Westward Expansion


Westward Expansion 1865-1914

U.S. Land Acquired in the 1800s

Manifest Destiny

• Americans believed they should own all the land from the Atlantic Ocean to the Pacific Ocean; coast to coast.

The Gold Rush!


Gold Rush-1849 - 1870

• Gold was discovered in California in 1849.

• In 1858 Gold was discovered in Colorado, near Pikes Peak. • Silver was soon discovered in Leadville, CO. (this all helped Denver become the 2 nd largest city in the west only San Francisco was ahead.

Miners Terms


- a long alignment of hard-rock gold deposits stretching northwest to southeast in the Sierra Nevada of California


also known as “vein” filled with mineral in the rock. (Big Chunk)

Miners Terms


- act of searching for gold, silver, copper, lead, or any other valuable metal.


those who fought over claims and gold. In need of “law and order”

Vigilance Committees-

self appointed volunteers who would track down and punish wrongdoers.

Gold Rush-1849 - 1870

• Gold was discovered in California in 1849.

• Discuss CA up until this Point…Who are those that live there?

• The Comstock Lode, a Bonanza, was later discovered.

• People who moved west to mine are called miners.

• Immigrants, such as Mexicans, Chinese and the Irish, went to work in the mines.

• Immigrants were treated poorly with long hours, low pay and very dangerous work.

People moved West to find gold.

Henry Comstock American miner who “claimed” the largest greatest single mineral strike in history.

Boom towns and Ghost towns.

Gold or Silver strike 1. Miners arrive and build a small town.

2. More people come to sell supplies.

3. Real houses get built.

Boom Town 1. Gold or silver production falls – decreases.

2. Miners move on.

3. The town is abandoned.

Ghost Town.

Working on the mine.

What does this picture say about working on a mine?

African Americans Moved West.

African Americans were called Exodusters.

• Many African Americans moved to the West from the 1840s to late 1890s.

• They were escaping the difficult life in the South where Whites practiced Jim Crow Laws and denied African Americans their new Constitutional Rights.

Why were African Americans called Exodusters?

• African Americans were called Exodusters after the book from the Bible called the


. • This book described how the Jews escaped from slavery in Egypt. • The African Americans were escaping slavery in the South, just as Jews escaped slavery from Egypt. That is why they were called Exodusters.


Oklahoma Land Rush


Oklahoma Land Rush of 1889

was the first land rush Unassigned Lands .

into the “Sooners”- people who participated in the run entered the unoccupied land early and hid there until the legal time of entry to lay quick claim to some of the most choice homesteads.

Southwest Hispanic Culture

In California, Spanish Mission styles were gone..But in their place HACIENDAS, which were ranches that covered thousands of acres. But with the GOLD RUSH, this dramatically changed things and led to many conflicts in the future.

The Cattle Kingdom.


Cowboys and Vaqueros.

Ranchers and Cowhands drove the cattle to the Transcontinental Railroad.

Joseph McCoy- Kansas cowboy, who urged Texas ranchers to send their herds to use the Union Pacific to transport Cattle. Nat Love- Famous Black cowboy

Why did the Cattle Kingdom fail?


The Homestead Act of 1862.

An application for land.

• People staked their claim by finding a section of land that was marked.

• Then they registered the piece of land with the government.

• After cultivating the land for five years, it was theirs for free.


• People moved West to stake their claim.


an American farmer who patented barbed wire.

Plowfarms, plows and families in front of their sodhouses.

A difficult life for the farmers.

• Farmers had to cut through thick, hard earth called sod.

• Winters were harsh; cold, windy with a lot of snowstorms called blizzards.

• Summers were hot and had little rain.

• Farmers had to use a technique called

dry farming

(growing crops that needed little water.) • Sometimes grasshoppers would eat all the crops.

Farmers in crisis.

• Farmers could not repay their debts.

• The Populist party tried to help farmers. They wanted government to reduce railroad rates and to help with (falling) decreasing prices for grain.

• Populists wanted all the silver mined in the West to be turned into coinage (money).

• Free silver would make it easier for farmers to repay their debts. • The United States did not turn silver into money.

The Transcontinental Railroad finished in 1869.

Many Immigrants, such as Irish, Mexicans and Chinese were building the Railroad.

“Gandy Dancers” – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=02 5QQwTwzdU

Blue skies and open prairies.

The location of the Great Plains.

These are the states on the Plains.

• Homesteaders came to the Plains to farm the land.

• Miners searched for gold.

• Railroad companies built the train.

• Exodusters came to Kansas to start a new life and later became miners and Homesteaders and worked on the railroad.

• Immigrants worked on railroads and in mines and became Homesteaders.

Native American Land

• Native Americans lived here first.

• Native Americans and Whites came into bloody conflicts over the land.

• They tried to protect their lands, but finally, the United States government forced them onto reservations.

Buffalo roamed the Plains.

Plains Indians hunt the buffalo.

The buffalo is used for tepees, clothes, tools, food and more.

The buffalo hide business becomes popular and settlers kill millions of buffalo.


• The United States government




with the Native Americans not to fight and not to touch certain areas of their land.

• For example, Cheyenne

The Fort Laramie Treaty

was a treaty made with the Cheyenne tribe, where Americans said an area of land belonged to the


• However, when


Americans forced them to sign a new treaty giving up the land.

was discovered there, the • The United States government


many treaties with the Native Americans.

Many Wars. Many Heroes.

Many Wars Many Heroes

• Sioux War of 1876 • The Apache Wars • Battle of Little Bighorn •

Sitting Bull and Crazy Horse Geronimo Lakotas & Cheyenne

• Nez Perces

Chief Joseph

Indians defend their lands, but are defeated in the end. Sand Creek Massacre- What Happened?

Native Americans are forced onto reservations.

The Dawes Act divided Indian land and gave some to the Indians in hopes they would become farmers. But they sold it to Whites for low prices.

Native Americans prayed for a new world without Whites in the Ghost Dance Religion.

Laws today protect Native American Reservations.