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The Last Frontier: Winning and Losing the West 1865–1900

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1 The Last Frontier: Winning and Losing the West 1865–1900
Chapter 30 The Last Frontier: Winning and Losing the West 1865–1900

2 The Last Frontier American Frontier Useless land
1865: clear frontier line 1890: no more frontier in U.S. Americans rapidly occupy west Useless land Most thought West would never be settled Rocky Mountains Great Basin Great Plains

3 The Last Frontier (cont.’d)
Native peoples of the West Great Basin: Ute Paiute, Shoshone Southwest: Pima, Zuni, Hopi, Navajo, Apache Oklahoma: “Civilized tribes” from east Great Plains: Nomadic tribes that cling to own ways Plains culture Depend on bison and horses Economy dependent on bison Nomadic Warlike, fighting for horses, women, courage

4 The Last Frontier (cont.’d)
Destruction of Buffalo Railroaders hire hunters to kill Bison Buffalo hides sensation back East Railroaders promote slaughter to protect rails By 1889 less than 1,000 buffalo alive

5 Last Indian Wars Many military men felt Indians were in the right but had to fight them Sand Creek Massacre 1864 Innumerable small skirmishes Colorado militia massacre peaceful Cheyenne Colonel Chivington Fetterman Debacle 1866 Captain Fetterman led men into a trap Chief Red Cloud outsmarted him Custer’s Last Stand 1876 George Armstrong Custer leads 265 men Attacks Sioux, Cheyenne at Little Bighorn Indians totally defeat Custer and men Army gains control of Sioux, Cheyenne

6 Last Indian Wars Chief Joseph and Nez Perce
1877 tried to flee to Canada Army followed Caught just 25 miles from border

7 The Indian Wars (cont.’d)
Good intentions, tragic results Helen Hunt Jackson, A Century of Dishonor Congress passes Dawes Severalty Act Unsuccessfully tries to make Indians farm Poor land, Indian culture unsuited to farming Wounded Knee 1890 Wovoka begins Ghost Dance Bases new religion on redemption Make whites vanish; buffalo come back Army massacres Ghost Dancers at Wounded Knee

8 The Cattle Kingdom 1870: U.S. raises 23.8 million cattle
Buckaroos Cattlemen provide East with cheap meat First long drive in 1850s Most workers Mexican: vaqueros Dress practical adaptation of work clothes Meat for millions Transcontinental railroad reaches to Abilene Joseph G. McCoy begins long drive, 1867 Cowboys drive longhorns to rail towns Huge profits Cow towns exciting places for cowboys

9 The Cattle Kingdom (cont.’d)
Disaster in the cattle kingdom Cattle overgraze prairies, damage ecology Blizzard, drought hit in 1886 Disasters end long cattle drives Cattlemen turn to ranching King ranch immense Oh give me a home Reality little resembles legends Many cowboys Mexican, black, young Cowboys seldom involved in gun fights Cowboys need skill with horses, ropes

10 The Wild West in American Culture
Wild West play-acting Ned Buntline’s dime novels Romantic Western heroes Mythical world enamors public Palisade, Nevada stages fights for public American heroes Legendary heroes often tarnished Buffalo Bill’s Wild West show Frederick Remington’s art Owen Wister’s The Virginia

11 The Mining Frontier Gold and silver Mining Camps and Cities
Make numerous new strikes Discover gold, silver, copper Incredibly rich deposits Mining Camps and Cities Speculators risk all Efficient mining requires capital, expertise Major investors move into mines Mines finance America’s growth

12 Discussion Questions Examine the society of the Plains Indians. What role did the buffalo play in their lives? How did the destruction of the buffalo affect the Plains Tribes? Describe the demise of the western Indians. Specifically address how they were finally defeated. What happened at Wounded Knee in 1890? What role did religion play in the this tragedy? Examine the development the cattle kingdom. What parts did technology and market play in this development?

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