Changes on the Western Frontier

Changes on the
Western Frontier
Chapter 5 Notes
Chapter Overview
In the late 1800’s, a growing
number of white settlers move to
the west, and Native Americans
lose their lands. Railroads cross
the nation and both the cattle
kingdom and Populism rise and
What did Westerners know about people
in the East?
What did Easterners know about people in
the West?
Great Plains
 Grassland
extending through
the west-central
portion of the U.S.
 Who
the Great Plains?
Great Plains
More developed than Easterners thought
-Plant crops
-Tribal law (Counsel) -Spiritual systems
-Trade-Crafts & Tools -Use of Buffalo
-Guns and Horses (Mobility)
 Different
beliefs about LAND
 Great Plains = Unsettled land
 1858—Discovery of Gold
in Colorado drew thousands of miners
– Boomtowns
 1850’s
Government began to define
specific boundaries for each tribe
 1864—Massacre at Sand Creek
– Cheyenne returned to Sand Creek, CO
for winter
– U.S. troops attacked, killing 150, mostly
women and children
 Bozeman
–Ran through Sioux hunting ground
–U.S. troops attacked by Crazy Horse
–U.S. agreed to close trail
 Treaty of Ft. Laramie (1868)
– Sioux forced to live on a reservation
 1874—George
A. Custer…”Black Hills
have Gold!”
 Gold rush invaded Sioux land
 Custer’s Last Stand, Little Big Horn
– Sioux attacked, within hours, Custer and all
his men were dead
 1876—Sioux
to Canada
were beaten and went
Natives resisted forced treaties
– “[We] have been taught to hunt and live on
the game. You tell us that we must learn to
farm, live in one house, and take on your
ways. Suppose the people living beyond the
great sea should come and tell you that you
must stop farming, and kill your cattle, and
take your houses and lands, what would you
do? Would you not fight them?”
 Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee
 Assimilation—Indians
give up their
beliefs and way of life to become part
of white culture
 Dawes Act (1887)
– Broke up reservations, gave land to individual
– 160 acres to each head of household
– 80 acres to unmarried adults
– Remaining land went to settlers
– Income to Native Americans for farming
– Result?
Battle at Wounded Knee (1890)
– Result of Ghost Dance Movement
– U.S. officials alarmed, order Sitting Bull to be
– Took Sioux to Wounded Knee camp and
demanded all their weapons
– Within minutes 300 unarmed Native Americans
were killed
 **Brought Indian Wars to an end**
Ranching became part of the Great Plains
 Learned from Mexican neighbors
 “Vaquero” = “Cowboy”
 As cities developed need for beef grew
 Chisholm Trail—Major cattle route from
San Antonio, TX to Kansas
– Shipping yards where trails and railroads
come together
Heyday of Cowboy
55,000 cowboys worked the plains (1866-1885)
 10-14 Hour days
 As young as 15, retired by 40
 Cattle had to be rounded up, branded and sent
out on the long drive
– 1 cowboy for every 250-300 head of cattle
– In the saddle from dawn until dusk
– Slept on the ground & bathed in the river
– Constant fear of a stampede
End of the Open Range
 Due
– Overgrazing of land
– Extended bad weather
– Invention of barbed wire
Settling on the Great Plains
– 1850-1871, Government gave land grants for
170 million acres of Railroad in the West
– 1869, First Transcontinental
– Homestead Act (1862): 160 Acres to any
citizen/intended citizen who is head of household
Settling on the Great Plains
“Sooner State”…
– 1889—Land give
away in Oklahoma
– One day, 2 million
Settling on the Great Plains
Virtually alone; self-sufficient
 Technological advances in farming
– 1837—John Deere
invented steel plow
– 1847—Cyrus McCormick
invented Reaping Machine
– Barbed wire, grain drill, corn binder, etc…
Settling on the Great Plains
Agricultural Education
– Morrill Act—finance agricultural colleges
– Hatch Act—agricultural experiment stations
Hard times for farmers
– Excessive shipping and storage prices
– Deflation in crop prices
– Good farm land scarce
Settling on the Great Plains
Economic disaster
– Greenbacks—couldn’t be exchanged because
worth less than hard money
– Began taking out of circulation causing
farmer’s loans to be worth more
The Grange
– Oliver Hudson Kelley (1867)
– Farmer’s alliance
Westward Migration
Joblessness after Civil
 Costly farm land
 Business failures
 Religious repression
Railroad land grants
Morrill Land Grant
Homestead Act
Private property rights
Discovery of Gold
The Rise and Fall of Populism
The movement of the People
 1892, Populist Party Platform
– Lift debt from farmers
– Give people greater voice in government
– Increase money supply
– Federal loan program
– Etc…
The Rise and Fall of Populism
Panic of 1893—Railroads went bankrupt
– People panicked and traded paper money for gold
– Stock Market crashed
– 15,000 businesses & 500 banks collapsed
The Rise and Fall of Populism
Election of 1896
– Central issue, silver or gold?
– Democrats—Silverites, supported bimetallism
 Money worth less, but more of it
 William Jennings Bryan (Populist)
– Republicans—Gold Bugs, supported gold
 Stable, but expensive
 William McKinley
The Rise and Fall of Populism
William Jennings Bryan was defeated
 End of Populist party