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 valleyss – 1860s – Settlers from Europe, East Coast of U.S., and Midwest went to fertile valleys of Oregon and the goldfields of Californias – 1900 – Pioneers settled the Great Plains – turned grassland into farmland, Homestead Act, 1862 – made travel possible for many
3 Mining BonanzaGold 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, ChicagoChanged American diet – beef eating societyClosing of open-range ranching due to:winter blizzard and drought (1885 – 1886)HomesteadersGlidden’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 yearRailroad promotions (1870 – 1900) – encourage settlementProblems 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 IngenuityPioneers made fires with twigs, grass, corncobs, and buffalo or cow chips (dried) droppingsJohn Deere’s invention of the steel plow sliced through sodMail-order windmills for power and irrigationDry farming and Deep plowing techniquesGrew wheat, corn, oats, barley and giant potatoes
8 Moving Out WestAfrican-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. ArmyLaura Ingalls Wilder grew up on plains in the 1870s and 1880s – Little House books brought Plains to life for later generations
9 Moving Out WestChildren – fed animals, gathered berries, nuts, fuel, plowed, hauled water…Women – looked after children, fed chickens, gardened, helped plow, and did the doctoringFUN – 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 poorlyDawes 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 IndiansReservation Policy (Ft. Laramie. Atkinson) – land often poor, inefficient supplies, sickness
11 Indian WarsConflicts due to settlement of miners, cattlemen, homesteaders, failed treatiesSand Creek – 1864 – Cheyenne women and children massacredSioux War – 1865 – 1867 – army column wiped out by Sioux1870s – new round of wars included legendary figures Sitting Bull, Crazy Horse, and George Custer
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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