Settling the West 1865-1890

Report
Settling the West
1865-1890
Key Question

Why did conflicts arise between Native
Americans & the settlers?

Miners, ranchers, & farmers took Native
Americans’ land & destroyed their source
of food (the buffalo).
Troubled Relations with the Native
Americans
Cultural Preservation vs. Prosperity


Manifest Destiny – the belief that the U.S.
Government & its people had the God given right
to own North America from coast to coast.
Self – Preservation – the Natives fought to
maintain their way of life as settlers poured into
their lands.
Manifest Destiny
An Allegorical Painting by John Gast 1872
Key Question

How did Native Americans respond to
the loss of land from white settlement
of the Great Plains?


Some attacked wagon trains & ranches.
Many went to war against nearby settlers &
the U.S. Army.
Troubled Relations with the
Natives

Reasons for Conflict

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Pioneer Settlement on the Great Plains
Native resistance to the destruction of
their culture
Broken treaties & promises
Revenge on both sides
Slaughter of the Buffalo
Events of the Native Wars
1850 - 1890

Treaty of Fort Laramie (1851)

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Plains tribal leaders representing the Sioux,
Cheyenne, & Arapaho signed this treaty in
Wyoming
The treaty established new boundaries for
tribal lands to allow for more white settlement
Despite the treaty some natives preferred
conflict & resisted reservation life.
Document-Based Questions
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Text p. 407
Questions #21-22
Key Question

For what reasons did the government’s
plans to move the Plains Indians onto
reservations fail?

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
The natives preferred life on the Plains.
Native leaders were pressured into signing
treaties.
Reservations were plagued by poverty,
despair, & corruption.
Events of the Native Wars
1850 - 1890

Sand Creek Massacre (1864)


In response to attacks on miners &
settlers, Colonel John Chivington
attacked a peaceful Cheyenne Village in
Colorado
More than 150 men, woman, & children
were killed
Red Cloud’s War
Events of the Native Wars
1850 - 1890

Red Cloud’s War (1863 - 1866)

Sioux Chief Red Cloud led repeated
attacks against miners & settlers
traveling along the Bozeman Trail in
Montana
 Second Treaty of Fort Laramie (1868)
Little Bighorn
Events of the Native Wars
1850 - 1890

Battle of the Little Bighorn (1876)

Also known as Custer’s Last Stand
Battle of the Little Bighorn

Reasons for Battle:

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
Gold is discovered on the Great Sioux
Reservation in the Black Hills of South Dakota
Thousands of miners & settlers pour into this
land, which is a violation of the 1868 Treaty of
Fort Laramie
The U.S. Government offers to purchase the land,
but some Natives refuse
The U.S. decides to force the “rebel” natives onto
reservations
The Battle:

Lt. Col. George Custer & his 7th Cavalry were
slaughtered by Sitting Bull & Crazy Horse’s Sioux
forces
Battle of the Little Bighorn

The Battle:


Lt. Col. George Custer & his 7th Cavalry were slaughtered by
Sitting Bull & Crazy Horse’s Sioux forces
Significance:


Last major victory for the Natives over the U.S. Government
News reports to the east did not identify an attack by Custer &
his men, but an unnecessary slaughter by the Natives
Nez Perce
Events of the Native Wars
1850 - 1890

Flight of the Nez Perce (1877)

Chief Joseph & his Nez Perce of Washington,
Idaho, & Oregon failed to escape to Canada.
Federal authorities captured them & they were
sent to a reservation in Oklahoma.
Events of the Native Wars
1850 - 1890

Apache Wars (1881-1886)


Geronimo led a band of Apache in
retreat from the U.S. Army throughout
the American Southwest
Due to disease & starvation the Apache
were forced to surrender in 1886.
Wounded Knee
Events of the Native Wars
1850 - 1890

Massacre at Wounded Knee (1890)

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In South Dakota, the U.S. Army responded to the
“Ghost Dance” Movement by arresting a group of
350 Sioux
A disturbance broke out, prompting the soldiers
to open fire killing 90 men & 200 women &
children.
This event brought an end to Native resistance
against the U.S. Government
Events of the Native Wars

1850 - 1890
Changes in Native Policy
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Reservation System – the Natives were
made “wards” of the government & placed
on confined lands
Problems Natives faced on Reservations:
 Forced Assimilation
 Destruction of their traditional way of life
 Starvation & Disease
Dawes Act (1887) – provided each male
head of a Native family 160 acres of
reservation land & provided for U.S.
citizenship
Dawes Act
Key Question

Why do you think the government’s
policy of assimilation of Native
Americans was a failure?


Native Americans were unwilling or unable to
change their way of life.
They received no training in farming & their
allotments were too small to be profitable
“We did not give our country to you; you stole it”
Chief Sitting Bull
Sioux
“It makes my heart sick when I remember all the
good words and all the broken promises”
Chief Joseph
Nez Perce
“Once I moved about like the wind. Now I
surrender to you and that is all”
Geronimo
Apache
Key Questions

For what reasons might Americans have
wanted to move west after the Civil War?

Both white & African Americans sought
new lives & new economic opportunities
Key Questions

How did the Industrial Revolution & an
increase in immigration lead to western
settlement?

The industrial revolution and immigration caused
unemployment in the east.

Machines were taking jobs from workers and
immigrants were willing to work for very low pay.

People moved west to start a new life and get a
new job.
Key Questions

What economic opportunities drew large
numbers of people to the Great Plains?

A large amount of people came to the Great Plains
for ranching, farming, & mining opportunities.
Why did Pioneers move West?


After the arrival of the Industrial Revolution
in the United States, people began to move
west in order for new opportunities to “get
rich quick” or to make a living.
The West provided new opportunities such
as:

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

Working on the Transcontinental Railroad
Cattle Ranching
Farming
Mining
Key Questions

How did the transcontinental railroad
open up the West for settlement?

The transcontinental railroad opened the
west for settlement because it was faster,
cheaper and more reliable form of
transportation to carry people back and
forth from the east coast to the west coast.
Transcontinental Railroad
Transcontinental Railroad
Transcontinental Railroad
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It is considered one of the greatest technological
achievements in U.S. History.
Made it possible for a traveler to complete the trip in
five days for $150
Construction began in 1863
The Central Pacific built east from Sacramento,
California, while the Union Pacific built west from
Omaha, Nebraska
Transcontinental Railroad
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The Transcontinental Railroad was built in six years.
Irish & German immigrants, freed slaves, former
Civil War soldiers, & especially Chinese immigrants
played a role in construction.
The railroad led to the division of the nation into four
standard time zones.
Transcontinental Railroad

On May 10, 1869, at Promontory Summit, Utah, a
golden spike was driven thus completing the
connection of east & west
Cattle Ranching
Key Questions

What was the open range & long drive?

An open range was the thousands of miles
of unfenced grassland. Herding of cattle
across the plains to the cow towns was
known as the “Long Drive”.
Cattle Ranching & the Long Drive
1870
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
Text p. 390-391
Analyzing Visuals #1-2
Key Questions

How did the growth of railroads and cities impact the cattle
business?

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The railroads brought the cattle cross-country to the open plains and
built cow towns there.
What does the American cowboy tradition owe to the Mexican
vaquero?

The American Cowboy tradition owes its clothes, gear and
vocabulary to the Mexican Vaquero. Many of the traditions came
from the Spanish.
Key Questions

How did the ordinary cowboy’s life differ from the
popular conception of it?

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In people’s imaginations, a cowboy were thought to be one of
the most romantic characters in American history but in
reality cowboys lived tough, lonely, and hazardous lives.
Their lives revolved around the cattle drive. They let off steam
by gambling, drinking, and fighting in cow towns.
Many cowboys were not the individuals portrayed by
Hollywood.
Cattle Kingdom
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After the Civil War demand for beef increased
especially in the east’s rapidly growing cities.
Ranchers drove Longhorn cattle from Texas to the
railheads of Kansas (1,000 miles), where they would
be shipped, slaughtered, & sold. Known as the
“Long Drive”
Most cowboys were African-American (25%) or
Mexican-American (12%).
An overabundance of cattle, then harsh winters as
well as dry summers doomed the cattle industry in
the late 1800s.
Cowboys
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Although the image of cowboys is American, his way
of life was adopted directly from Spanish ranchers in
Mexico.
A cowboy’s clothes, food, & vocabulary were
influenced by Mexican Vaqueros.
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Vaqueros were the first to wear spurs
Chaparreras, or leather overalls, became chaps
Charqui, or “jerky” – dried strips of meat – were eaten
Bronco caballo, or rough horse, was a bronco
Mestenos, were mustangs prized by the American
Cowboy
Rancho became the American Ranch
Rodeo was a term borrowed from the Spanish
Cowboys
Homestead Act
Key Questions

Describe the Homestead Act and related federal
government laws to assist settlers in obtaining
western land. Why was 160 acres not adequate?


The Homestead Act provided 160 acres of land to any
individual willing to move west. Each homesteader was
required to live on & improve the land.
The Act served two purposes, relief to those struggling in the
east & the creation of new markets for eastern goods.
Farming the American West
1870-1900
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Text p. 395
Analyzing Geography #1-2
Farming
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Homestead Act (1862) – the U.S. Government
encouraged Western settlement by granting 160
acres of land to any citizen or immigrant willing to
pay a small fee, live on the land for five years, &
make some improvements
Homesteading proved to be difficult due to scarce
rain on the Great Plains & land too small to be
economical. About 1/3rd eventually failed.
Key Questions
What hardships did farmers face in the late 1800s?
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Hard soil that was difficult to plow
Lack of rain; strong blizzards in the winter.
Few trees from which to build shelter; led to sod homes.
Locusts ate the farmers crops and trees.
Due to dry land farmers would have to buy more land so they
could spread out the crops to obtain the nutrients out of the
ground.
Key Questions

What factors helped bring an end to the open range?
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One of the factors that led to the collapse of the open range
was the success of the cattle industry.
The main problem was the number of cattle, next being the
cold weather and harsh winters, and cattle prices were low at
this time.
Sheep herders reduced the size of and fenced pastures, then
eventually developed new farming methods which brought
an end to the open range and farming.
Mining
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Gold & silver discoveries in California, Colorado,
& Nevada caused Americans to rush to the
West for the chance to strike it rich
Boomtowns, a town that has a sudden burst of
economic or population growth, sprang up
throughout the Northwest.
Few prospectors became rich. The most
successful large mining companies & those
businesses started in the boomtowns.
Review

Causes of Settlers Moving West to the Great Plains

Mining
 Deposits of gold, silver, & copper were discovered
 New technologies, such as hydraulic mining, make it
possible to remove vast quantities of ore
Ranching
 Wild longhorn cattle, found to survive well on the Plains,
are available in large numbers to be rounded up.
 Railroads provide an easy way to ship cattle to eastern
markets.
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Farming
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Congress passes the Homestead Act in 1862.
New farming technologies, including new plows, reapers,
& drills, make it possible to farm on the Plains.
Railroads advertise for settlers & bring necessities such as
lumber & coal to the Plains.
Review
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Effects of Settling the Great Plains
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Miners arrive in such large numbers that Colorado, the
Dakotas, Nevada, & Montana are able to become
states.
Hydraulic mining damages the environment in some
areas & interferes with farming.
The Great Plains becomes the nation’s Wheat Belt,
growing tens of thousands of acres of wheat.
The arrival of miners, ranchers, & farmers leads to
conflict with Native Americans.
The federal government fights several wars with the
Native Americans, establishes reservations, & passes
the Dawes Act to assimilate Native Americans.

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