THE AMERICAN WEST 1865-1900 Mining Frontier • Discovery of gold led massive migration and immigration to California. • 1/3 of western miners were Chinese immigrants. • Gave people riches and destroyed the environment. What was life like for the Indians on the Great Plains? • Life centered around horses and buffalo. • The buffalo provided food, clothing, and shelter. • Small extended family groups. • Children learned skills that they would need from their parents. What was the Sand Creek Massacre? • In 1864, settlers were moving into areas of Colorado where the Cheyenne Indians lived. • The Army took the side of the settlers and killed about 200 Cheyenne. What was the Treaty of Fort Laramie? • Signed in 1868 in which the Sioux agreed to live on a reservation. • However, there were Native Americans who did not sign this treaty. Who was Sitting Bull? • Leader of the Sioux Indian Nation. • Did not sign the Treaty of Fort Laramie. • Defeated General Custer at the Battle of Little Bighorn in 1876. • Months later the Sioux were defeated. Who was General Custer? • Led American cavalry to fight Sioux Indians at the Battle of Little Bighorn. • All of Custer’s men were killed in what is famously known as Custer’s Last Stand. Song: Please Mr. Custer • #1 Hit in 1960 • Racist terms like “injun” and “redskins” • Kemo Sabe= Friend • Voice in song does not want to fight Sioux because he is afraid of being scalped. What is assimilation? • Native Americans would give up their beliefs and culture and become a part of white culture. • Education would be a key part of becoming “American.” Helen Hunt Jackson • Wrote about the injustices of the American government towards the American Indian in the book A Century of Dishonor. • Most Americans however still favored assimilation. What was the Dawes Act (1887)? • Act broke up reservations and gave some land to each Native American family for farming. • Native Americans were cheated out of the best land. • Whites had killed most of the buffalo. What was the Battle of Wounded Knee? • The Sioux Indians performed the Ghost Dance to try and bring the buffalo back. • The Ghost Dance made the Army nervous. • In 1890, the Army killed 300 unarmed Sioux. What were longhorns? • Sturdy cattle accustomed to grasslands. • Brought to the American cowboy from Spanish ranchers in Mexico. What was the Chisholm Trail? • Growing cities increased the demand for beef. • Cattle ranchers drove their cattle along the Chisholm trail. • Stretched from San Antonio, Texas to Kansas where cattle was shipped by rail to Chicago. What was life like for a cowboy? • Worked 10-14 hours a day in extreme temperatures. • In the winter, cowboys lived off savings did odd jobs on ranches. • In the spring, cowboys rounded up cattle on long drives. Frederick Jackson Turner • Wrote The Significance of the American Frontier (1893) • The frontier experience was an example of independence and individualism. • Forced people to be inventive and creative as part of the American spirit. • Worried that the closing of the frontier would lead to social and class conflict. What was the Homestead Act (1862)? • Government offered 160 acres of free land to anyone who would farm it for five years. • By 1900, 400,000 homesteaders had settled on the Great Plains. • Only 10% were settled by families. Who were the exodusters? • African Americans who moved from the postReconstruction South to Kansas. What were soddys? • Homes built in the Great Plains region. • Homes were dug into the sides of hills or made from sod. • Warm in winter and cool in the summer. • Little light or air in the home. What was the Morrill Act? • Helped establish agricultural colleges. (Example: Virginia Tech, West Virginia University) • Established experiment stations to develop new types of crops and growing techniques. What were bonanza farms? • Large, single crop farms in the Great Plains. • Bonanza farms folded because of droughts between 1885 and 1890. Who was Billy the Kid? • Famous 19th century American frontier outlaw. • Bragged that he killed 21 men, but most think he killed 9. • Killed at the age of 21. • Symbolized the lawlessness of the American West in the 1880’s. Song: The Ballad of Billy the Kid • Recorded by Billy Joel in the 1970’s. • Billy the Kid has become a American legend. • Many movies, TV Shows, and songs have been made in his honor. Who was Oliver Hudson Kelley? • Started an organization called the Grange movement. • Original purpose was to provide a place for farm families to discuss social and educational issues. • Spent most of time fighting railroads. What was the Farmers’ Alliance? • Organizations that included teachers, preachers, and newspaper editors who sympathized with farmers. • Educated farmers about lower interest rates and protests against railroads. What is Populism? • Pushed for reforms for farmers. • Called for direct election of senators and secret ballot. • Strong 3rd party in election of 1892 and 1896. What is bimetallism? • A monetary system in which government would give people either gold or silver in exchange for paper currency or checks. • Populists were for bimetallism like William Jennings Bryan. • Silverites favored bimetallism because more dollars would be available and prices and wages would rise. Who was William Jennings Bryan? • Leader of the Populist Movement • Famous Cross of Gold Speech in support of bimetallism • Supported cause of the farmers • Lost 3 presidential elections (1896, 1900, 1908) Who was William McKinley? • Elected President in 1896 and 1900. • Supported the gold standard. • Protected the interests of American big business How is the Wizard of Oz symbolize Populism? • Dorothy= average American, kindhearted • Kansas= Populist stronghold • Scarecrow= Midwestern farmers • Tin Man= Industrial workers Wizard of Oz Symbolism (continued) • Cowardly Lion= William Jennings Bryan • Ruby(Silver) Slippers= bimetallism • Yellow Brick Road= gold standard • Emerald City= Washington D.C. Wizard of Oz Symbolism (Continued) • Wizard of Oz= President Grover Cleveland • Glinda the Good Witch= Populists from Midwest and South • Wicked Witch of the West= Drought • Oz= ounce Wizard of Oz (Symbolism) • Munchkins= little people enslaved by the Wicked Witch of the East (industrial/banking interests in cities) • Winged Monkeys= Indians of the Great Plains What was the gold standard? • Backing dollars solely with gold. • “Gold bugs” favored gold because prices would be kept from rising. • Republicans like William McKinley supported gold standard.