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Settling the Western Frontier

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Presentation on theme: "Settling the Western Frontier"— Presentation transcript:

1 Settling the Western Frontier

2 The Great Plains A vast stretch of land between the Missouri River and the Rocky mountains Few early settlers stayed Most just passed through on their way to the West Coast

3 The Stagecoach Horse-drawn coaches
Carried people and the mail Westward It took 3 weeks to get from St. Louis, Mo. to Sacramento, Ca. Often attacked by robbers and American Indians American Indians often saw settlers as invaders.

4 Wagon Trains Ox-drawn wagons were heavy and slow
Large numbers traveled together for safety Most people actually walked next to their wagons

5 The Transcontinental Railroad
Linked East and West Central Pacific Railroad Union Pacific Railroad Built by Irish and Chinese immigrants May 1869: Met in Promontory Point, Utah The final link is a Golden Spike News of its completion goes by telegraph Central Pacific starts out West in Sacramento, goes eastward and is built primarily by Chinese labor. The Union Pacific started in Omaha, NE. and is built by Irish laborers. Very dangerous work. A competition between them to see who built their link the fastest. Now settling the Great Plains is more appealing to more Americans

6 Mining Gold discovered near Pikes Peak, Co. at the start of the Civil War Prospectors mined for gold Gold and silver are discovered in Montana, Idaho, and Wyoming Similar to the California gold rush of 1849 Lack of “law & order” Most miners never became rich. Large mining companies used large special equipment. They used pick, shovel, and tracer pans. Many miners eventually became ranchers, farmers or loggers. Small towns set up governments, elect sheriffs to help provide security. Gun culture. Rugged individualism. Hard life.

7 Cattle Country Longhorn cattle Raised in Texas Every calf is branded
Cowhands drive herds over the Chisholm Trail New railroads helped grow the industry Stampedes & rustlers Saloons and gambling houses Cowhands drove large herds to holding pens in train depots. Brand- a special mark burned into the hide of every calf to show ownership. Herds often traveled over 15 miles a day up to 1,000 miles. Cowhands spent up to 18 hours a day in the saddle. They had to prevent a stampede and protect the cattle from thieve. Chisholm Trail- ran from Texas to Kansas through Oklahoma. Popular before advent of railroads. Small towns made $ serving the cowboys liquor and prostitutes. Gambling was a major problem. U.S. Marshalls had to enforce the law over large territories.

8 The Law Outlaws disrupted towns and commerce People needed protection
U.S. Marshalls like Wild Bill Hickok enforced the law Hickock- written up in Harper’s Magazine in 1867 for killing 10 men in a shootout. Married Martha “Calamity” Jane famous for her marksmanship and riding skills. Wild Bill Hickok is remembered for his services in Kansas as sheriff of Hays City and marshal of Abilene, where his ironhanded rule helped to tame two of the most lawless towns on the frontier. He is also remembered for the cards he was holding when he was shot dead -- a pair of black aces and a pair of black eights -- since known as the dead man's hand. Famous as a “gunfighter” and master of the “quick draw.”

9 The Homestead Act In 1862, Congress passed a law making it easy for pioneers to own land Settlers got 160 acres of land You had to promise to live on it for 5 years This brought many farmers, factory workers, and immigrants to the Great Plains. the Homestead Act of 1862, was signed into law by President Abraham Lincoln on May 20, Anyone who had never taken up arms against the U.S. government (including freed slaves and women), was 21 or older, or the head of a family, could file an application to claim a federal land grant. Eventually, 270 million acres — 10% of the land in the United States — was claimed and settled under this Act.

10 Homesteaders Ground hard to plow Little rain Few trees for fuel
Sod houses Windmills pumped water above ground Sod houses:

11 The Plains Indians Hunters and nomads
Depended on the buffalo for sustenance Cheyenne, Comanche, Blackfeet, Sioux Sustenance- Food and drink regarded as a source of strength; nourishment. They followed the herds. Ate the meat, used the hides for clothing and shelter, and made the bones into tools.

12 Buffalo Bill Cody Famous buffalo hunter
Slaughtered more than 4,000 buffalo in 18 months His Wild West Shows glorify settlement of the Great Plains Some army and gov’t officials thought that killing the buffalo would force the American Indians to settle in one place. Farmers and ranchers wanted the buffalo out of their way. Others killed the buffalo so that they could sell the hides. They were valuable for making high quality leather products. Some killed them for sport. Millions were slaughtered and by 1889 only 541 survived in the U.S. Conservation efforts have save the animals from extinction. AI’s lost their heritage, independence and a way of life. They were forced to find another way to live, It hasn’t gone well. One of the most colorful figures of the American Old West, Buffalo Bill became famous for the shows he organized with cowboy themes, which he toured in Great Britain and Europe as well as the United States.

13 Indian Wars Indians are forced onto reservations
Many battles kill thousands by 1870 The government promised their way of life would be protected Most treaties were fraudulent Settlers and the gov’t thought that the American Indians stood in the way of progress. They felt that they should be segregated in reservations (staying on land within certain boundaries. In return, the gov’t was supposed to retrain them to be productive farmers. Didn’t work out so well. Many AI’s chose to fight rather than be humiliated by this treatment. They didn’t fare so well either. Fraudulent- Obtained, done by, or involving deception.

14 Gold Causes More Trouble
In 1874, gold was discovered in the Black Hills, S.D. The land was sacred to the Sioux Chiefs Sitting Bull and Crazy Horse defended their land Gen. George Custer and his men are killed gold miners come to the Black Hills of South Dakota, war broke out when 2000 followers of Chiefs Sitting Bull and Crazy Horse left their reservations, to defend the sacred Black Hills. It soon became clear that the gov’t couldn’t keep it’s word to protect the Indians and their land. Gen George Custer was sent to protect the miners and due to his arrogance and tactical mistakes lost his life and those of all of his 210 men at the Battle of the Little Big Horn. This shocked the country. It became known as Custers Last Stand. It was the Indians last big victory. They eventually surrendered to the American Army because of high casualties, lack of food and ammunition. His defeat forced to gov’t to move the indians onto reservations.

15 Chief Joseph The Nez Perez flee to Canada from Idaho
They travel 1,500 miles from their reservation pursed by the U.S. Army Chief Joseph surrenders 30 miles from the Canadian border After being evicted from their reservation, They were pursued by the U.S. Army in a campaign led by General Oliver O. Howard. This epic 1500 mile fighting retreat by the Nez Perce in 1877 became known as the Nez Perce War. The skill in which the Nez Perce fought and the manner in which they conducted themselves in the face of incredible adversity led to widespread admiration among their military adversaries and the American public. His famous surrender speech:” I am tired; my heart is sick and sad. From where the sun now stands, I will fight no more forever.”

16 Chief Red Cloud Chief of the Oglala Sioux
In 1870, Red Cloud traveled to Washington D.C. and pleads for peace He spoke of broken treaties, dishonest government agents, fear, and misunderstanding He outlived all the other major Sioux leaders of the Indian Wars. He died in 1909 at the age of 87 on the Pine Ridge Reservation, where he was buried. He is quoted as saying in his old age, "They made us many promises, more than I can remember. But they kept but one--They promised to take our land...and they took it.”

17 A Voice for Justice Helen Hunt Jackson Writer and activist
A Century of Dishonor Details mistreatment of Native Americans United States poet and writer who became an activist on behalf of improved treatment of Native Americans by the U.S. government. She detailed the adverse effects of government actions in her history A Century of Dishonor. She exposed the government's violation of treaties with the American Indian tribes. She documented the corruption of US Indian agents, military officers, and settlers who encroached on and stole Indian lands.

18 The Dawes Act Congress forces Native Americans to assimilate
Lands divided into family sized farms Those who accepted land became citizens This destroyed Native American culture and traditional living styles Assimilate- To absorb (immigrants or a culturally distinct group) into the prevailing culture. The Reservation system, though forced upon Native Americans, was a system that allotted each tribe a claim to their new lands, protection over their territories, and the right to govern themselves. The traditional tribal organization, was a defining characteristic of Native Americans as a social unit and many Americans wanted to “make them more civilized. Authorized the President of the United States to survey Indian tribal land and divide it into allotments for individual Indians. The act also provided that the government would purchase Indian land "excess" to that needed for allotment and open it up for settlement by non-Indians. Land grab!!

19 Burry My Heart at Wounded Knee
Ghost Dance-religious movement 7th Cavalry massacres 290 men, women, and children Marked end of fighting between the U.S. government and American Indians Thought the dance would protect them from bullets, bring back the buffalo herds, remove settlers from their lands, and bring back their former way of life. The ghost dance frightened white settlers. The 7th cavalry was sent to disarm the group. Things went terribly wrong.

20 New States Many people settled on the western frontier lands
13 states were created from The frontier was finally “conquered” 1864 Nevada 1867 Nebraska 1876 Colorado 1889 North Dakota 1889 South Dakota 1889 Montana 1889 Washington 1890 Idaho 1890 Wyoming 1896 Utah 1907 Oklahoma 1912 New Mexico 1912 Arizona

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