiped out entire herds

  • Only the largest companies (like King Ranch of Texas) survived

  • Cowboys became wage laborers.

  • Slaughterhouse cities like Chicago

  • ​Turned cattle into beef.

PROTECTING NATURAL RESOURCES


  • U.S. Fish Commission 1871

  • To study, and preserve wild fisheries

  • Today part of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (part of Department of the Interior)

  • John Muir

  • In 1892 Muir created the Sierra Club which was devoted to conservation in the U.S

  • Theodore Roosevelt

  • Furthered environmental preservation in the West through the National Parks system.


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