Settling the West

Unit 7- Maturing of an Industrial Society
1. Settling the West 1860-1890
Manifest Destiny, the Homestead Act, discovery of gold, adventure, opportunity, religious freedom, and the
building of the Transcontinental RR all contributed to the rapid settlement of lands west of the Mississippi
River. The West was a “land of conflict” as farmers, ranchers, miners, Mexicans, and Native Americans
competed for scarce resources. Life was difficult in the West, as many groups had to adapt to their
environment to survive. Failed government policies, such as the reservation system, broken treaties, and the
Dawes Act led to numerous conflicts with Native Americans. These conflicts ended with the massacre of
Native Americans at Wounded Knee.
Essential Questions
1. Why did people migrate West?
2. Why was the West a land of conflict?
Boom towns
3. How did different groups of people interact with
their environment to meet their needs?
Ghost towns
Transcontinental Railroad / Golden spike
Homestead Act
4. What political, economic, and social effects did
Western settlement have on the nation?
Cattle drive/cow towns
5. What economic impact did the Transcontinental
Railroad have on our nation?
Oklahoma land rush
Buffalo soldiers
Plains Indians/Sioux
6. Why weren’t U.S. government policies in
dealing with Native Americans more successful?
Ghost dance
7. What role did each of the following play in the
settling of the West?
Populist (Party) Movement
George Custer/Battle of Little Big Horn
William Jennings Bryan
Chief JosephGrange
Sitting BullExtra Notes-
Dawes Act-
Battle of Wounded Knee Creek-