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Westward Expansion in the Late Nineteenth Century

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Presentation on theme: "Westward Expansion in the Late Nineteenth Century"— Presentation transcript:

1 Westward Expansion in the Late Nineteenth Century
This painting (circa 1872) by John Gast called American Progress

2 Waves of Westward Expansion
s – 1800s – Pioneers crossed the Appalachian Mountains and settled the Mississippi and Ohio River valleys s – 1860s – Settlers from Europe, East Coast of U.S., and Midwest went to fertile valleys of Oregon and the goldfields of California s – 1900 – Pioneers settled the Great Plains – turned grassland into farmland, Homestead Act, 1862 – made travel possible for many

3 Mining Bonanza Gold and silver strikes – “Big” ones - Pike’s Peak (Co), and Comstock Lode (Nevada – entered Union) Boomtowns- San Francisco, Denver/ Ghost towns- lifestyle? California – hostility between Native born Americans and Chinese immigrants – Chinese Exclusion Act (1882)

4 Cattle Kingdom Open-range ranching Cattle drives
Influence of railroads – ship out cattle to markets from Abilene Kansas, Chicago Changed American diet – beef eating society Closing of open-range ranching due to: winter blizzard and drought (1885 – 1886) Homesteaders Glidden’s barbed wire

5 Day of the cowboy Myths and reality Myth – Action, adventure, romantic
Reality – Hard work, a lot of waiting, Dangerous, Mix of European-Americans, African-Americans, and Mexican-Americans

6 Farming the Plains “Great American Desert”
Homestead Act of 1862 – encouraged settlers with free land(160 acres if built house and lived on it for 5 year Railroad promotions (1870 – 1900) – encourage settlement Problems included: severe weather, falling prices for crops, dry land, no trees, new machinery costs “Sodbusters” – Settlers used “Nebraska marble” to build soddie homes – easy and cheap, cozy for mice and snakes in the walls

7 American Ingenuity Pioneers made fires with twigs, grass, corncobs, and buffalo or cow chips (dried) droppings John Deere’s invention of the steel plow sliced through sod Mail-order windmills for power and irrigation Dry farming and Deep plowing techniques Grew wheat, corn, oats, barley and giant potatoes

8 Moving Out West African-Americans – after the Civil War many former slaves followed Benjamin Singleton to an all-black community in Kansas. These pioneers became known as Exodusters. Buffalo Soldiers – established by Congress as the first peacetime all-black regiments in the regular U.S. Army Laura Ingalls Wilder grew up on plains in the 1870s and 1880s – Little House books brought Plains to life for later generations

9 Moving Out West Children – fed animals, gathered berries, nuts, fuel, plowed, hauled water… Women – looked after children, fed chickens, gardened, helped plow, and did the doctoring FUN – Hay rides, Dances, Card-Playing, Quilting Bees, Corn Husking Contests, Barn- Raising, Shopping in Town, Parades

10 Subordination of Indians: dispersal of tribes
Misunderstandings with American government – different ideas about land ownership, translators drunk and communicated poorly Dawes Act adopted by Congress in 1887, authorized the President of the United States to survey Indian tribal land and divide it into allotments for individual Indians Reservation Policy (Ft. Laramie. Atkinson) – land often poor, inefficient supplies, sickness

11 Indian Wars Conflicts due to settlement of miners, cattlemen, homesteaders, failed treaties Sand Creek – 1864 – Cheyenne women and children massacred Sioux War – 1865 – 1867 – army column wiped out by Sioux 1870s – new round of wars included legendary figures Sitting Bull, Crazy Horse, and George Custer

12 Carlisle School – Before and After

13 Frederick Jackson Turner’s Frontier Thesis (1893)
“The Significance of the Frontier in American History” – He argued that 300 years of frontier experience had shaped the unique character of American society. He felt the frontier led to an American sense of independence and individuality. It acted as a social leveler, led to inventiveness, as well as wasteful behavior (think of the buffalo).

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