westward expansion ppt

and the West
The Essentials:
AH2.H.3 - Understand the factors that led to exploration,
settlement, movement, and expansion and their impact on
United States development over time.
Class objectives: Students should be able to understand…
 How and why the birth of the cattle industry led to the era of
the American cowboy and new patterns of migration and
settlement in the southwestern United States.
 How and why aridity, availability of land and new land laws
influenced the westward migration and settlement of various
groups, such as homesteaders and “sodbusters”.
Homestead Act
 $10 fee laid claim to 160 acres
of public land; occupant
received title after living there
for 5 years
 Anyone could file a claim, except
former Confederates!
 1.6 million homesteads were
Morrill Land-Grant Act
States were awarded 30,000 acres of
federal land for each member of the state’s
Congressional delegation
 States could use or sell that land to fund
the creation of colleges which would teach
agricultural and military skills
 Colleges started under the Morrill Act
include Auburn, UConn, Florida, Georgia,
Purdue, Iowa St., Kansas St., Kentucky,
LSU, Maryland, MIT, Michigan State,
Nebraska, Ohio St., Penn St., Clemson,
Tennessee, Va. Tech, & NCSU
Oklahoma Land Rush
As available land in the west began to
disappear, pressure built to open the
Indian Territory (Oklahoma) to settlers
1889: Congress agreed to open the
Territory to white settlers
April 22, 1889: Thousands gathered on
the border to race to claim a share of 2
million acres; some (called “Sooners”)
snuck into the territory early to claim
the best lands
"Far & Away"
Spanish had introduced cattle to the region in the
1600s; herds had been left to roam free and had
evolved into the tough, lean Texas Longhorns
Most cattle ranching took place in New Mexico &
Early ranchers took advantage of the Open Range ,
the vast open grasslands of the Great Plains owned by
the government
During the Civil War, beef prices soared due to a kill
off of Eastern cattle to feed troops
Railroads built in 1860s allowed western cattle to be
moved east to meet beef demands
Cattle were driven north out of Texas to railheads in
Abilene & Dodge City, KS and Sedalia, MO using
routes such as the Chisholm Trail
Cowboys were a mix of former Confederate soldiers,
Hispanics, and freed slaves
Need for a Transcontinental Railroad
To connect East Coast to Oregon and
 Would reduce travel time from months to days
 Would lead to growth along the rail line
 But where should it be built?
 Southerners wanted a route out of New
Orleans, which required purchase of land
from Mexico (Gadsden Purchase) arranged
by Secretary of War Jefferson Davis
 Northerners wanted a route out of Chicago,
but Southerners blocked their efforts in hopes
that they could barter the route for an
expansion of slavery
Pacific Railway Act
 Provided for construction of a
transcontinental railroad as a
joint effort between the Union
Pacific and Central Pacific
 Both companies were given land
along the right-of-way to
encourage competition and rapid
The Union Pacific
Led by Grenville Dodge,
former union general known
for his organizational and
managerial skills
 Started rail line heading west
out of Omaha Nebraska in
Union Pacific Workers
Civil War vets
Irish immigrants
Bankrupt miners and farmers
10,000 men living in camps
along the tracks and in rolling
Lots of rough living – gambling,
drinking, fighting
The Central Pacific
Organized in California under 4
investors, including Leland
Stanford, future governor of
California and founder of Stanford
Hired 10,000 Chinese laborers
Had drawback of having to have all
equipment for railroad and for
construction brought by ship
Promontory, Utah 1869
Time Zones Introduced
Time had been measured purely
by the sun’s position, so what time
it was determined locally
 1883: American Railway
Association divided nation into 4
time zones to ease railroad
scheduling and improve safety by
eliminating wrecks caused by
discrepancies in how time was
Standardization of Trains
Hundreds of railroads
consolidated into just 7 major
companies, increasing efficiency,
lowering shipping and travel
costs, and allowing the
development of improved
technologies which further
increased efficiency
 Railroads tied America’s regions
together after the war, helping
end sectionalism
The Land Grant System
Federal government gave land to
railroad companies alongside
their rail lines to encourage
 Railroads sold this land to
settlers to raise the capital
needed to build the railroad
 Over 120 million acres of public
lands were given to rail
companies in mid-1800s
Plow Technology
Jethro Wood patented an ironbladed plow in 1819
 John Deere patented a steelbladed plow in 1837 that could
cut through tough sod of the
Great Plains
 Steel plows were the only way
for “sodbusters” to farm the
prairie, but also led to the
breakdown of prairie soils and
loss of topsoil to wind & water
Mechanical Reaper
Developed by Cyrus
McCormick in 1834
 Machine pulled by a horse
could harvest far more grain
than a man swinging a
scythe, led to farmers
planting more acreage and
an increase in grain
Plant seeds deep in the ground
where there is enough moisture
to allow them to germinate
 Doesn’t require surface watering
or depend as heavily on regular
 Mainly used for wheat and corn
farming in the Great Plains
The Wheat Belt
Range Wars
As farmers moved onto the
plains, they needed to define and
enclose their fields.
 As sheep ranchers moved in,
they needed access to water and
 Both groups were in conflict with
the cattle ranchers who
depended on the open range to
graze and move their herds.
 Brief but violent range wars
became common.
Barbed Wire Ends the Open Range Era
Invented by Joseph Glidden in
 Allowed huge areas of land to be
fenced off cheaply and easily
 Allowed farmers and sheep
ranchers to fence in the prairie
and shut down routes (like the
Chisholm Trail) for driving cattle
 Forced cattle ranchers to change
their practices, organize defined,
enclosed ranches
Farmers Fall on Hard Times
In 1880s, a serious drought
 In 1890s, excessive wheat
production caused prices to
 Farmers mortgaged their land
to banks to survive, but often
lost their land when they
couldn’t meet their mortgage
Commercial Farming
Practiced mechanized farming
Usually 50,000+ acres
Called “bonanza farms”
Massive investment was required
in land and equipment
Required hired laborers (most
regular farms were family
Women in the West
Outnumbered by men, so they had more
Could own property & businesses, became
influential community leaders
Most were farmwives
Some worked as cooks or laundresses
Some worked at “hurdy-gurdy” houses
A few were adventurers, such as Annie
Oakley and Calamity Jane Burke
Squirrel Tooth Alice
Born as Libby Thompson in 1855 in Belton, Texas,
Squirrel Tooth Alice received her name due to a gap
between her front teeth and her penchant for keeping
prairie dogs as pets. She was kidnapped as a young
girl by the Comanche tribe. Kept for three years, she
was shunned by society as a "marked" woman upon
her release.
 At the age of 14 years old, she ran away to Abilene,
Kansas, and became a dance hall girl and prostitute.
After marrying Billy Thompson in 1873, she moved
from Kansas to Texas to Colorado.
 In Sweetwater, she and her husband bought a ranch,
and she opened a dance hall and successful brothel.
She bore nine children (three of which were said to
be her husband's), and retired successfully in 1921 at
the age of 66.
Immigrants in the West
 Thousands of Irish immigrants
flooded the Midwest in the
1840s through 1870s
 Thousands of Chinese
immigrants arrived in California
to seek job opportunities
 Both groups would play a key
role in building the West’s
African-Americans in the West
Played a major role in the
development of the West
 Worked on the railroads
 Worked as cowboys
 Settled in as farmers
 Served as soldiers in the Indian
“Buffalo soldiers”
4 all-black regiments of the US
Army created in 1866
 Nicknamed “buffalo soldiers” by
the Native Americans they
fought against for their dark,
curly hair and fierce fighting
ability, both of which reminded
Indians of the buffalo
The Exodusters:
Exodusters was a name given to African Americans
who fled the Southern United States for Kansas in
1879 and 1880.
 After the end of Reconstruction, racial oppression and
rumors of the reinstitution of slavery led many
freedmen to seek a new place to live.
 Many migrated to, and then settled, primarily in
Kansas because of its fame as the land of the
abolitionist John Brown (1800–1859).
 The state was reputed to be more progressive and
tolerant than most others. Separatist leaders such as
Benjamin "Pap" Singleton had promoted it among
black Americans.