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Presentation on theme: "UNIT 2 – BRIDGE TO THE 20TH CENTURY"— Presentation transcript:

Changes on Western Frontier

2 Introduction White settlers began moving West onto the Great Plains where the Native Americans lived. A major clash occurred between 2 very different cultures.

3 The Great Plains Great Plains Area:

4 Great Plains cont’d Great Plains: broad expanse of flat land
much of it covered in prairie, steppe and grassland west of the Mississippi River and east of the Rocky Mountains in the United States and Canada. parts of the U.S. states of Colorado, Kansas, Montana, Nebraska, New Mexico, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Texas, and Wyoming, and the Canadian provinces of Alberta, Manitoba and Saskatchewan.

5 Culture of the Plains Indians
Easterners thought of Plains as vast desert occupied by savage tribes, but Native Americans were very highly developed. To the East, near lower Missouri River, tribes such as the Osage and Iowa, hunted and planted crops and settled in small villages

6 Farther West, nomadic tribes such as Sioux and Cheyenne gathered wild foods and hunted buffalo.
They traded and followed tribal law, created tools and clothing as well.

7 Culture of Plains, cont’d
Spanish brought horses to New Mexico in 1598. By mid 1700’s, because of their horses and guns, Native Americans could travel farther and hunt more efficiently and almost all tribes left their farms to roam and hunt buffalo. Wars occurred because of hunters from one tribe trespassing on land of other tribes.

8 Plains warrior gained honor by killing his enemies and counting coup – touching a live enemy with a coup stick and escaping unharmed. They also called truces to trade goods, pass along news, etc.

9 Buffalo uses Made tepees and arrow shields from hides.
Used skin for clothing, shoes, blankets. Meat was dried into jerky or mixed with berries and fat to make staple food called pemmican. Skull was considered sacred and was used in many of their rituals.

10 Horns were carved into bowls and spoons.
Bones were made into hide scrapers, tool handles, etc. Hoofs were ground up and used as glue. Buffalo provided basic needs and was very important to life on the Plains.

11 Family Life Lived in small extended family groups and bands with others that spoke the same language. No individual dominated the group. Land was for use of the whole tribe and leaders of a tribe ruled by counsel – not force.

12 Young men trained to become warriors and hunters.
Women butchered game and prepared hides. Women SOMETIMES chose their own husbands. Children learned behavior/culture through stories, myths, games.

13 Importance of Spirits Tribes believed spirits controlled events in the natural world. Shamans: men or women who showed great deal of sensitivity to the spirits.

14 Settlers Push Westward
Native Americans believed that land COULD NOT be owned. Settlers wanted to own land to have a stake in their country.

15 Settlers argued Native Americans gave up their rights (forfeited) to the land because they didn’t improve it. So they pushed west along railroad and wagon trails to claim the land.

16 SILVER AND GOLD!!! Gold discovery in Colorado in 1858 drew many miners to the region. Mining camps and frontier towns had filthy living quarters with rows of tents and shacks with dirt streets. Fortune seekers included Irish, German, Polish, Chinese and African-Americans.

17 In 1834, the federal government had passed an act that designated the entire Great Plains as one enormous reservation, or land set aside for Native American tribes.

18 In the 1850s, however, the government changed its policy and created treaties that defined specific boundaries for each tribe.

19 Most Native Americans ignored the government treaties and continued to hunt on their traditional lands, clashing with settlers and miners, with tragic results.

20 One of the most tragic events occurred in 1864
One of the most tragic events occurred in Most of the Cheyenne, assuming they were under the protection of the U.S. government, had peacefully returned to Colorado’s Sand Creek Reserve for the winter.

21 Yet General S. R. Curtis, U. S
Yet General S.R. Curtis, U.S. Army commander in the West, sent a telegram to militia colonel John Chivington that read, “I want no peace till the Indians suffers more.”


23 In response, Chivington and his troops descended on the Cheyenne and Arapaho, about 200 warriors and 500 women and children, camped at Sand Creek.


25 The attack at dawn on November 29, 1864 killed over 150 inhabitants, mostly women and children.

26 The Bozeman Trail ran directly through Sioux hunting grounds in the Bighorn Mountains. The Sioux Chief, Red Cloud, had unsuccessfully appealed to the government to end white settlement on the trail. Chief Red Cloud Red Cloud and his Council.

27 In December 1866, the warrior Crazy Horse ambushed Captain William J
In December 1866, the warrior Crazy Horse ambushed Captain William J. Fetterman and his company at Lodge Trail Ridge. Over 80 soldiers were killed. Crazy Horse

28 Native Americans called this fight the Battle of the Hundred Slain
Native Americans called this fight the Battle of the Hundred Slain. Whites called it the Fetterman Massacre.

29 Skirmishes continued until the government agreed to close the Bozeman Trail. In return, the Treaty of Fort Laramie, in which the Sioux agreed to live on a reservation along the Missouri River.

30 Sitting Bull , leader of the Hunkpapa Sioux, had never signed it
Sitting Bull , leader of the Hunkpapa Sioux, had never signed it. Although the Ogala and Brule Sioux did sign the treaty, they expected to continue using their traditional hunting grounds. Sitting Bull

31 The Treaty of Fort Laramie provided only a temporary halt to warfare
The Treaty of Fort Laramie provided only a temporary halt to warfare. The conflict between the two cultures continued as settlers moved westward and Native American nations resisted the restrictions imposed upon them . Fort Laramie

32 In late 1868, war broke out yet again as the Kiowa and Comanche engaged in six years of raiding that finally led to the Red River War of

33 The U.S. Army responded by herding the people of friendly tribes onto reservations while opening fire on all others.

34 General Philip Sheridan, a Union army veteran, gave orders “to destroy their villages and ponies, to kill and hang all warriors, and to bring back all women and children.” “The only good Indian is a dead Indian.” - General Philip Sheridan

35 Within four years of the Treaty of Laramie, miners began searching the Black Hills for gold. The Sioux, Cheyenne, and Arapaho protested the trespassing of their sacred grounds.

36 In 1874, Colonel George A. Custer reported that the Black Hills had gold “from the grass roots down,” a gold rush was on in the Black Hills.

37 In early June 1876, the Sioux and Cheyenne held a sun dance, during which Sitting Bull had a vision of soldiers and some Native Americans falling from their horses.

38 When Colonel Custer and his troops reached the Little Big Horn River, the Native Americans were ready for them.

39 Led by Crazy Horse, Gall, and Sitting Bull, the warriors, with raised spears and rifles, outflanked and crushed Custer’s troops.


41 Within an hour, Custer and all of the men of the Seventh Cavalry were dead.

42 By late 1876, the Sioux were beaten
By late 1876, the Sioux were beaten. Sitting Bull and a few followers took refuge in Canada, where they remained until 1881.

43 Eventually, to prevent his people’s starvation, Sitting Bull was forced to surrender.

44 Sadly, in 1885, Sitting Bull appeared in William F
Sadly, in 1885, Sitting Bull appeared in William F. “Buffalo Bill” Cody’s Wild West Show.

45 Many Indian sympathizers supported assimilation, a plan under which Native Americans would give up their beliefs and way of life and become part of the white culture. Before and After.

46 In 1887, Congress passed the Dawes Act aiming to “Americanize” the Native Americans. The act broke up the reservations and gave some of the reservation land to individual Native Americans, 160 acres to each head of household and 80 acres to each unmarried adult. Indian boarding school in Colorado.

47 The government sold the remainder of the reservations to settlers, and the resulting income would be used by Native Americans to buy farm equipment.

48 By 1932, whites had taken about two-thirds of the territory that had been set aside for Native Americans. In the end, the Native Americans received no money from the sale of these lands.

49 Perhaps the most significant blow to tribal life on the plains was the destruction of the buffalo. Tourists and fur traders shot buffalo for sport.

50 In 1800, approximately 65 million buffalo roamed the plains, by 1890, fewer than 1000 remained.

51 The Sioux continued to suffer poverty and disease
The Sioux continued to suffer poverty and disease. In desperation, they turned to a Holy Man who promised that if the Sioux performed a ritual called the Ghost Dance, Native Americans lands and their way of life would be restored.

52 The Ghost Dance movement alarmed military leaders, who then ordered the arrest of Sitting Bull. Sitting Bull’s bodyguard shot one of police. The police then killed Sitting Bull. The remaining Sioux fled.

53 On December 28, 1890, the Seventh Cavalry, rounded up about 350 starving and freezing Sioux and took them to a camp at Wounded Knee Creek in South Dakota.

54 The next day, the soldiers demanded that the Native Americans give up their weapons. A shot was fired, and soldiers opened fire with deadly cannons.

55 Within minutes, the Seventh Cavalry slaughtered 300 unarmed Native Americans, including several children. The soldiers left the corpses to freeze on the ground. The Battle of Wounded Knee brought the Indian wars to an end.

56 CATTLE With buffalos gone, horses and cattle take center stage in Great Plains Mexicans taught settlers how to manage large herds Animals were called Texas longhorns, sturdy, short-tempered breeds

57 The “cowboy’s” way of life stemmed from Spanish ranchers in Mexico.
Cowboy’s clothes, food, vocabulary was influenced by the Mexican vaquero; his leather overalls, called chaparreras became known as “chaps”; and he ate charqui, known as “jerky”. The Spanish bronco caballo (rough horse) became known as the bronco.

58 Where’s the Beef??? Cowboys weren’t in great demand until railroads reached the Great Plains. After the Civil War, demand for beef skyrocketed because of fast-growing cities.

59 Texas ranchers were having a hard time shipping the cattle to Chicago in 1865/66 because of the route they had to take to get to the railroads in Missouri. So…

60 Cattle dealer Joseph McCoy created a shipping yard through several towns where the trails and railroad came together. He built cattle pens, a hotel and helped survey the Chisholm Trail, a major cattle route from San Antonio, Texas through Oklahoma to Kansas.

61 It was a great success. Ranchers were hiring cowboys to drive their cattle to Abilene, Kansas.


63 A Cowboy’s Day About 25% of these cowboys were African-American; 12% were Mexican. Real-life cowboys did nonstop work, working 10 to 14 hours a day on a ranch and 14 or more on the trail. As young as 15 and done by 40. Trail horse usually belonged to his boss. Guns were used to protect herd from diseased animals, not to hurt or chase outlaws.

64 A Cowboy’s Day cont’d Season began in the spring. They gathered and branded their herd and then the trail boss would choose a crew for the long drive – which lasted about 3 months.

65 It was 1 cowboy for every cattle; a cook who drove a chuck wagon and set up camp; and a wrangler who cared for the extra horses. Trail boss earned about $100 a month for supervising the drive.

66 Cowboy is in saddle from dawn to dusk
Cowboy is in saddle from dawn to dusk. He sleeps on the ground and bathes in rivers. They risked death and loss every day and lightning was a constant danger as well.

67 End of Open Range Between , dry summers, bad winters, overgrazing of land and invention of barbed wire wiped out whole herds.

68 Ranchers then started caring for smaller herds that would yield more meat per animal. They fenced the land with barbed wire (Joseph F. Glidden invented it). The era of wide open West was over!

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