# 12.The Settling of the West

The Settling of the West
Homesteader Omer Yern and family
Custer Country, Nebraska, 1886.
(Courtesy Nebraska State Historical Society.)
• Indian Reservations
• The Long Walk
• The Dawes General
Allotment Act
• A Miner’s Life
• The Great Race
• Impact of the RR
• A Cowboy’s Life
• A Farmer
(Homesteader’s) Life
• Transcontinental RR
• The Populist Party
Reservation System
• Areas of federal land set aside for Indians.
• Operated by the Bureau of Indian Affairs
• The Government expected the Indians to
stay on the land which made their former
way of life (ie. Hunting) difficult.
• Many wars were fought over this system
between the tribes and the U.S.
Map of the Indian and Oklahoma territories. 1892.
The Long Walk
• In the year of 1864,
thousands of Navajos
were forced to leave their
land and travel on foot to
a reservation at a place
called Bosque Redondo.
Some of them had to
travel more than 450
miles by foot, and many
died along the way from
cold, starvation, or
murder. This trip came to
be known as "The Long
Native American Response
• Assimilation
– Adapting to European traditions, Economically
and culturally
Native American Response
• Resistance
– The final act of fighting back was the
Wounded Knee Massacre
Dawes Act
• The Dawes General
Allotment Act of 1887
lessened the tribal
influence on Indian
Society by making land
ownership private rather
than shared.
• Individual Indians got
some land and settlers
got the rest!
• It promised Indians
citizenship, but never
gave it to them.
A Miner’s Life
• After the Gold Rush,
many traveled west
looking for fortunes.
• They found work in
mining which was
often dangerous!
• Boom towns would
grow suddenly and
become ghost towns
when the land was all
“mined” up.
(Photo courtesy of Bobby Wright)
Hydraulic Mining
• http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PV54
A Cowboy’s Life
• The Stereotypes
• The Reality
• The American Hero
A Cowgirl’s life
• http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c3GIg0
A Farmer’s Life
Many more people went west after
the US Civil War ended in 1865.
Thousands of freed black slaves
became homesteaders.
These people were known as the
homesteaders and their homes called
sodhouses. Many thousands of them moved
west from the 1850s onwards to begin new
lives. They came from the east and from
Europe - mainly England, Germany and
Sweden, to escape poverty and over-crowding
and sometimes to escape religious
Transcontential Railroad, the
Great Race and Impact of the
The Uniting of the Railroads
• Promontary Point: May 10, 1869
Manifest Destiny and Westward
– Transcontinental Railroad
– The Great Train Robbery
• Are there any questions?
Populist Party (1870s-1890s)
• 3rd party “the people v. the elites”;
“farmer/laborer coalition”
• Movement of Small Farmers (agrarian) from
the South and West; eventually tried to appeal
to urban workers in the West
• Discuss their “Platform” using Primary Source
“The Omaha Platform of the Populist Party”
– What did they stand for?
– Who did they oppose or see as their enemy/