The Great West & The Agricultural Revolution

The Great West
The Agricultural
Chapter 26
The American West
1,000 miles X 1,000 miles
Mountains, plateaus, deserts and plains
Habitat of the Indian, the buffalo, the
wild horse, the prairie dog, and the
Native Americans – 360,000 by 1860
Indian Conflict
Before the white man, the Comanches
had driven the Apaches of the Central
The Cheyenne abandoned their villages
on the Upper Mississippi & Missouri
Rivers and moved out onto the Plains
Cheyenne and Sioux were deadly and
efficient hunters and warriors mounted
on horses
White Conflict
Whites brought cholera, typhoid,
smallpox, and other diseases to the
Native Americans
Whites also steadily killed the buffalo,
which were the basis of life for the
Plains Indians
The federal government tried to pacify
the Indians with treaties
Fort Laramie (1851)
Fort Atkinson (1853)
Marked the beginning of reservations on
the Plains
Problem: “tribes” and “chiefs” were
figments of white imagination
Indian Wars
Fierce warfare b/t Indians
and the US Army raged
throughout the American
West for domination of the
1/5 of US Army on the
Plains were black soldiers
– called “buffalo soldiers”
by the Indians
Sand Creek Massacre
Colorado – 1864
Col. J.M. Chivington
Militia massacred
400 Indians who
believed they had
been given immunity
Men, women, and
children were killed
while praying for
Bozeman Trail
Montana – 1866
Sioux war party tried to
block construction of
the Bozeman Trail
which led to gold fields
in MT
Cpt. William J.
Fetterman & 81 men
were massacred
Not one single survivor
Treaty of Ft. Laramie
The second treaty of Ft. Laramie, WY
was signed in 1868
The US government abandoned the
Bozeman Trail
The “Great Sioux Reservation” was
given to the Sioux in the Dakota
Little Bighorn
Col. George
Armstrong Custer led
“scientific” expedition
into the Black Hills of
Announced he found
Many rushed in to look
for gold
Battle at Little Bighorn
Custer’s 7th
cavalry (264
men) surprised
by over 2,500
Sioux warriors
Little Bighorn
River in Montana
All Custer’s men
were killed,
including Custer
Nez Perce
Northwestern Oregon
Forced onto a
reservation in 1877
Chief Joseph
surrendered all 700 Nez
Perce after a 1700 mile
Promised land in Idaho
but sent to Kansas
reservation where many
died of illness
Arizona and New Mexico
The most difficult of all
Indians to subdue
Led by Goyahkla or
Geronimo who hated
ALL whites
Finally gave up and
became successful
farmers in Oklahoma
Indian Policy
Whites realized it was easier
to feed than fight the Native
The railroad shot an arrow
right through the heart of the
Indians were ravaged by
white man’s disease and
Extermination of buffalo
ended life on the Plains
American Bison
1600s – 10s of
millions of bison on
the Plains
Staff of life for Indians
Flesh – food
Dung – fuel
Hides – clothes,
lariats, and
The Buffalo
1865- 15,000,000 bison still grazing on the
William “Buffalo Bill” Cody – killed 4,000
buffalo in 18 months while employed by the
Kansas Pacific RR
RR = massacre of buffalo herds
“sportsmen” killed buffalo from moving trains
for entertainment
1885 – fewer than 1,000 buffalo on the Plains
Bureau of Indian Affairs
1824 – Sec of War John C. Calhoun
created the BIA
By 1880s – humanitarians wanted to
treat the Indian kindly and persuade
them to assimilate
Assimilate – to make similar; cause to
Ghost Dance
Outlawed Dancing
1884 – federal government outlawed
the Sun Dance or “Ghost Dance”
“Ghost Dance” appeared on Plains in
the 1880s in the Dakota Sioux. It
promised of the return of the buffalo and
the end of the white man
US Army bloodily stamped it out at the
Battle of Wounded Knee
Battle of Wounded Knee
1890 – US Army attacks and massacres
200 men, women, and children for
performing the dance
This was the last major Indian battle on
the Great Plains
Only 29 US soldiers were killed in the
Dawes Severalty Act of
Sen. Henry Dawes
Act dissolved many
tribes as legal entities,
wiped out tribal
ownership of land, set
up Indian family heads
with 160 acres
Title and citizenship in
25 years if they would
Indian Policy
Indians not granted full citizenship until
Reservation land not allotted was sold
to RR and settlers
Carlisle Indian School
Carlisle, Pennsylvania
Indian children were separated
from their families
“kill the Indian, save the man”
Most famous graduate was Jim
Indian Policy
1900 – Indians had lost 50% of the
156,000,000 acres they held in 1880
Dawes Act forced assimilation and
served as government policy for the
next 50 years until the Indian
Reorganization Act of 1934
1858 – discovery of
gold at Pike’s Peak
in Colorado
Pike’s Peakers
rushed west to rip
up the Rocky
More miners than
Comstock Lode
1859 – Nevada’s Comstock Lode was
Gold and silver worth $340 million
Helped finance the US Civil War
Lucky Strikes at MT, ID and other
western locations
Mining Towns
Where gold was
found, cities, and
saloons sprung up
like magic
Prostitutes, lynch
law, vigilante justice
When the gold was
gone, cities turned
to “ghost towns”
Texas supported
several million
longhorn steers, but
there was no way to
get it to market
This was solved by
the transcontinental
railroad -1869
Meatpacking Industry
Stockyards and
meat packing
became pillar of the
Kansas City and
Meat could be
shipped east in
newly invented
refrigerated cars
Long Drive
Texas cowboys (Black, White, and
Mexican) drove herds of 1,000-10,000
over the Plains until they reached a RR
Cows grazed on free government grass
Dodge City, Kan.; Ogallala, Neb.;
Abilene, Kan.; Cheyenne, Wyo.
“heyday of the cowboy”
Marshall James B.
“Wild Bill”
Famous lawman of the
wild west cowtowns
Shot dead in 1876
Others included Wyatt
Earp, Pat Garrett, and
1866-1888 – over 4
million steers driven
People moving onto the Plains got into
the way of cattle drives
Barbed wire fences cut off the open
Winter of 1886-1887 – 68 degrees
below zero
Homestead Act (1862)
Allowed a settler to acquire as much as 160
acres of land by living on it for five years,
improving the land, and paying a small fee of
Drastic departure from previous policy
Public land had been sold for revenue
500,000 families took advantage of
Homestead Act
2/3 gave up b/c of drought and lack of water
Broke open the
Plains with heavy
steel plows and built
homes out of sod
Many went broke
during the 6 year
drought of 18881892
“There is no God
west of Salina”
Frequent shallow cultivation adapted for arid
western environment
Created finely pulverized surface soil that
contributed to the “Dust Bowl” of the 1930s
45 million acres were eventually irrigated in
17 states by hydraulic engineers who
dammed up the Missouri and Columbia
Colorado 1876
Between 1888-1890
North Dakota
South Dakota
Mormon Utah
Outlawed polygamy
in 1890
Utah admitted to the
United States in
Only OK,NM, and
AZ remained as
Lands of the Indian
were made available
to settlers
Many over-eager &
“Sooners” illegally
left to claim land
early and had to be
April 22, 1889
12pm high noon
50,000 “Boomers” left
to claim land
Known as “89ers”
Guthrie became a tent
city of 10,000
1907 – OK statehood
1890 – End of the
1890 – superintendent of the census
declared that the frontier line was gone
and was no longer evident on mainland
United States
Frederick Jackson Turner – The
Significance of the Frontier in American
History 1893
Americans worried that no more free
land existed
National Parks
Americans worried
that the frontier was
Yellowstone (1872)
Yosemite and
Sequoia (1890)
Frontier was also a
state of mind
S.F. and Denver
Western cities like San Francisco and
Denver became “safety valves” for
failed western farmers
1880 – Rocky Mountains to the Pacific
Coast was the most urbanized region in
America by % of people in cities
American Southwest collides with
Hispanic influence that remains today
High prices convinced farmers to focus
on one “cash” crop
Would use profits to buy foodstuffs and
necessities at the general store
Manufactured goods bought in town or
through mail order
Chicago firm of Aaron Montgomery
Ward made first mail order catalogue in
Bonanza Farms
Enormous factory like farms with large
harvest for profit
1890 – some bonanza farms were over
15,000 acres apiece
Money Supply
Not enough money to go
1870 - $19.42 in money
supply per person
1890 - $22.67 in money
supply per person
Intensified scramble for
available currency
Farmers Take A Stand
1867 – The National
Grange of the
Patrons of
“The Grange”
Org. by Oliver H.
Kelley – a farm
leader from MN
The Grange
1st obj. – enhance the lives of isolated
farmers through social, educational, and
fraternal activities
 Concerts
 Lectures
 Some even joined the Masons
 1875 – 800,000 members in South and Midwest
 Est. co-op stores, and co-op grain elevators
The Greenback Labor
Farmers backed their program for
improving labor laws, and releasing
silver to back the money
Greenbacks elected 14 members to
Prelude To Populism
Farmers’ Alliance – founded in Texas in late
Farmers come together to socialize and help
one another out through co-op buying and
1890 – one million members
Weakened itself by not allowing blacks and
excluding all tenant farmers and farm
Colored Farmers National Alliance – org.
American Populism
Peoples’ Party
Their attack was
against Wall St.
Populists wanted to
nationalize the RR,
telephones, and
Wanted a gradual
income tax
Populist Party
Called for a loan institution for farmers
(a sub-treasury)
Wanted free and unlimited silver
coinage – many Populists believed this
was a cure-all
By 1892, Populists had won several
seats in Congress and James B.
Weaver won over 1 million votes in the
presidential election
“Gen.” Jacob S. Coxey
Wealthy labor leader
who led march on
1894 – called for
public works
program and $500
million in relief
March was a joke –
he was arrested for
walking on the grass
The Pullman Strike
Chicago – 1894
Eugene V. Debs org.
American Railway
Union to strike
Pullman Palace Car
Company – cut
wages 10% for 2nd
Pullman Strike
Wages cut, workers went on strike
Paralyzed RR from Chicago to Pacific
American Federation of Labor (AF of L)
did not support strike
President Cleveland was advised to call
in federal troops to crush the strike
Debs spent 6 months in jail
William McKinley
Republican McKinley defeated
Democrat William Jennings
McKinley – pro-gold
Bryan – pro-silver, wanted 16
oz. silver = 1 oz. gold
McKinley wins 271-176
The Gold Standard Act of 1900
– paper currency redeemable in
gold only
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