Post Civil War Expansion Journal: Why move west? • Following the Civil War, thousands of people left their homes and moved west. What might be some reasons why people headed west? List as many as you can. Westward Movement a. b. After the Civil War, there was another migration to the west. The Homestead Act was passed by Congress to encourage people to move west. i. ii. iii. Settlers were offered 160 acres of free land. They had to live on and farm the land for 5 years. From 1862 to 1900, between 400 and 600 thousand families took the government up on their offer. Westward Expansion ii. Many people looked to strike it rich mining for silver and gold. iii. African-Americans, known as exodusters, left the South. Changes to the Territory a. Political: As people moved west, territories were formed that eventually became states. b. Physical: Settlers moved west and changed the physical characteristics of the territory by mining, farming and ranching, and building railroads c. Economic: Land previously unused now had economic value from the above improvements. Clashing Cultures a. The greatest changes were the cultural changes. b. As settlers moved west, they encountered the Native Americans of the Great Plains. c. White settlers viewed the Native Americans as uncivilized savages. d. Their culture revolved around the horse and the buffalo. e. Most tribes had abandoned farming villages and roamed the plains. Clashing Cultures Topic Native American View Settler View Land Share Individuals Own Religion Spirits/Nature Christianity Buffalo Sacred/Way of life Shoot for sport Government Policy a. b. c. d. e. f. The land issue was probably the biggest concern. Because of the differing cultural view on land ownership, problems were bound to occur. Originally, the government had set aside the entire Great Plains as a reservation; however, this policy was changed as the government encouraged westward settlement. Because the government encouraged westward expansion, they were forced to deal with the Native American issue, and the government began to place many restrictions on them. There were often clashes between settlers and Native Americans, because the tribes continued to hunt on their traditional lands, while settlers believed they owned these lands. Closely related to the land issues was the near extinction of the buffalo. The government also officially supported the policy of assimilation by putting the Dawes Act into law in an effort to Americanize the natives. Battles on the Plains i. The Sand Creek Massacre occurred, because General S.R. Curtis wanted “no peace till the Indians suffer more.” ii. In Texas, the Red River War was fought, because the tribes would not agree to living on a reservation. iii. Custer’s Last Stand at Little Bighorn was a major defeat of the U.S. Army by the Sioux. i. ii. iv. The Sioux continued to resist. The leaders wanted to return to their tribal ways, and the ritual of the Ghost Dance was supposed to bring back their old culture and lifestyle. The ritual was outlawed. Eventually the army rounded up 350 cold and hungry Sioux and massacred them at the Battle of the Wounded Knee, after one man resisted an order to give up his weapon.