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Chapter Sixteen: The Conquest of the Far West Central Pacific Railroad near Salt Lake, late 1860s, photographed by Alfred Hart (1816–1908)

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Presentation on theme: "Chapter Sixteen: The Conquest of the Far West Central Pacific Railroad near Salt Lake, late 1860s, photographed by Alfred Hart (1816–1908)"— Presentation transcript:

1 Chapter Sixteen: The Conquest of the Far West Central Pacific Railroad near Salt Lake, late 1860s, photographed by Alfred Hart (1816–1908)

2 Chapter Sixteen: The Conquest of the Far West 2  Many “Wests”: Highly varied topography - flat plains, high mountains, deserts, lush forests, etc.  Many Peoples: English-speaking migrants to the West did not find empty and uninhabited lands, but one with many peoples:  American Indians  Mexicans  Asians  French  British Canadians  Metís people (mixed race) “Mount Rainier” (1898) by Albert Bierstadt ( ) The Societies of the Far West The Societies of the Far West

3 Chapter Sixteen: The Conquest of the Far West The Societies of the Far West The Societies of the Far West –The Western Tribes: Some resettled from the East, but most were indigenous to the region.  West Coast: Chinook, Chumash, Serrano, etc. Generally not nomadic; relied on fishing, hunting, and even whaling. Many lived in wooden longhouses.  Southwest: Apache, Hopi, Navajo, Pueblo, and Zuni. Not nomadic; farmers who relied on elaborate irrigation systems in this arid region.  Resettled to “Indian Territory” (Oklahoma) from East of the Mississippi: Chickasaw, Choctaw, Creek, Seminole, and Cherokee. Many had been farmers and even had plantations before removal.  Northern Plains Indians: Sioux, Arapaho, and Cheyenne in the Northern Plains. Many were horsemen who relied on the hunting of buffalo. 3

4 Chapter Sixteen: The Conquest of the Far West 4 “Buffalo Hunt, Chase” (1844) by George Catlin ( )

5 Chapter Sixteen: The Conquest of the Far West The Societies of the Far West The Societies of the Far West –Indian Disadvantages  Disease: Indian populations were highly vulnerable to infectious diseases that Euro-Americans brought West, like a smallpox.  Environmental Vulnerability: Euro-American incursions on tribal lands interfered with traditional ways of life by fencing off areas for farms and ranches.  Plains Indians and Buffalo Eradication: Federal authorities did not sponsor mass buffalo killings, but failed to stop them, knowing their destruction undermined the Indian way of life. In 1850 there were 13 million wild buffalo on the Great Plains; by 1880, there were only a few hundred. 5

6 Chapter Sixteen: The Conquest of the Far West The Societies of the Far West The Societies of the Far West –Hispanic New Mexico  Spanish and Mexican Rule: The Far West had been a part of the Spanish Empire for centuries, and then became a part of the Mexican Republic when it achieved independence in  Economic Activity: Spanish settlers mainly practice cattle and sheep ranching.  Mexican-American War ( ): U.S. gains present-day states of California, Nevada, Utah, New Mexico, most of Arizona and Colorado, and parts of Texas, Oklahoma, Kansas, and Wyoming (Texas had joined right before the war, triggering it). 6

7 Chapter Sixteen: The Conquest of the Far West The Societies of the Far West The Societies of the Far West –Hispanic New Mexico  Taos Indian Rebellion: In early 1847, Mexicans and Pueblos rebelled against the still forming U.S. military government, killing the governor. The revolt was savagely suppressed by U.S. forces, starting a slow process of pacifying the area’s tribes: Pueblo, Navajo, Apache, etc.  Anglo-Americans: When railroads are built through the region in the 1880s and 1890s, Anglo-Americans begin to move in in greater numbers to start mining and ranching. 7 Taos Pueblo, built ca A.D.

8 Chapter Sixteen: The Conquest of the Far West The Societies of the Far West The Societies of the Far West –Hispanic California  Spanish Settlement: Began with a string of Franciscan missions along the Pacific coast in the late 1700s, including San Diego (1769), San Gabriel (1771), San Francisco (1776), Santa Barbara (1786); there were 21 built between 1769 and  Mexican Independence: Weakens mission system by 1830s as republican Mexico reduces the power of the Church.  Californios: A class of elite Mexican landholders emerges after the missions, gathering up giant estates west of the Sierra mountains.  Anglo-American Onslaught: The discovery of gold and the acquisition of California by the U.S. in 1848 meant disaster for the Hispanic landholders; many were violently driven from their lands by white prospectors or through fraudulent land deals.  Dispossessed Hispanics: Mexicans and Mexican-Americans increasingly were pushed to the lower end of the the state’s working class, living in clusters called barrios in places like Los Angeles. 8

9 Chapter Sixteen: The Conquest of the Far West 9 Mission San Juan Capistrano, founded 1776

10 Chapter Sixteen: The Conquest of the Far West The Societies of the Far West The Societies of the Far West –Hispanic Texas  Texas Independence: White American cotton planters began to move into East Texas in substantial numbers in the 1820s, and outnumber the Mexicans by the 1830s; the Anglos fight a successful war of independence in , and Texas becomes the “Lone Star Republic” until joining the Union in  Mexican Landholders Dispossessed: As in California, Mexican landholders were dispossessed through disadvantageous business deals or outright force. Mexicans increasingly were forced into being landless unskilled laborers in agricultural or industrial work. 10

11 Chapter Sixteen: The Conquest of the Far West The Societies of the Far West The Societies of the Far West –The Chinese Migration  Global Migration: Chinese were not only coming to U.S., but also to Hawaii, Australia, South Africa, and the Caribbean, often as indentured servants (derogatorily called “coolies”); almost all coming to the U.S. came by paying their own way and were not “coolies.”  Gold Rush: Chinese immigration to California takes off in 1848; 25,000 came by 1851, while by 1880, there more than 200,000 in the U.S. Chinese gold prospectors faced discrimination, including many California state laws in the 1850s and also violence at the hands of competing whites..  Transcontinental Railroad: Starting in 1865, 12,000 Chinese found work building the Central Pacific railroad, but experienced horrible working conditions. When the railroad was completed in 1869, many lost their jobs and flocked to cities. 11

12 Chapter Sixteen: The Conquest of the Far West The Societies of the Far West The Societies of the Far West –The Chinese Migration 12 Chinese railroad laborers on the Central Pacific

13 Chapter Sixteen: The Conquest of the Far West The Societies of the Far West The Societies of the Far West –The Chinese Migration  “Chinatowns”: In many western cities, Chinese areas emerged, with the largest growing in San Francisco. Benevolent Associations: Known as the “Six Companies” in San Francisco, these acted as employment brokers, unions, dispute arbitrators, and social science providers. Benevolent Associations: Known as the “Six Companies” in San Francisco, these acted as employment brokers, unions, dispute arbitrators, and social science providers. “Tongs”: These secret societies sometimes acted as crime organizations, dealing in prostitution and opium. “Tongs”: These secret societies sometimes acted as crime organizations, dealing in prostitution and opium. Work: Chinese mainly worked as laborers, servants, and factory workers, but also opened small businesses, especially laundries and restaurants. Work: Chinese mainly worked as laborers, servants, and factory workers, but also opened small businesses, especially laundries and restaurants.  Sex Ratio: In 1860, the ratio of Chinese men to women was 19-to-1; by 1890 it was still high: 27-to-1. Many Chinese women were imported as prostitutes, so an 1875 Federal law forbid the practice, but was used against nearly all female migrants. 13

14 Chapter Sixteen: The Conquest of the Far West The Societies of the Far West The Societies of the Far West –Anti-Chinese Sentiments  State Laws: Legislation persecuting the Chinese in California began to be passed in the 1850s.  White Labor Movement: Working-class whites complained about Chinese willingness to work for lower wages, leading to Denis Kearney’s Workingmen’s Party of California in 1878, lobbying for a halt to Chinese immigration. About one-third of white settlers came from the South, and brought their racial attitudes with them.  Chinese Exclusion Act: Responding to West Coast pressure, Congress passed a law in 1882 denying further migration and naturalization for Chinese already in the country. The law was in effect for ten years, was renewed in 1892, and made permanent in 1902 (it was finally appealed in 1943, during WWII). 14

15 Chapter Sixteen: The Conquest of the Far West Lithograph of an anti-immigrant political cartoon published in San Francisco in the 1860s. 15

16 Chapter Sixteen: The Conquest of the Far West The Societies of the Far West The Societies of the Far West –Migration from the East  Before the War: Between 1840 and 1860, 300,000 people traveled to the Far West via the overland trails, with two-thirds going to California, and the rest going to Oregon and Utah.  Homestead Act of 1862: Allowed settlers to buy a 160-acre unit of federal land for a small fee if the buyer occupied it for five years and “improved” it. While 160 acres worked for a farm in the East, it was too small for grain farming in the Plains or ranching in the Far West, so subsequent legislation allowed buyers to obtain bigger holdings. 16

17 Chapter Sixteen: The Conquest of the Far West The Societies of the Far West The Societies of the Far West –Migration from the East  Transcontinental Railroad: When completed in 1869, it greatly accelerated the populating of the Far West.  Foreigners Settlers: Between 1870 and 1900, over two million foreign- born settlers from Europe came to the Far West. Foreigners could take advantage of Homestead Act if they declared their intention to become citizens.  New Western States: Many territorial governments were organized in the 1860s; once the population reached 60,000, a territory could apply for statehood. New states included: Nevada (1864), Nebraska (1867), Colorado (1876), North and South Dakota (1889), Montana (1889), and Washington (1889). Utah was denied until 1896 due to the issue of Mormon polygamy. 17

18 Chapter Sixteen: The Conquest of the Far West The Changing Western Economy The Changing Western Economy –Labor in the West  High Wages: A shortage of labor lead to high wages, but working conditions were often very rough, and unstable: when the harvest was done or railroad line built, workers were let go.  Multiracial Working Class: English-speaking whites mostly occupied management and skilled labor positions, but unskilled laborers were multi-racial: European immigrants, Mexicans, African Americans, Chinese, Filipinos, and Indians. The labor pool was more multi-racial than back in the West. 18

19 Chapter Sixteen: The Conquest of the Far West The Changing Western Economy The Changing Western Economy –Three Dominant Industries in the Late 19 th - Century West  Mining  Ranching  Commercial Farming 19

20 Chapter Sixteen: The Conquest of the Far West The Changing Western Economy The Changing Western Economy –The Arrival of the Miners  Mining Booms: The 1849 Gold Rush was the first of many booms; cycles of “placer” mining, followed by deeper corporate mining, and finally abandonment or limited mining.  Gold: Discovered around Pike’s Peak in what is now Colorado in 1858, creating the city of Denver, while in 1859, gold was also discovered in what is now Nevada; later in 1874, gold was found in the Black Hills of the Dakotas.  Silver: The Comstock Lode near Virginia City in what is now Nevada in 1858 proved even more valuable than the gold.  Copper: The Anaconda copper mine opened in 1881 proved a much more stable source of income.  Gender Disparity: Mining camps were overwhelmingly populated by men; few women came, prostitution was common. 20

21 Chapter Sixteen: The Conquest of the Far West The Changing Western Economy The Changing Western Economy –The Cattle Kingdom  Mexican Roots: Techniques and equipment like branding, round-ups, roping, saddles, and spurs had all been developed by Mexican ranchers before Anglos came.  Open Range: The public domain grasslands of the Great Plains gave owners vast space within which to graze their cattle, roughly 5 million heads of cattle roamed the area by “Long Drives” became shorter by the 1870s due to agriculture and closer railroads.  “Range Wars”: Fights broke out between cattlemen, sheep breeders from California and Oregon, and farmers from the East.  Decline of the Open-Range Industry: As the industry became larger, there was not enough grass to feed the massive herds. Two bad winters and a hot summers in the late 1880s largely destroyed this model, which was replaced by a system of enclosed ranches. 21

22 Chapter Sixteen: The Conquest of the Far West The Cattle Kingdom, ca

23 Chapter Sixteen: The Conquest of the Far West The Romance of the West The Romance of the West –The Western Landscape and the Cowboy  “Rocky Mountain School”: Painters like Albert Bierstadt ( ) and Thomas Moran ( ) produce dramatic canvases that capture the extreme landscape.  Cowboys Mythologized: Nineteenth-century dime novels and later works such as The Virginian (1902) by Owen Wister ( ) idealized the figure of the cowboy.  Buffalo Bill’s Wild West Show: This touring spectacle led by the real-life frontiersman and Indian fighter, Buffalo Bill Cody ( ) mixed real Western history with mythology, often having real participants enact their parts; Cody played Custer in a reenactment of Custer’s Last Stand. 23

24 Chapter Sixteen: The Conquest of the Far West 24 Green River Cliffs, Wyoming (1881) by Thomas Moran

25 Chapter Sixteen: The Conquest of the Far West 25

26 Chapter Sixteen: The Conquest of the Far West The Romance of the West The Romance of the West –The Idea of the Frontier  Romantic Vision of the Frontier: Writers like Mark Twain ( ) and the painter and sculptor Frederic Remington ( ) promoted an idealized vision of the West.  Frederick Jackson Turner ( ): Historian who delivered an address entitled “The Significance of the Frontier in American History” at the 1893 meeting of the American Historical Association in Chicago. 26 The Broncho Buster by Frederic Remington (1909)

27 Chapter Sixteen: The Conquest of the Far West “The existence of an area of free land, its continuous recession and the advance of settlement westward, explain American Development.” Frederick Jackson Turner Yet the land was not exactly “free”… 27

28 Chapter Sixteen: The Conquest of the Far West The Dispersal of the Tribes The Dispersal of the Tribes –White Tribal Policies  Traditional Policy: Tribes were separate nations with whom treaties could be negotiated, but also as dependent wards of the president (“domestic dependent nations”).  “Concentration” Policy: An 1851 policy assigned all tribes to a reservation administered by the Bureau of Indian Affairs; an 1867 Indian Peace Commission recommended moving all to Oklahoma and the Dakotas.  Buffalo Herds Decimated: Amateur and professional hunters target these herds; 15 million in 1865 drop to under a thousand by

29 Chapter Sixteen: The Conquest of the Far West The Dispersal of the Tribes The Dispersal of the Tribes –The Indian Wars (1850s through 1880s)  Growing Indian Resistance: As white incursions increased, Indians stepped up attacks on U.S. Army soldiers, stage coach lines, and settlements  Sand Creek Massacre (1864): Friendly Cheyenne and Arapaho were attacked unexpectedly by a Colorado territorial militia, killing as many as 160 men, women, and children.  “Indian Hunting”: White vigilantes attack Indians sometimes in retaliation, but also just to exterminate: civilians killed roughly 5,000 Indians in California between 1850 and

30 Chapter Sixteen: The Conquest of the Far West The Dispersal of the Tribes The Dispersal of the Tribes –The Indian Wars (1850s through 1880s)  Sioux Rebel: In 1875, the Sioux rebelled and left their Dakota territory reservation under Crazy Horse (c ) and Sitting Bull (c ).  Custer Defeated: In June 1876, 2,500 tribal warriors defeated a force of 700 men of the Seventh Cavalry led by Gen. George Armstrong Custer ( ), slaughtering nearly all of them.  Chief Joseph ( ): This leader of the Nez Percé marched 550 of his people 1,321 miles in 1877 toward the Canadian border before being captured for killing four white settlers in Idaho.  “Ghost Dance”: A religious revival among the Sioux in 1890 is interpreted as a prelude to hostilities by U.S. forces.  Wounded Knee Massacre: On Dec. 29, 1890, the Seventh Calvary tries to round-up 350 starving and freezing Sioux in South Dakota, and shooting accidentally starts; 200 Indians and 40 white soldiers are killed. 30

31 Chapter Sixteen: The Conquest of the Far West The Dispersal of the Tribes The Dispersal of the Tribes –The Dawes Severalty Act of 1887  Gradual elimination of tribal land ownership planned  Provides 160 acres for each head of family, but must occupy the tract for 25 years to take full ownership.  Bureau of Indian Affairs takes Indian children away to special schools to promote assimilation and Christianity. 31

32 Chapter Sixteen: The Conquest of the Far West The Rise and Decline of the Western Farmer The Rise and Decline of the Western Farmer  From Boom to Bust: Only a trickle of farmers came before the war, but it became a deluge after it. –Farming on the Plains  Cheap Rail Rates: To encourage settlement, fares west were very affordable.  Scarce Water: A series of dry seasons after 1887 made some arable land into “semidesert,” forcing some to abandon their farms.  Reverse Migration: Some settlers returned back east to escape a cycle of indebtedness. 32

33 Chapter Sixteen: The Conquest of the Far West Map of the Northern Pacific Railroad (Royalty-Free / CORBIS) 33

34 Chapter Sixteen: The Conquest of the Far West The Rise and Decline of the Western Farmer The Rise and Decline of the Western Farmer –Commercial Agriculture  Overproduction: Between 1865 and 1900, farm output increased prices dramatically, lowering prices for agricultural goods. –The Farmers’ Grievances  Grievances against Railroads: High freight rates  Belief in Conspiracy: Instead of overproduction, farmers blamed woes on the railroads, bankers charging high interest on loans, and inadequate currency in circulation. 34

35 Chapter Sixteen: The Conquest of the Far West The Rise and Decline of the Western Farmer The Rise and Decline of the Western Farmer –The Agrarian Malaise  Isolation: The isolation and boredom of farm life (especially in the winter) creates a sense of alienation; children leave for the city.  Obsolescence: Farmers often felt left behind by the new urban culture developing the cities.  New Political Movements: This malaise among farmers in the 1890s led to a new engagement in politics by rural farmers. 35


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