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The American West An Overview: 1860-1900. Practice Essay “The American West was a land of opportunity for Americans in the late 1800s.” To what extent.

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Presentation on theme: "The American West An Overview: 1860-1900. Practice Essay “The American West was a land of opportunity for Americans in the late 1800s.” To what extent."— Presentation transcript:

1 The American West An Overview:

2 Practice Essay “The American West was a land of opportunity for Americans in the late 1800s.” To what extent do you agree with this statement?

3 Theme 1: The American west was a land of hardship and opportunity.

4 Theme 2: Western life was largely shaped by geography.

5 Theme 3: Western expansion continued to bring American settlers into conflict with American Indians.

6 4 main economic opportunities in the West Farming Farming Ranching Ranching Mining Mining Railroad construction Railroad construction

7

8 Land Grants to Railroads

9 Farming What does a successful farmer need?

10 Farming Land with tillable soil Land with tillable soil Adequate rainfall or irrigation Adequate rainfall or irrigation Access to machinery and supplies Access to machinery and supplies A way to transport goods to market A way to transport goods to market A market for the goods A market for the goods

11 Opportunities Available Land Available Land Sources: Homestead Act (from gov’t) Sources: Homestead Act (from gov’t) Sales (from other land owners)

12 Hardship Thick sod Thick sod Lack of rainfall/water Lack of rainfall/water Social isolation Social isolation Debt Debt Low crop prices Low crop prices High freight charges High freight charges Extreme weather Extreme weather Crop-eating Insects Crop-eating Insects

13 The “Soddie”

14 Ranching

15 Opportunities Ranching is possible in places that couldn’t support other types of farming Ranching is possible in places that couldn’t support other types of farming Markets existed for beef, wool, etc. Markets existed for beef, wool, etc.

16 Hardships Livestock susceptible to disease Livestock susceptible to disease Farmers opposed open range, put up fences Farmers opposed open range, put up fences

17 CATTLE TRAILS

18 Mining

19 Opportunities The chance to get rich The chance to get rich

20 Hardships Few got rich Few got rich Large corporations began to takeover the mining business Large corporations began to takeover the mining business

21 Railroad Work

22 Opportunities Jobs Jobs

23 Hardships Dangerous, exhausting work Dangerous, exhausting work Competition for jobs kept wages low Competition for jobs kept wages low

24 The Impact of Railroads Brought settlers west Brought settlers west Allowed westerners to trade with the east Allowed westerners to trade with the east Largest landowner in the west Largest landowner in the west Responsible for the creation on many towns Responsible for the creation on many towns Encouraged slaughter of buffalo Encouraged slaughter of buffalo Accelerated conflict with Native Americans Accelerated conflict with Native Americans

25 The Indian Wars "It makes little difference, however, where one opens the record of history of the Indians; every page and every year has its dark stain. The story of one tribe is the story of all." "It makes little difference, however, where one opens the record of history of the Indians; every page and every year has its dark stain. The story of one tribe is the story of all." --Helen Hunt Jackson

26 Indian Wars: background In reality, Indians had been at war with white "invaders" since about 1493 when Columbus' men had their first clash with Native Americans. In reality, Indians had been at war with white "invaders" since about 1493 when Columbus' men had their first clash with Native Americans. Indians in the American west had been isolated from the pressures of U.S. expansion until after the Civil War. Indians in the American west had been isolated from the pressures of U.S. expansion until after the Civil War.

27 Indian Wars: A Shift in Policy When expansion into the American west accelerated and the U.S. government changed its policy to "concentration." This meant moving Indians onto reservations. When expansion into the American west accelerated and the U.S. government changed its policy to "concentration." This meant moving Indians onto reservations. Some tribes peacefully signed treaties with the US government giving up their lands in exchange for promises of food and other payments. Other tribes fought for their lands. Some tribes peacefully signed treaties with the US government giving up their lands in exchange for promises of food and other payments. Other tribes fought for their lands. Life on reservations was worsened by corrupt Indian agents. Life on reservations was worsened by corrupt Indian agents.

28 NATIVE AMERICAN TERRITORY IN THE WEST, 1890

29 Indian Wars Beginning in 1862, the U.S. army began a series of violent conflicts with various Native American tribes. Together, these conflicts are known as the "Indian Wars." The goal of U.S. policy was to force uncooperative tribes onto reservations and to secure western lands for white owners. Beginning in 1862, the U.S. army began a series of violent conflicts with various Native American tribes. Together, these conflicts are known as the "Indian Wars." The goal of U.S. policy was to force uncooperative tribes onto reservations and to secure western lands for white owners.

30 The End Results All tribes were forced onto Reservations All tribes were forced onto Reservations Traditional ways of life for Native Americans were endangered Traditional ways of life for Native Americans were endangered Settlers gained access to the best Western lands Settlers gained access to the best Western lands

31 The near-extinction of the bison Buffalo were hunted for sport, for their valuable furs, and as an intentional way to hurt Indian tribes that relied on the animal for survival. Buffalo were hunted for sport, for their valuable furs, and as an intentional way to hurt Indian tribes that relied on the animal for survival.

32 Reformers Reformers sought to save the Indian by “civilizing” the Indian. Although well intentioned, they were not appreciative of Indian cultures. Reformers sought to save the Indian by “civilizing” the Indian. Although well intentioned, they were not appreciative of Indian cultures.

33 “Kill the Indian, Save the Man”

34 Populism A general definition: A political philosophy supporting the rights and power of the people in their struggle against the privileged elite. A general definition: A political philosophy supporting the rights and power of the people in their struggle against the privileged elite. A more specific definition: A movement, primarily of farmers, in the late 1800s that demanded government aid for the common farmer and worker. A more specific definition: A movement, primarily of farmers, in the late 1800s that demanded government aid for the common farmer and worker.


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