Looking to the West.ppt

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					Looking to the
          Moving West
• Following the CW – many Americans
  (which ones??) and Europeans
  continued the move into “the West” --
  - What did they hope to find????
• For the settlers there were many
  factors, historians call these push-
  pull factors – events and conditions
  that either force people to move or
  strongly attract them to move
           Push Factors
1. Civil War – displaced farmers,
   freedmen, and workers
2. Eastern farmland was becoming
   more expensive (especially for
   freedmen and poor)
3. Failed entrepreneurs sought a 2 nd

4. Religious and racial persecutions
   (Mormons and freedmen)
Pull Factors: Govt Incentives
1. Pacific Railway Acts (1862 & ’64)
   – govt gave huge tracts of land to RR
   companies to build RR into the West
   – 10 sq. mi. on each side of track
   RR would offer new options for
   migration – sell their lands to settlers
   for big $$
 Pull Factor: Govt Incentives
2. Morrill Land-Grant Act (1862) –
   gave states millions of acres of land
   which states could sell to raise money
   for “land grant” colleges specializing
   in agriculture and mechanical arts –
   states would then sell lands to land
   speculators – people who would buy
   huge areas of land to sell later at a
   profit (UTK, TSU)
 Pull Factor: Govt Incentives
3. Homestead Act (1862) – the most
   important of govt incentives and pull
   factors – 160 acres (1/4 sq. mi.) if meet
   certain requirements:
  1. 21 years old, or head of family
  2. US citizens or filing for
  3. Build a certain size home and live for
     6 months
  4. Farm the land for five consecutive
Pull Factor: Private Property
• People wanted legally enforceable,
  transferable property rights – not just
  a “free-for-all”
• Land parcels would be measured,
  registered, and deeded
• Cattle branding established ownership
• Enforcement of water rights
“New” Immigrants to the West
• New group of settlers from mainly
  western Europe also moved westward –
  though some set up communities, most
  would settle in large urban areas
• Also see immigration of Chinese (West
  Coast cities) – method of cheap labor
• A-A also moved, often fleeing violence,
  exploitation, and persecution in the
 Settlers From Far and Wide
• In 1879, Benjamin “Pap” Singleton led
  a group of A-A settlers on a mass
  exodus – just like Moses – and they
  called themselves Exodusters
• Mexicans and Mex-Am also will
  migrate and help contribute to the
  growth of ranching and the “cowboy”
• By 1890, the “frontier” was gone with
  so much migration, but the West was
  already occupied by whom???
    Settling the Great Plains
• Settling the Great Plains
  brought settlers into conflict
  with N-A who were already
• Most Plains Indians were
  nomads following the ____
  for their source of food
• Competition for land
  caused a clash between
  settlers and the Indians
      Governmental Policies
• Settlers believed they had the right to take
  land because they would produce more
  food and wealth – superior to the Indian
  who only used, but didn’t produce on, the
• Initially, the govt tries to restrict their
  movement by treaties – some bought their
  lands (little $$) – others restricted them to
  reservations – fed lands set aside for
  them – most agreements fail because of
  the differing concepts of land ownership
            Indian Wars
• Acts of violence on both
  sides set off cycles of
  revenge that occurred with
  increasingly brutality
• Between 1864 and 1890 the
  US Army and N-A engaged
  in several battles – the N-A
  were outgunned and usually
  suffered horrendous losses,
  but they continued to fight
 Sand Creek Massacre (1864)
• After some gruesome Cheyenne raids in
  Colorado Terr. the Cheyenne offered peace
  and camped at Sand Creek
• Col. John Chivington, wanting a big
  military win, on Nov. 29, 1864,
  descended upon the Indians and
  slaughtered b/w 150 and 500 – mostly
  women and children
• The next year, the Cheyenne moved to
Battle of Little Bighorn (1876)
• After hostilities on both sides, Lt. Col.
  George A. Custer was sent to Black
  Hills, SD to investigate rumors of gold
  – there was huge supplies and whites
  quickly moved in
• Tensions within Sioux as Sitting Bull
  and Crazy Horse left reservation –
  Custer sent to round them up –
  mistaken about size of force
     “Custer’s Last Stand”
• At the Battle of Little Bighorn, Custer
  and his 200 men met an Indian force of
  over 2000 and were quickly massacred
• Battle stunned Americans – flooded
  area with troops and swiftly forced NA
  back onto reservations
• Crazy Horse was killed when he
  surrendered and Sitting Bull fled to
  Canada but was forced to return and
    Battle of Wounded Knee
• NA began to perform a purification
  ceremony in hopes that a return to
  traditional life would follow – Ghost
• Sitting Bull and Sioux practiced it –
  Army sent troops to quell what they
  believed was a coming riot – when they
  tried to arrest Sitting Bull, he hesitated,
  and they shot him dead
  Massacre at Wounded Knee
• Followers of Sitting Bull – about 120
  men and 230 women and children –
  surrendered and were rounded up at a
  creek called Wounded Knee –
• As they were being disarmed, someone
  fired a shot and soldiers opened fire
  killing more than 200 Sioux
• Massacre was the last major episode
  of violence in the Indian Wars
      Govt Indian Policies
• Govt policy put the defeated Indian
  nations on reservations – lands set
  aside for them
• Also tried a policy of assimilation –
  trying to force Indians to adopt the
  American culture by giving up their
  religions, traditions, languages, and
         Dawes Act (1887)
• In 1887 the federal govt passed the
  Dawes Act – divided reservation land
  into plots
• Most land was unsuitable for farming
  and most Indians had no desire to farm
  or own land so in 1889 Congress opened
  up the Indian Territory to thousands of
  settlers, called boomers and sooners
• Thus Indian groups are pushed into
  smaller areas
• Once the Indian wars were over,
  miners, ranchers, and farmers flooded
  into the West
• From California, mining moved inland
  when gold was discovered in Colorado
  (Pikes Peak, Comstock Lode, NV)
• Mining became big business when gold
  was too far underground – individual
  miners (placer mining) left and large
  corporations took over mining
• Americans learn about ranching from
  Mexicans in the SW and when the
  Indians were removed and the buffalo
  killed, cattle ranching boomed on the
  Great Plains
• Buffalo became near-extinct for a few
  reasons: buffalo hides were popular,
  belts to drive machinery, hunting
  became a sport, and the govt wanted
  them slaughtered to force NA to grow
  their food and make room for settlers
• Cow towns – towns built exclusively
  for the cattle business and RRs – spring
  up all along RR lines (Abeline, Kansas)
  – very rough towns, but quickly settled
• Thousands of cattle were herded each
  year and made the long drive to these
  RR towns (Chisholm Trail)
• As demand for beef grew, some
  ranchers became cattle barons –
  operating spreads of millions of acres
• For homesteaders – people who
  farmed claims under the Homestead
  Act, life was NOT easy
• Most began by living in a soddie – a
  sod house
• Plowing through the tough prairie soil
  was backbreaking work, insects were
  everywhere, and falling crop prices
  created a cycle of debt most couldn’t
• Once farmers invested into costly
  machinery they were locked into
  growing the one crop the machines
  were designed for – led to that debt
  along with falling prices and inabilities
  to pay back loans
• Many families headed back east, but
  most pulled together (with others) to
  make a living
Technology Eases Farm Labor
• New farming techniques – dry farming
  – planting crops that didn’t require
  much water, keeping the fields free of
  weeds, and digging deep furrows so
  water could reach the plant roots
• Farmers also welcomed new
  technologies – corn huskers, wheat
  threshers, mechanical reapers, etc…
  which helped to increase output
• Knowledge of farming improvements
  were also a result of the US
  Department of Agriculture – created
  under the 1862 Morrill Land-Grant Act
• USDA collected info on markets, crops,
  and diseases and helped provide info on
  crop rotation, hybridization, and soil
  and water conservation
• Just as mining, farming in the West
  quickly become big business once
  technological innovations increase
  output dramatically
• Bonanza Farms – farms controlled by
  large businesses, managed by
  professionals, and raising massive
  amounts of single cash crops
• These huge outputs of crops actually
  hurt the farmers – lowered prices
  Frontier Myths and Truths
• Myths included that cowboys were all
  white (20% were A-A), and that the West
  was a land of outlaws and vigilante govts
  – these were NOT correct
• Frederick Jackson Turner – historian –
  began to claim that the frontier had
  played a key role in forming the
  American character – had created
  Americans who were mobile, ready for
  adventure, bent on self-improvement and
  democratic (Turners’ thesis)
      Frontier Stereotypes
• Writers who painted an illusionary picture
  of the West only further cemented those
  frontier stereotypes – exaggerated or
  oversimplified descriptions of reality
• “Buffulo Bill” Cody and his Wild West
  shows helped further those exaggerations
  and simplifications
• Dime-store novels of the “West” – songs
  about the “West” – “Home on the Range”
     Problems for Farmers
• Western farmers faced major economic
  difficulties in the late 1800s
• When businesses suffered economic
  downturns, crop prices dropped
• Tariffs, passed by Congress, helped
  protect businesses from foreign
  competition but hurt farmers by raising
  prices on manufactured goods and farm
  machinery – even those made in US
           The Grange
• Farmers began to form alliances and
  organized protest groups to pressure
  lawmakers to regulate businesses that
  farmers depended on (such as what??)
• The most important of these was the
  Grange (Patrons of Husbandry) – 1867
  – which helped form cooperatives thru
  which goods could be bought in large
  quantities for cheaper (bulk rate)
       Farmers’ Problems
• A major political issue for farmers was
  the nation’s money supply – the amount
  of $$ in the economy and deflation which
  had cheapened the value of money
• In 1873, to prevent inflation, the govt
  changed its monetary policy – plan for
  the makeup and quantity of the nation’s
• Changed from a bimetallic standard
  (both gold and ??) to a gold standard
         Monetary Policy
• With only a gold standard, the amount
  of cash in circulation was dependent
  upon the amount of gold the fed govt
• Silver miners and western farmers
  called for “free silver,” the unlimited
  coining of silver to increase the money
“Free Silver” Acts
       • Congress passed the
         Bland-Allison Act
         (1878) which
         required the govt to
         purchase and coin
         more silver to help
         cause inflation, but
         Congress only did the
         minimum and the
         Treasury refused to
         circulate the coins
Sherman Silver Purchase Act
• So in 1890, Congress passes
  the Sherman Silver
  Purchase Act – increased the
  amount of silver the govt was
  required to purchase every
  month – the plan backfired
  when people turned in silver
  notes for gold and depleted
  the gold supply
   Interstate Commerce Act
• In response to Farmers’ Alliances, govt
  passes the Interstate Commerce Act
• Regulated the prices that railroads
  charged to move freight between states,
  requiring rates to be set according to
• Set up the ICC (Interstate Commerce
  Commission) and set a precedent that
  govt might regulate big business if the
  public good required it
          Populist Party
• In 1891 alliances of farmers formed the
  People’s Party (a “third party”)
• The platform – ideas supported – by the
  Populist party included the increase
  circulation of money, unlimited coining
  of silver, a progressive tax, govt
  ownership of communications and
  transportation, and an eight-hour work
• Populist party is important because they
  helped reach the public with their
  problems and demanded things that the
  major political parties would later adopt
• In the 1896 presidential election, Populist,
  William Jennings Bryan, runs (as a
  Democrat) – he loses, but gave one of the
  most famous of speeches
• The Populist party doesn’t survive long,
  but its ideas do – will influence for
    “Cross of Gold” Speech
• Using images from the Bible, and his
  own personal energies and reflections,
  Bryan spoke against the gold standard
  and for the silver standard
• “You shall not press down upon the
  brow of labor this crown of thorns.
  You shall not crucify mankind upon a
  cross of gold!”

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