Vocabulary Ambush: A surprise attack. Nomads: People who wander about from one area to another. Pioneers: People who go first, who open the way for others to follow. Prairie: Large area of flat or rolling grassland. Reservation: An area of land set aside for American Indians. Transcontinental: Going across a continent. Treaty: A written agreement. Wagon Trail: A trail of wagons that carried settlers westward.
Objectives Describe how people traveled west during the 19 th Century. Explain what life was like for pioneers who settled the West. Describe how the railroads changed the lives of the Native Americans. Tell where the Native Americans went as the white men took their lands.
Wagon West How did families go west? Wagon TrainsWagon Trains RoadsRoads The use of wagon trains was a safe way for travelers to travel. They traveled in large groups. Traveling in large groups protected them against: Indian AttacksIndian Attacks SicknessesSicknesses Wild AnimalsWild Animals Rough CountryRough Country
Pioneer Life Nearly everyone in the west lived on farms. Once the land was cleared for crops families would build log cabins. There were few stores. If people needed tools they would make them or traded for the them. Life on the frontier was lonely. Families would get together for parties.
Rails West This was one of the greatest races in American history. For six years, two railroad companies laid track. One company started in the east and the other started in the west. They both raced to lay as much track as they could before they met in the middle. On May 10, 1869, the two companies met and a solid gold spike was driven.
Settling In After the Civil War large numbers of people began settling between the Mississippi River and the Rocky Mountains. This large prairie was known as the Great Plains. Today the Great Plains is a major source of the country’s food. Space can still be thought of as a frontier and so can Earth’s oceans.
Settling In By the 1890’s five rail lines ran across the Great Plains. The land between the Mississippi and the Rockies became filled with farmers, ranchers, miners, and townspeople. In the 250 years between 1620 and 1870 Americans had settled about 400 million acres of land. In the 30 years between 1870 and 1900 another 400 million acres were settled. By 1900, the “last frontier” had disappeared.
Review Why did pioneers travel in wagon trains? What is the land between the Mississippi River and the Rocky Mountains called? What were some of the difficulties faced by those who built the transcontinental railroad?