Presentation on theme: "Settling the West 1865-1900 Section 1: Miners and Ranchers."— Presentation transcript:
Settling the West 1865-1900 Section 1: Miners and Ranchers
Growth of Mining Task: How do people try to “get rich quick” today? Growth of the Mining Industry Placer mining + quartz mining were used.
Growth of Mining Comstock Lode Henry Comstock staked a claim in Virginia City, Nevada in 1859. Pure Silver Ore! From frontier outpost to Boomtown of 30,000 people. When the silver veins were exhausted, the mine closed. Samuel Clemens [Mark Twain] Task: What do you think happened to many of these towns when the mines closed?
Problems in Mining Communities: Prospectors fought over claims. Thieves haunted the streets and trails. People took the law into their own hands- Vigilance Committees. Women in a Mining Town: Some owned property Some became community leaders. Some worked as cooks or in laundries. “hurdy-gurdy” houses – where they danced with men for a drink!
Other Bonanzas “Pikes Peak or Bust!”, 1859 Spurred the development of Colorado, the Dakota Territory, and Montana. (became states in 1889) Leadville, 1879 – deposits of lead found in Colorado Mountains. Deposits had a lot of silver in them! 1,000 newcomers per week were pouring in!
Other Bonanzas Spurred the building of railroads through the mountains. Denver was a supply point (2 nd largest city after San Francisco) Development of the Great Plains Gold in the Black Hills and copper in Montana. After the railroads were built, farmers and ranchers moved into the territory.
Ranching Early 1800s many thought ranching was impractical on the Great Plains. Arid Cattle from the East Coast could not survive on prairie grass. Texas Longhorn Better adapted for the harsh environment. Mexicans had introduced cattle ranching. Open range- vast area owned by the government. Ranchers could graze their herds free of charge!
Ranching Before the Civil War there was little incentive to round up longhorns. Beef prices were low, Moving cattle to the east was not practical. Turning Point: 1. the Civil War 2. the Construction of Railroads
Ranching The Civil War After the war, beef prices soared, making it worthwhile. The Railroads If the longhorns were rounded up and driven north several hundred miles to the railroad, they could be sold for a huge profit and shipped east to market.
Ranching ”Come along boys and listen to my tale, I'll tell you of my troubles on the old Chisholm Trail. Come a ti yi yippee, come a ti, yi, yea.“, The Old Chisholm Trail
The Long Drive Cowboys collected their cattle from the open range. Mavericks: stray calves with no brand. Took the cattle north Many cowboys were former Confederate soldiers. Some Hispanic, some African American. Adventure books about cowboys were popular in U.S.
Ranching becomes Big Business “range wars”- sometimes cattle ranchers and sheep herders would compete over the open range. Why did the long drives end? Barbed Wire Allowed for ranchers to fence off the hundreds of square miles of the range. Ended the cattle drives since the cattle were prevented from roaming. Investors in the East poured so much money into the cattle business that there was an oversupply of animals and prices dropped.