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Settling the West 1865-1900 Section 1: Miners and Ranchers.

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Presentation on theme: "Settling the West 1865-1900 Section 1: Miners and Ranchers."— Presentation transcript:

1 Settling the West 1865-1900 Section 1: Miners and Ranchers

2 Growth of Mining  Task: How do people try to “get rich quick” today?  Growth of the Mining Industry  Placer mining + quartz mining were used.

3 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?

4 Growth of Mining

5  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!

6 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!

7 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.

8 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!

9 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

10 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.

11 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

12 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.

13 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.

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