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America Comes Alive. Mr. Giesler American History. “Industrialization”. “Taming the West & the Agricultural Revolution”. “Taming the West & the Agricultural Revolution”. The Transportation of the West Post- Civil War Condition After the Civil War, the Great West was:

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America Comes Alive

Mr. Giesler

American History



“Taming the West

& the

Agricultural Revolution”


“Taming the West

& the

Agricultural Revolution”


The Transportation of the West

  • Post-Civil War Condition
    • After the Civil War, the Great West was:
      • Still relatively untamed
      • Millions of acres of fertile and mineral-rich land
      • Capitalism moves west
      • Population of 250K Indians
      • A Farming Empire
      • Wild and full of Indians, bison, and wildlife
      • Sparsely populated by a few Mormons and Mexicans
      • Homestead Act
      • From 300K in 1860 to 5M in 1900

The Suppression of the Plains Indians

      • TTYN: With settlers moving to the West –
        • What will become of the Indians?
        • What was the goal or purpose of incorporating the West?
    • Initially, migrants face little hostility from the Indians
    • Land Encroachment changed the narrative
    • White settlers began to populate the Great West
    • Indians caught in the middle, were increasingly turned against each other
    • Infected with White man’s diseases
    • Indians battle each other for land and food (bison)

Role of Government

  • Pacification and Treaties
  • In the 1860s, the U.S. government intensified its effort into herding Indians into still smaller and smaller reservations such as the Dakota Territory
    • Indians were often promised that they wouldn’t be bothered further after moving out of their ancestral lands
    • White men often disregarded treaties, though, and they often “ripped off” Indians.

Indians Respond

  • TTYN:How will the Indians respond and why will they respond in that fashion?
  • In frustration, many Native American tribes attack Whites, and slew of skirmishes from 1868 to 1890 called the “Indian Wars” made up the bitterness of the Indians.
    • Many times, though, the Indians were better equipped than the federal troops sent to quell their revolts.
    • Generals Sherman, Sheridan, and Custer all battled Indians.
    • Chief Joseph delivers speech in Washington
    • “ Treat all men alike,” “give them the same law…let, be a free man – free to travel, free to stop, free to work, free to trade where I choose, free to …think and talk and act for myself”
    • 1904, Joseph died and never realized his dream to return to his homeland in Oregon

Indians Respond

  • Small Group Activity
  • Summarize the following events and people
  • Describe how each person or event is related to the escalating tension between the U.S. Government and the American Indians.
  • Focus on the who, what , when, where, and WHY!
    • The Battle at Sand Creek
    • Colonel J.M. Chivington
    • William J. Fetterman
  • Little Big Horn
  • Sitting Bull
  • Nez Percé
  • Geronimo

The End of the Trail

    • Sympathy for the Indians finally materialized in the 1880s, helped in part by Helen Hunt Jackson’s novels, A Century of Dishonor and Ramona.
      • Humanitarians wanted to kindly help Indians “walk the White man’s road” while the hard-liners stuck to their “kill ‘em all” beliefs, and no one cared much for the traditional Indian heritage and culture.
    • Often, zealous White missionaries would force Indians to convert, and in 1884, they helped urge the government to outlaw the sacred Sun Dance.
      • At the Battle of Wounded Knee, the “Ghost Dance,” as it was called by the Whites, as brutally stamped out by U.S. troops, who killed women and kids too.


  • Dawes Severalty Act
    • 1887, The U.S. Gov’t dissolved the legal entities of all tribes
    • If the Indians behaved the way Whites wanted them to behave, they could receive full U.S. citizenship in 25 years (full citizenship to all Indians was granted in 1924).
    • In 1879, the Carlisle Indian School in Pennsylvania was founded to teach Native American children how to behave like White man, completely erasing their culture.
    • The Dawes Act struck forcefully at the Indians, and by 1900 they had lost half the land than they had held 20 years before, but under this plan, which would outline U.S. policy toward Indians until the 1934 Indian Reorganization Act, helped the Indian population rebound and grow.

Go West Young Man, Go West

  • Mining: From Dishpan to Ore Breaker
    • Gold was discovered in California in the late 1840s, and in 1858, the same happened at Pike’s Peak in Colorado
    • The Comstock Lode in Nevada was discovered in 1859, and a fantastic amount of gold and silver worth more than $340 million was mined.
    • Smaller “lucky strikes” also drew money-lovers to Montana, Idaho, and other western states, and anarchy seemed to rule, but in the end, what was left were usually ghost towns
    • After the surface gold was found, ore-breaking machinery was brought in to break the gold-bearing quartz (very expensive to do).
    • Women found new rights in the new lands, gaining suffrage in Wyoming (1869), Utah (1870), Colorado (1893) and Idaho (1896).

Prelude to Populism

    • The Farmers’ Alliance, founded in the late 1870s, was another coalition of farmers seeking to overthrow the chains from the banks and railroads that bound them…..purposely excluded blacks
    • The White Alliance members agreed on the nationalization of railroads, the abolition of national banks, a graduated income tax, and a new federal subtreasury for farmers.
    • Populists were led by Ignatius Donnelly from Minnesota and Mary Elizabeth Lease, both of whom spoke eloquently and attacked those that hurt farmers (banks, RR’s, etc…).
    • The Alliance was still not to be brushed aside, and in the coming decade, they would combine into a new People’s Party (the Populist Party) to launch a new attack on the northeastern citadels of power.

Small Group Activity

  • DBQ – Western Expansion
  • Develop a question and response for each part of this activity

Document 1

“There is not among these three hundred bands of Indians one which has not suffered cruelly at the hands either of the Government or of white settlers. The poorer, the more insignificant, the more helpless the band, the more certain the cruelty and outrage to which they have been subjected. This is especially true of the bands on the Pacific slope. These Indians found themselves of a sudden surrounded by and caught up in the great influx of gold-seeking settlers, as helpless creatures on a shore are caught up in a tidal wave. There was not time for the Government to make treaties; not even time for communities to make laws. The tale of the wrongs, the oppressions, the murders of the Pacific-slope Indians in the last thirty years would be a volume by itself, and is too monstrous to be believed.”


Document 2

“Settlers Move West”


Document 3

The battle of Plum Creek was an aftermath of the Council House Fight, in which many of the Comanche Indianqv chiefs, their women, and warriors were killed. In the summer of 1840 the Comanches swept down the Guadalupe valley, killing settlers, stealing horses, plundering, and burning settlements


Document 5

The Homestead Act

May 20, 1862

AN ACT to secure homesteads to actual settlers on the public domain. Be it enacted, That any person who is the head of a family, or who has arrived at the age of twenty-one years, and is a citizen of the United States, or who shall have filed his declaration of intention to become such, as required by the naturalization laws of the United States, and who has never borne arms against the United States Government or given aid and comfort to its enemies, shall, from and after the first of January, eighteen hundred and sixty-three, be entitled to enter one quarter-section or a less quantity of unappropriated public lands, upon which said person may have filed a pre-emption claim. . . . Provided, that any person owning or residing on land may, under the provision of the act, enter other land lying contiguous to his or her said land, which shall not, with the land already owned and occupied, exceed in the aggregate one hundred and sixty acres.


Connecting America

  • Post Civil War
  • After the Civil War, railroad production grew enormously, from 35,000 mi. of track laid in 1865 to a whopping 192,556 mi. of track laid in 1900.
    • Congress gave land to railroad companies totally 155,504,994 acres.
    • For railroad routes, companies were allowed alternate mile-square sections in checkerboard fashion, but until companies determined which part of the land was the best to use for railroad building, all of the land was withheld from all other users.
        • Grover Cleveland stopped this in 1887.
  • Railroads gave land their value; towns where railroads ran became sprawling cities while those skipped by RR’s sank into ghost towns, so obviously, towns wanted railroads in them.

Connecting America

  • Spanning the Continent with Rails
    • Deadlock over where to build a transcontinental railroad was broken after the South seceded, and in 1862, Congress commissioned the Union Pacific Railroadto begin westward from Omaha, Nebraska, to gold-rich California.
      • Union Pacific received huge sums of money and land to build its tracks, but corruption also plagued it, as the insiders of the Credit Mobilierreaped $23 million in profits.
      • Who Laid The Track?
        • Many Irishmen, who might lay as much as 10 miles a day
      • The Indian Problem
        • When Indians attacked, trying to save their land, the Irish dropped their picks and seized their rifles, and scores of workers and Indians died during construction.

Connecting America

  • Spanning the Continent with Rails
    • The Golden State
      • The Central Pacific Railroadwas in charge of extending the railroad westward, an it was backed by the Big Four: including Leland Stanford, the ex-governor of California who had useful political connections, and Collis P. Huntington, a adept lobbyist.
      • The Central Pacific used Chinese workers, and received the same incentives as the Union Pacific, but it had to drill through the hard rock of the Sierra Nevada.
    • In 1869, the transcontinental rail line was completed near Ogden, Utah; in all, the Union Pacific built 1086 mi. of track, compared to 689 mi. by the Central Pacific.

Connectingthe Country with Railroad Ties

    • Prior to 1900, four other transcontinental railroads were built:
        • The Northern Pacific Railroad stretched from Lake Superior to the Puget Sound and was finished in 1883.
        • The Atchison, Topeka, and Santa Fe stretched through the Southwest deserts and was completed the following year, in 1884.
        • The Southern Pacific (completed in 1884) went from New Orleans to San Francisco.
        • The Great Northern ran from Duluth to Seattle and was the creation of James J. Hill, probably the greatest railroad builder of all.
    • Many pioneers over-invested on land, and the banks that supported them often failed and went bankrupt when the land wasn’t worth as much as initially thought.

Railroad Consolidation and Mechanization

    • The Vanderbilt's
      • New York Central, headed by Cornelius Vanderbilt would often financed the successful western railroads
    • Advancement in Technology
    • Advancement in railroad building included the steel rail, which was stronger and more enduring than the iron rail,
    • Westinghouse air brake, which increased safety
    • Pullman Palace Cars, which were luxurious
    • Telegraphs
    • Double-racking
    • Block signals

The Impact of the Railways

    • Railroads stitched the nation together
    • Generated a huge market
    • Created Jobs
    • Helped the rapid industrialization of America
    • Stimulated mining and agriculture in the West by bringing people and supplies to and from the areas were such work occurred.
    • Railroads helped people settle in the previously harsh Great Plains.
    • Time Zones
      • Due to railroads, the creation of four national time zones occurred on November 18, 1883, instead of each city having its own time zone (that was confusing to railroad operators).
    • Railroads were also the makers of millionaires and the millionaire class.

Corruptions and Trusts

    • Credit Mobilier.
    • Jay Gould made millions embezzling stocks from the Erie, Kansas Pacific, the Union Pacific, and the Texas and Pacific railroad companies.
    • One method of cheap moneymaking was called “stock watering,” in which railroad companies grossly over-inflated the worth of their stock and sold them at huge profits.
    • Railroad owners abused the public, bribed judges and legislatures, employed arm-twisting lobbyists, elected their own to political office, and used free passes to gain favor in the press.
  • As time passed, though, railroad giants entered into defensive alliances to show profits, and began the first of what would be called trusts, although at that time they were called “pools.”

Government Intervention

    • Slow to combat corruption
    • The Grange was formed by farmers to combat such corruption
    • Wabash case, which ruled that states could not regulate interstate commerce
    • The Interstate Commerce Act, passed in 1887, banned rebates and pools and required the railroads to publish their rates openly (so as not to cheat customers), and also forbade unfair discrimination against shippers and banned charging more for a short haul than for a long one.
      • It also set up the Interstate Commerce Commission (ICC) to enforce this.

American Ingenuity

  • 1860, the U.S. was the 4th largest manufacturer in the world, but by 1894,
  • it was #1
      • Now-abundant liquid capital.
      • Fully exploited natural resources (like coal, oil, and iron, the iron from the Minnesota-Lake Superior region which yielded the rich iron deposits of the Mesabi Range).
      • Massive immigration made labor cheap.
      • American ingenuity played a vital role, as such inventions like mass production (from Eli Whitney) were being refined and perfected.

American Ingenuity

        • Popular inventions included:
          • The cash register
          • The stock ticker
          • The typewriter
          • The refrigerator car
          • The electric dynamo
          • The electric railway, which displaced animal-drawn cars.
  • 1876, Alexander Graham Bell invented the telephone and a new age was launched.
  • Thomas Edison, the “Wizard of Menlo Park,” was the most versatile inventor, who, while best known for his electric light bulb, also cranked out scores of other inventions.

The Trust Titan Emerges

    • Industry giants maximize profits and eliminate competition
      • Andrew Carnegie used a method called “vertical integration,” which meant that he controlled all aspects of an industry (in his case, he mined the iron, transported it, refined it, and turned it into steel, controlling all parts of the process).
      • John D. Rockefeller, master of “horizontal integration,” and a giant among bankers, simply allied with competitors to monopolize a given market.
          • He used this method to form Standard Oiland control the oil industry by forcing weaker competitors to go bankrupt.
    • These men became known for their trusts, giant, monopolistic corporations.
    • Rockefeller also placed his own men on the boards of directors of other rival competitors, a process called “interlocking directorates.”

The Legacy of Steel

    • The Bessemer Process - made steel-making cheaper and much more effective
        • Cold air blown on red-hot iron burned carbon deposits and purified it.
      • America was one of the few nations that had a lot of coal for fuel, iron for smelting, and other essential ingredients for steel making

Captains of Industry and the Effects on Society

  • Small Group Activity
  • Summarize the following ID’s
  • Andrew Carnegie
  • J. Pierpont Morgan
  • United States Steel Corporation
  • John D. Rockefeller
  • Standard Oil Company of Ohio
  • Gustavus F. Swift
  • Philip Armour
  • Sherman Anti-Trust Act
  • Plutocracy
  • Knights of Labor
  • Haymarket Square Bomb
  • Samuel Gompers
  • American Federation of Labor

Captains of Industry

John D Rockefeller

Andrew Carnegie