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Growing America. 1860 - 1914. Reasons for Growth. Transcontinental Railroad Connecting the East and West The Gold Rush Immigration Workers for the railroads Problems in other countries The Irish Potato Famine Religious persecution Industrialization Move from Rural to Urban

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Growing america

Growing America

1860 - 1914

Reasons for growth
Reasons for Growth

  • Transcontinental Railroad

    • Connecting the East and West

      • The Gold Rush

  • Immigration

    • Workers for the railroads

    • Problems in other countries

      • The Irish Potato Famine

      • Religious persecution

  • Industrialization

    • Move from Rural to Urban

    • The rise of Industry

The transcontinental railroad
The Transcontinental Railroad

  • The Transcontinental Railroad connected the East and the West

  • Movement to the Frontier (The Great Plains)

The gold rush
The Gold Rush

  • The Gold Rush occurred when large amounts of gold was discovered in San Francisco, California

  • Sped up building of

    the railroads


  • Boomtowns popped up overnight with the discovery of gold or silver

    • “The sidewalks swarmed with people. So great was the pack, that buggies frequently had to wait half an hour for an opportunity to cross the principal street. Money was as plenty as dust”

    • As resources dwindled, Boomtowns collapsed, only to be replaced by Ghost Towns

Population growth in the west
Population Growth in the West

1860 1890

Denver, Colorado 4,749 106,713

Kansas City, Missouri 3,965 50,093

Omaha, Nebraska 1,883 140,452

Problems along the way
Problems Along the Way

  • Run-ins with Native Americans

    • Sand Creek Massacre: A village of 200 innocent Cheyenne men, women, and children were killed by the Colorado Militia

    • Battle of Little Bighorn: George A. Custer attacked thousands of Sioux and Cheyenne in Montana; Custer and all his men were killed

    • Wounded Knee Massacre: Thinking the Native Americans were preparing for war, American troops killed 300 Sioux men, women, and children

Sand creek massacre
Sand Creek Massacre

“Damn any man who sympathizes with Indians! … I have come to kill Indians, and believe it is right and honorable to use any means under God’s heaven to kill Indians. – Colonel John Milton Chivington, U.S. Army

Sand creek massacre1
Sand Creek Massacre

As the attack began, the Cheyenne raised the American flag and the white flag of surrender, but Chivington and his troops continued the attack.

Sand creek massacre2
Sand Creek Massacre

“I saw the bodies of those lying there cut all to pieces, worse mutilated than any I ever saw before; the women cut all to pieces … With knives; scalped; their brains knocked out; children two or three months old; all ages lying there, from sucking infants up to warriors … By whom were they mutilated? By the United States troops…”

Sand creek massacre3
Sand Creek Massacre

This battle left the Cheyenne in pieces. Many of those who survived vowed revenge, which further worsened ties between Native Americans and white settlers.

The battle of little bighorn
The Battle of Little Bighorn

Custer underestimated the size and determination of the village he planned to attack. As a result, the battle led to “Custer’s Last Stand” where his soldiers were swarmed and likely overrun within an hour of battle. Not a single one of his troops survived.

Wounded knee massacre
Wounded Knee Massacre

Some Native Americans had formed a religion called “Ghost Dance.” They believed Jesus Christ had returned to earth as a Native American and would raise the Native Americans above the earth and bring all of their ancestors back to earth. They believed the “Ghost Dance” would bring about this change.

Wounded knee massacre2
Wounded Knee Massacre

Soldiers saw Native Americans performing this across the plains and worried they were preparing to attack the U.S. military.

Wounded knee massacre3
Wounded Knee Massacre

Troops rushed in to disarm Native Americans, but one Native American (Black Coyote) who didn’t speak English refused to hand over his rifle. As soldiers tried to pry the weapon from his hands, his rifle went off. Soldiers opened fire. With most Native Americans already disarmed, they stood no chance.

Wounded knee massacre4
Wounded Knee Massacre

“The women as they were fleeing with their babies were killed together, shot right through… and after most all of them had been killed a cry was made that all those who were not killed or wounded should come forth and they would be safe. Little boys came out of their places of refuge, and as soon as they came in sight a number of soldiers surrounded them and butchered them there.” Captain Edward S. Godfrey

Wounded knee massacre8
Wounded Knee Massacre

  • The Ghost Dance movement fizzled out with fears of more violence.

  • The U.S. government awarded twenty men with the Medal of Honor, the highest military honor.

  • Most Americans viewed the attack as a success.

    • “Our only safety depends upon the total extermination of the Indians. Having wronged them for centuries, we had better, in order to protect our civilization, follow it up by one more wrong and wipe these untamed and untamable creatures from the face of the earth.” Frank Baum, author of The Wizard of Oz

Problems along the way1

Displacing Native Americans

Forced Assimilation required Native Americans to become American or disappear

The near extinction of the Bison

Problems Along the Way


  • Immigration is the movement of people from one location to another

    • A need for cheap labor

      • Railroad construction

      • Dangerous industrial jobs

    • Problems in other countries

      • Famine

      • War

      • Poverty

      • Religious persecution

    • Between 1860-1900 more than 6 million people immigrated to the United States

Ellis island
Ellis Island

  • Ellis Island opened in New York in 1894 to process immigrants

    • During its 60 years in service, 12 million immigrants were processed

Angel island
Angel Island

  • Angel Island opened in 1910 in California to process immigrants from Asia

    • During its 30 years in service, approximately 1 million Asian immigrants were processed


  • Immigrants faced:

    • Racism

    • Low paying, difficult jobs

    • Poor, crowded housing

    • Disgusting sanitation

    • Poverty

    • In some cases, they were forced to leave

Railroad work
Railroad Work

  • “Swinging near the cliff, Ah Goong dug holes, then inserted gunpowder and fuses. He struck match after match and dropped the burnt matches over the sides. At last his fuse caught; he waved, and the men above pulled hand over hand hauling him up, pulleys creaking.”

Factory work
Factory Work

$286 per year

About $5960 per year by

today‘s standards

"I got a room in the house of some friends who lived near the factory. I pay $1 a week for the room and am allowed to do light housekeeping - that is, cook my meals in it. I get my own breakfast in the morning, just a cup of coffee and a roll, and at noon time I come home to dinner and take a plate of soup and a slice of bread with the lady of the house. My food for a week costs a dollar, just as it did in Allen Street, and I have the rest of my money to do as I like with. I am earning $5.50 a week now [equivalent to approximately $115.00 in today's money] , and will probably get another increase soon.”

Factory work1
Factory Work

“The machines go like mad all day, because the faster you work the more money you get. Sometimes in my haste I get my finger caught and the needle goes right through it. It goes so quick, though, that it does not hurt much. I bind the finger up with a piece of cotton and go on working. We all have accidents like that. Where the needle goes through the nail it makes a sore finger, or where it splinters a bone it does much harm. Sometimes a finger has to come off. Generally, though, one can be cured by a salve.”

To be continued
To be continued….

  • Next up: Industrialization