Chapter 6
• Civil War Destruction
• Eastern Farmland Costs
• Failed Entrepreneurs
• Race and Religious Persecution
• Competition for Jobs in the East
• These are Economic, Social, Cultural
• Free land
• Opportunity to strike it rich
Manifest Destiny Ideology: justify American desire to
expand the United States to the Pacific Ocean
Land: inexpensive - attractive to Americans and
immigrants from East and
Mid West
Religion: free to practice beliefs – Mormons
Railroad: expand = money
Connect East coast to West coast = transport goods and people
-another form of transportation
-helps in unifying country
-helps in communication
Railroad companies pressuring Congress:
*removal of Native Americans
*financial help = Congress provided loans and land grants for
private building of the Transcontinental Railroad
Pacific Railway Acts of 1862 & 1864
*federal subsidies in land and loans for the construction of a
transcontinental railroad across the United States
(1862) - granted 10 alternate sections of public domain land per
mile on both sides of the railway, and it provided loan bonds
for each mile of track laid
(1864) - doubled the size of the land grants and allowed the
railroads to sell their own bonds
Granted to: Union Pacific Railroad and Central Pacific Railroad
(later the Southern Pacific Railroad)
*Railroad company sold land closest to tracks
Interstate Commerce Act 1887
*to regulate the railroad industry
*rates be "reasonable and just”
*railroads had to charge all customers the same
fee for shipping goods
By 1840s and 1850s West attractive to white man
- gold, silver, and other minerals
- land opportunity
Federal Indian Removal Policy – Native Americans resettled in
the West in reservations/reserves
*Indians promised food and clothing but not always received
*U.S. Army in charge of removal and keeping Indians on
Confrontation between White Settlers and Indians
Sand Creek Massacre in Colorado 1864
* Cheyenne & Arapaho encamped in Sand Creek after gold discovered
in their area
*Colorado militia clubbed and scalped Indians even women & children
while they slept
*Colorado militia under Methodist minister, John Chivington
Battle of Little Bighorn 1876
*gold in the Black Hills brought people to Dakotas on Sioux hunting
*Crazy Horse and Sitting Bull lead Indians to drive out the settlers
*George Custer with 211 men verses 2,000 Indians
*Crazy Horse led the charge and killed Custer and his men
Wounded Knee December 29, 1890
*on the Lakota Pine Ridge Indian Reservation in South Dakota
*Came about in response to the Ghost Dance
-Paiute prophet named Wovoka
-Christian Messiah, Jesus Christ, had returned to earth in the form of a Native
-Messiah would raise all the Native American believers above the earth
-white man would disappear from Native lands, buffalo herds and all the other
animals would return in abundance, and the ghosts of their ancestors would
return to earth
-They would then return to earth to live in peace.
*Government was trying to arrest Sitting Bull
*Confrontation ensued and Sitting Bull was killed December 15, 1890
*Troops then went after Indians who fled
*Hostilities at Wounded Knee
*100 innocent lives lost
*Ended the Indian Wars
DAWES ACT (1887)
Native Americans - Assimilation
• Native Americans to be Americanized - adopted the white
man’s ways
• Encouraged to go to boarding schools
Dawes Act: to turn Indians into farmers and land owners
160 acres of reservation land for farming or
320 acres for grazing to each head of an Indian family
Land held by the government for 25 years in trust
Indians be granted citizenship and the land would be theirs
Gold discovered at Sutters Mill California = Gold Rush
Other minerals were silver, lead, and copper
Towns spring up and merchants follow
Some towns were “boomtowns” meaning they were there
as long as the Gold and Silver was there.
• Originally used Placer mining: ancient method of using
water to excavate, transport, concentrate, and recover
heavy minerals from alluvial or placer deposits(natural
concentration of heavy minerals caused by the effect of gravity
on moving particles)
• Once surface ores had been mined big businesses came in and
mined deep seams with dynamite and Hydraulic Drill.
• New type of mining/technology caused damage to
• hydraulic mining washed away hillsides; deposited debris in
canyons & valleys; or caused rivers to clog & flood
• hazardous to miners
• lead poison; toxic fumes; cave-ins, or explosions
• New machinery reduced need for skilled laborer
– Many immigrants (Mexicans and especially Chinese) were
used to do these dangerous jobs for low wages.
• Learned from Mexicans
• Cattle was inexpensive and grass was mostly free since
grazing lands were public lands
• Open-Range System
– Branded cattle, roamed freely, cowboys rounded them up
and drove them to cow towns.
• Joseph Glidden invents barbed wire ending open-range
• Gustavus Swift invents refrigerated railcar to ship meat more
• Reasons suffered economically: ranchers overstock range with
more cattle than land could support; overgrazing produced less
nutritious grasses like sagebrush since land no time to
replenish self with original nutritious grass; droughts in mid
1880s; blizzards of 1886 & 1887
• Adjustments to environment so cattle would not die:
ranchers reduced size of herd; fed hay during winter; ranchers
grew drought resistant grasses; built water wells and installed
wind mills to pump water
Exit Ticket: Match the word with the
correct definition
• Allotment
• Mechanization
• Alturistic
A. To equip with machinery or producing
something with machinery
B. Showing an unselfish concern for the
wellbeing of others
C. The amount of something allocated to a
• Homestead Act - for American settlers
*to benefit small farmers & urban workers
*160 acres for $10.00 registration fee
*Live on land for five years and cultivate it
*Or pay $1.25 an acre after six months of living on land &
cultivating it
• Former Slaves looking for new life, “exodusters” moved to Kansas,
Oklahoma, and Colorado
*Settled the plains and built sod houses
• Morrill Land Grant Act
*purpose of the land-grant colleges was:
*to teach such branches of learning as are related to agriculture and the
mechanic arts
*States sold land to create “land grant” colleges specializing in agriculture
and mechanical arts
Adjustments to environment:
• semi arid and arid area
• not much timber so built houses out of sod brick
• lacked firewood so burned corncobs, twisted wheat, and buffalo or
cattle chips
• used barbed wire for fencing.
• built water wells and installed wind mills to pump water
• Planted hardier crops & able to survive cold winters as drought
resistant wheat & hard winter wheat
• grain elevators to store grain for shipment
• special plows to break tough sod
• Innovations
– Dry farming
– Windmill
– Barbed Wire
• problem of the offer of free land was that the land the settlers
received was usually the worse public lands
• People were encouraged to settle West by land companies,
railroad companies (since they wanted settlers to make their
investments in this new area profitable), and steam line
companies which advertised to Europeans the opportunities in
the American West. These steamship companies wanted to sell
• Also religious and ethnic groups urged people to migrate
• The largest European groups that went West were English,
Irish, Germans, Swedes, Danes, Norwegians, Czechs, French,
Italians, and Russians, but also there were Japanese’s and