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American History 2012-13 The West or Bust. Do this now: Write down what comes to mind when you think about the west? Have you ever wanted to move out.

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Presentation on theme: "American History 2012-13 The West or Bust. Do this now: Write down what comes to mind when you think about the west? Have you ever wanted to move out."— Presentation transcript:

1 American History 2012-13 The West or Bust

2 Do this now: Write down what comes to mind when you think about the west? Have you ever wanted to move out west? Why? What is the attraction? Why does the West have such an attraction?

3 Plains

4 An Area of Extremes Hot Dry Summers Freezing Cold Winters Harsh Blizzards

5 Not Empty Over 15 million Buffalo

6 Plains Indians 250,000 Native Americans

7 Push and pull factors Push factors: overcrowded, polluted cities, racism Pull factors: free land, wide open spaces, thoughts of no racism Other push and pull factors?

8 Romantic idea of the West then and now Strike it rich Independence Always sunny Adventure New Life Open skies and land Make your own life

9 Mountain men blazed the trail http:// m/watch?v=FcsXC2xFis4 http:// m/watch?v=FcsXC2xFis4 Trappers and explorers that roamed the Rocky Mountains Helped open roads/trails for settlers to travel through to Oregon

10 End of the Civil War = major changes A. The Civil war ended, which displaced thousands of farmers, former slaves and others. B. Huge influx of immigrants, Irish, German, Jewish and Chinese C. Discrimination – Black Codes, anti-immigrant societies, religious Freedom (Mormons)

11 Mining frontier Started in California 1848 Gold and Silver fuel a flow of people pushing west Boomtowns Silver city Bonanza Eureka lated lated

12 Started out as a small one man job, evolved into a major corporation with experts from around the world

13 Growth of Mining Towns Influx of services needed to sustain a city Influx of foreigners Many places ½ the population was foreign born 1/3 were Chinese Native Born Americans resented the competition $20 a month tax on foreign born miners Chinese Exclusion Act 1882 First act by congress to restrict immigration Frontier cities to major industrial centers Denver, San Francisco and Sacramento

14 Gold and Silver Currency Battles Gold and Silver Backed currency became a leading political issue of the 1880’s-1890’s

15 FAMILY LIFE ON THE PLAINS Small extended families were the norm Men were hunters, while women helped butcher the game and prepare it Tribes were very spiritual and land was communal OSAGE TRIBE

16 NATIVES AND SETTLERS CLASH 1834 – Government set aside all of the Great Plains as “Indian lands” 1850s- Government shifts policy, giving natives much smaller lands Conflict ensues 1864 - Massacre at Sand Creek; US Army attack killing 150 native women and children

17 OTHER CONFLICTS AND BATTLES Conflicts continued including; Fetterman Massacre and Red River War Custer’s Last Stand occurred in early 1876 when Colonel Custer reached Little Big Horn Led by Crazy Horse and Sitting Bull, the natives outflanked and crushed Custer’s troops ONE OF THE FEW NATIVE VICTORIES WAS LITTLE BIG HORN


19 THE DAWES ACT - 1887 The Dawes Act of 1887 attempted to assimilate natives The Act called for the break up of reservations and the introduction of natives into American life By 1932, 2/3rds of the land committed to Natives had been taken FAMOUS DEPICTION OF NATIVE STRUGGLE

20 THE DESTRUCTION OF THE BUFFALO The most significant blow to tribal life on the plains was the destruction of the buffalo Tourist and fur traders shot buffalo for sport 1800: 65 million buffalo roamed the plains 1890: less than 1000 remained SHIRTLESS HUNTER WITH HIS KILL

21 BATTLE OF WOUNDED KNEE On December 29, 1890, the Seventh Cavalry (Custer’s old regiment) rounded up 350 Sioux and took them to Wounded Knee, S.D. A shot was fired – within minutes the Seventh Cavalry slaughtered 300 unarmed Natives This event brought the “Indian Wars”– and an entire era to a bitter end HUNDREDS OF CORPSES WERE LEFT TO FREEZE ON THE GROUND

22 Indian Stereotypes =related =related

23 CATTLE BECOMES BIG BUSINESS Ranching became increasingly profitable Texas rangers learned how to handle the Texas Longhorns from Mexican rangers Lots of vocabulary came from the Mexican Vaqueros

24 VOCABULARY BORROWED Vanilla, bronco, mustang, chaps, mosquito, pronto, tuna, stampede, tornado, chili, cigar, shack, savvy, siesta, wrangler, lasso, lariat, ranch, corral, burro, canyon, bandit, fiesta, guerrilla, hurricane, matador, plaza, rodeo, vigilante, desperado, cockroach, buckaroo MEXICAN “VAQUEROS” (COW MAN) PROVIDED THE VOCABULARY FOR THE AMERICAN COWBOY


26 Vast open area = vast herds of Texas Longhorn cattle roamed aimlessly throughout the Texas grasslands Round up cattle and move them north to points like Kansas, where they were loaded up in Trains and shipped to Chicago Stockyards Cow towns were established along routes Sedalia Trail Chisholm Trail Western Trail Dodge City

27 COW TOWN & THE TRAIL Abilene, Kansas became famous for being a place where the Chisholm Trail met the railroads Tens of thousands of cattle came from Texas through Oklahoma to Abilene via the famous Chisholm trail Once in Abilene the cattle would board rail cars for destinations across the country Chisholm Trail

28 GROWING DEMAND FOR BEEF After the Civil War the demand for beef surged Urbanization and the rise of the railroad was instrumental in the increase of beef consumption Chicago Union Stock Yards was a famous market after 1865 POSTCARD OF CHICAGO UNION STOCK YARDS

29 Cattle Frontier Romantic Visions of Cowboys Independent Gun slinging Rugged Free spirited

30 Cowboy life was difficult Long days, lonely Many were blacks, Mexicans Poor pay

31 THE END OF THE OPEN RANGE Almost as soon as ranching became big business, the cattle frontier met its end Overgrazing, bad weather, and the invention of barbed wire were responsible

32 Settlement of the Last Frontier

33 Last Frontier Before 1860’s land between Miss. River and Pacific Ocean known as “The Great American Desert” Pioneers would pass through this vast area to get to California’s gold mines and Green Valley’s of Oregon

34 Farming the plains Pacific Railway Act 1862- Government gave Railroad companies large tracts of land, to encourage railway expansion. These companies would then sell cheap land to settlers and help create cities along their routes Homestead Act 1862 - a homesteader claims up to 160 acres of land – by 1900, 600,000 farms were created People wanted to own their own land

35 The transcontinental railroad was completed in 1868. The Central Pacific and Union Pacific railroads met in Promontory Point, Utah and laid a Golden Spike

36 EXODUSTERS MOVE WEST African Americans who moved from the post- Reconstruction South to Kansas were called Exodusters Many exodusters took advantage of land deals

37 SETTLERS ENCOUNTER HARDSHIPS The frontier settlers faced extreme hardships – droughts, floods, fires, blizzards, locust plagues, and bandits Despite hardships, the number of people living west of the Mississippi grew from 1% of the nation’s population in 1850 to almost 30% in 1900 LOCUST SWARM

38 FARMER EDUCATION SUPPORTED The federal government financed agricultural education The Morrill Acts of 1862 and 1890 gave federal land to states to help finance agricultural colleges. States would sell land and build colleges with this money. Michigan State and Penn State are examples.

39 Sodbusters Sod Houses (Soddie)– the plains had few trees, but an abundance of Grass. Dugout houses

40 Cutting the sod – 3-6 inches thick and at least a foot long pieces Sod was laid grass side down like bricks

41 Cutting the sod – 3-6 inches thick and at least a foot long pieces Sod was laid grass side down like bricks

42 The hard life of a Sodbuster Sod busting- breaking the sod up to be able to farm Prairie fires, dust storms, drought


44 Life on the plains = miserable Extreme hot and cold weather Plagues of insects Lonesomeness Scarce water Falling crop prices No wood = buffalo chips 2/3 of homesteaders failed by 1900

45 Frontier is closed 1889 Oklahoma territory was opened for settlers Boomers – April 22, 1889 Over 50,000 people lined the border of OK and at noon bugles blew, pistols fired and the boomers raced to claim land In less than a day, 2 million acres were claimed by settlers Sooners – snuck in early to claim the best lands Turner’s frontier thesis 1893: declared the western Frontier as being closed.

46 INCREASED TECHNOLOGY HELPS FARMERS 1837 – John Deere invented a steel plow that could slice through heavy soil 1847 – Cyrus McCormick mass-produced a reaping machine Other inventions included a grain drill to plant seed, barbed wire, and corn binder JOHN DEERE’S STEEL PLOW HAD TO BE PULLED BY A HORSE OR MULE

47 ECONOMIC DISTRESS HITS FARMERS Between 1867 and 1887 the price of a bushel of wheat fell from $2.00 to 68 cents Railroads conspired to keep transport costs artificially high Farmers got caught in a cycle of debt

48 FARMERS ORGANIZE FOR CHANGE 1867 – Oliver Hudson Kelley started the Patrons of Husbandry, an organization for framers that became known as the Grange By 1870, the Grange spent most of their time fighting the railroads Soon the Grange and other Farmer Alliances numbered over 4 million members

49 POPULIST PARTY IS BORN Leaders of the farmers organization realized they needed to build a base of political power Populism – the movement of the people – was born in 1892 with the founding of the Populist, or People’s Party THIS POLITICAL CARTOON SHOWS A POPULIST CLUBBING A RAILROAD CAR

50 Misconceptions, myths and entertainment of the west Buffalo bill’s Wild West show Dime Novels Stories that were often made up or fabricated. Often in short paperback books

51 related related re=related re=related

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