Westward Expansion and Great Plains Study Guide Vast Area to Be Settled Key Question: What were the reasons for westward expansion after the Civil War? L 1. Land ownership opportunities A 2. Adventure R 3. Railroad (technological advances) G 4. Gold and silver E 5. Enslaved (former) African Americans had new beginning The Great Plains (Treeless Wasteland) Key Question: What are the physical features and climate of the Great Plains? F 1. Flatlands that rise gradually from east to west L 2. Low rainfall E 3. Eroded by wind and water D 4. Dust storms were frequent Settling the Great Plains Key Questions: What inventions/adaptations allowed What problems were solved? pioneers to settle the challenging environment of the Great Plains? 1. Barbed wire No trees for fencing 2. Steel plow Hard soil to cut through 3. Dry farming Growing plants with little rain 4. Sod houses How to build a house without wood 5. Beef-cattle raising Could withstand climate with little expense for food 6. Wheat farming Could withstand climate and provided food and income 7. Windmill Finding water deep below ground 8. Transcontinental Railroad Shipping goods and people from East to West for less expense in money and time A Change in Perception Key Question: How did people’s perception of the Great Plains change? 1. Because of new technologies, people saw the Great Plains not as a treeless wasteland, but as a vast area to be settled. American Indians Key Question: Who were the key American Indians? 1. Sitting Bull: a spiritual leader, did not want to be forced from his lands on the Great Plains. He battled with the much smaller United States army and won decisively. Opposed to westward expansion. 2. Geronimo: a leader of American Indians in the Southwest, refused to go to a reservation and sought justice from settlers in the southwest. He was captured, but stories of his bravery made him famous. Opposed to westward expansion. 3. Chief Joseph: leader of the Nez Perce tribe, he tried to bring his people to Canada rather than be forced onto a reservation. He ultimately surrendered rather than see his people die of cold and starvation. Impact on American Indians Key Question: How were American Indians impacted by Westward expansion? A 1. Assimilation attempts and lifestyle changes due to a reduced buffalo population R 2. Relocated from their traditional lands onto reservations. R 3. Reduced population through warfare and disease. O 4. Opposed to westward settlement. In the 1870s there were many battles between the U.S. Army and American Indians. 5. Whites broke treaties which reduced the American Indian homeland. W 6. The Battle of Little Bighorn was a temporary victory for American Indians. They were defending land that had been granted to them in a treaty. Once gold was discovered, the treaty was broken. 7. The Battle of Wounded Knee was the final attack on American Indians. They were celebrating a religious ceremony when the United States’ troops fearing an attack, killed 800 men, women and children.