The American West in the Late 1800s Welcome to Discovery Education Player CHANGES IN THE WEST • “Go West young man!” • Who does this create problems for? • By the 1840s most Native Americans lived west of the Mississippi River on land that was not desirable to whites • The California gold rush, the building of the Transcontinental RR, and the discovery of rich farmland on the Great Plains led to more whites moving west more problems for Native Americans NATIVE AMERICANS FIGHT BACK • From the 1850s to 1890, a series of wars were fought by Native Americans who were being forced onto reservations • Why would Native Americans fight being told to stay within certain boundaries? • Why would federal troops eventually win these wars? • Superior technology and divisions among tribes THE SIOUX WARS 1865 Federal gov’t decides to build a road through Sioux territory, Sioux warriors resist violently leading to Red Cloud’s War 1867 War ends, Sioux agree to live on reservation in Dakota territory 1875 Federal gov’t allows miners to search for gold on Sioux res. Second Sioux War begins, Chief Sitting Bull leads many off reservation 1876 Sitting Bull’s warriors destroy Custer’s army at Battle of the Little Bighorn, more troops sent, most Sioux move onto reservations 1890 At the Massacre of Wounded Knee, Am. Soldiers open fire on unarmed Sioux killing almost 300 BrainPOP Wounded Knee Massacre.mht America The Story of Us — The Last of the Sioux — History.com Videos DAWES ACT 1887 • Assimilation – plan for Native Americans to give up their way of life and be part of white culture, “Americanized” • The Act broke up reservations to give to individual Native Americans • By 1932 whites had about 2/3 of this territory, Natives had no land, and no money Regents Questions In the period from 1860 to 1890, which experience was shared by most Native Americans living in western states? 1. 2. 3. 4. They maintained control of their traditional lands. They benefited economically from government policy. They became farmers and small business owners. They were forced to live on reservations. In the late 1800’s, the goal of the Federal Government’s policy toward Native American Indians was to 1. destroy tribal bonds and thus weaken their traditional cultural values 2. grant them full citizenship and due process 3. give their tribal groups authority over their own affairs 4. increase the land holdings of western tribes The aim of the Dawes Act of 1887 was to 1. 2. 3. 4. restore previously taken land to Native American Indian tribes maintain traditional Native American Indian cultures assimilate Native American Indians into American culture end all governmental contact with Native American Indians DESTRUCTION OF BUFFALO • Tourists, fur traders, and buffalo hunters destroyed the Plains Indians’ main source of food, clothing, shelter, and fuel • # of buffalo on Plains went from 65 million in 1800 to lest than 1000 by 1890! America The Story of Us — American Buffalo — History.com Videos • Welcome to Discovery Education Player • TREATMENT OF INDIANS TRANSCONTINENTAL RAILROAD • The Union Pacific and Central Pacific RR companies, with a lot of federal $, build a RR from the western Plains to the Pacific Ocean • Completed in 1869, it opens the west to settlers • Congress gives the RR companies land grants to build, and sells other land to ordinary Americans • From 1865-1900, RR tracks increase from 35,000 miles to 260,000 miles COWBOYS, GOLD MINERS, AND PIONEERS • • • • • • • • • Cattle become big business on the Great Plains Cowboys learn from Mexican ranchers Texas longhorns brought from Spain Chaparreras (leather overalls) – chaps Charqui – jerky Bronco caballo (rough horse) – bronco Mestenos (stray horses) – mustangs Vaquero – buckaroo Rancho, rodeo, corral • 25% of cowboys were African American • 12% were Mexican • After the Civil War, demand for beef grew in growing cities • When railroads reached the Plains, cattle could be shipped from cities like Abilene and Dodge City Kansas to stock yards and meat packing centers like Chicago • Farmers sometimes angered ranchers, who preferred grazing their cattle on the “open range.” by using barbed wire to fence off their lands • Gun battles broke out between different factions of ranchers, farmers, vigilantes and outlaws The Wild West PIONEERS 1862 Homestead Act• gave 160 acres of free land to any citizen head of household • 600,000 families move west between 18621900 • Several thousand were EXIDUSTER- freed slaves who wanted to leave postReconstruction South Regents Questions The Homestead Act was important in the growth of the West because it 1. set aside reservations for Native American Indians 2. created the Department of Agriculture to aid farmers 3. encouraged settlement of the Great Plains 4. provided land to build a canal system The Homestead Act of 1862 helped the development of the West by 1. providing free land to settlers 2. granting land for construction of transcontinental railroads 3. allowing slavery to spread to the territories 4. placing Native American Indians on reservations SOONER STATE • 1889 land giveaway led to thousands to grab 2 million acres in a massive land rush • Some took land sooner than they were supposed to • Far and Away - Land Rush Scene – YouTube • The frontier is gone by 1890 CHALLENGES ON THE PLAINS • Droughts, floods, blizzards, fires, and locust plagues, oh my! • Settlers built dugout homes and soddies and had to be very self-sufficient • Donner Party America The Story of Us — History.com Videos NEW TECHNOLOGY • • • • • 1837 Steel plow – John Deere 1847 reaper – Cyrus McCormick 1874 barbed wire 1841 grain drill to plant seeds 1850s mowing, threshing and haying machines • 1880s giant harvester and thresher combine FARMERS IN DEBT • Farmland was free or very cheap, but machines, tools, buildings, seeds, horses and transportation on RRs to markets were not • Farmers were forced to take out loans from banks and credit from merchants • Several years of bad weather, poor crops and low prices left farmers unable to repay their debts • Banks would take possession of their farms foreclosure • FARMERS OF THE WEST, UNITE!