Great Plains & Westward Migration Created by Mr. Wheat Edited by Ms. Hillyer
GREAT PLAINS • During the nineteenth century (19th century) or 1800s, people’s perceptions & use of the Great Plains changed.
GREAT PLAINS • Technological advances allowed people to live in more challenging environments.
Physical Features/Climate of the Great Plains • Flatlands that rise gradually from east to west.
Physical Features/Climate of the Great Plains • Land eroded by wind & water.
Physical Features/Climate of the Great Plains • Low rainfall
Physical Features/Climate of the Great Plains • Frequent Dust Storms
Physical Features/Climate of the Great Plains • Because of new technologies, people saw the Great Plains not as a “treeless wasteland” but as a vast area to be settled.
Inventions/Adaptations of the Great Plains • Barbed wire – a type of fencing wire designed to keep animals in a confined space or area.
Inventions/Adaptations of the Great Plains • Steel Plows – used in farming to cultivate soil in preparation for sowing seed or planting.
Inventions/Adaptations of the Great Plains • Dry farming – technique for cultivating land which receives little rainfall. This includes safeguarding water & conserving soil.
Inventions/Adaptations of the Great Plains • Sod houses – houses built using sod. Many people who lived on the Great Plains did not have wood or stone to construct normal homes.
Inventions/Adaptations of the Great Plains • Beef cattle raising – cattle raised for meat production.
Inventions/Adaptations of the Great Plains • Wheat farming – this type of farming required less water & grew well in the dryer soil of the Great Plains.
Inventions/Adaptations of the Great Plains • Windmills – used throughout the Great Plains to pump water from the ground & to provide power.
Inventions/Adaptations of the Great Plains • Railroads – linked the Atlantic & Pacific coasts & opened the vast interior to people who wanted to settle. The railroad made trade between different parts of the country easier, encouraging industrial & economic growth.
WESTWARD EXPANSION New opportunities & technological advances led to westward migration following the Civil War.
WESTWARD EXPANSION Reasons for Westward Expansion 1) Opportunities for land ownership.
WESTWARD EXPANSION The Homestead Act of 1862 provided that any adult citizen (or person intending to become a citizen) who headed a family could qualify for a grant of 160 acres of public land by paying a small registration fee & living on the land continuously for five years.
WESTWARD EXPANSION 2) Technological advances, including the Transcontinental Railroad, was a reason for more Americans moving from the east to the west.
WESTWARD EXPANSION 3) Possibility of wealth created by the discovery of gold & silver was another reason why people moved from the east to the west.
WESTWARD EXPANSION The California Gold Rush of 1849 was followed by new discoveries of gold & silver between 1857 & 1890. Prospectors swarmed to the mines where gold & silver.
WESTWARD EXPANSION 4) Adventure was another reason why people moved from the east to the west.
WESTWARD EXPANSION Some people thought that life in the West was filled with adventure. Young men were drawn to the cowboy life.
WESTWARD EXPANSION 5) A new beginning for former enslaved African Americans was another reason why people moved from the east to the west.
WESTWARD EXPANSION Few of the freed slaves could afford to own land & most worked as sharecroppers, work not very different from what they did as slaves. Thousands of black families took advantage of the opportunity to become homesteaders on the Plains.
IMPACT ON AMERICAN INDIANS • American Indians opposed (or were against) other Americans moving & expanding westward. The federal government’s handling of Native American or Indian policies led to war between the government & Native Americans.
INTERACTION & CONFLICT BETWEEN DIFFERENT CULTURAL GROUPS When many Americans moved from the east to the west, they came in contact with Native American tribes. In response, the federal government established reservations – or land set aside for Indian communities.
INTERACTION & CONFLICT BETWEEN DIFFERENT CULTURAL GROUPS Some Native Americans moved voluntarily (or on their own) to the reservations, while others continued to fight for their land & their way of life. Such conflict led to warfare like the Battle of Little Big Horn.
BATTLE OF LITTLE BIG HORN In 1876, the federal government decided to force the Sioux Indian tribe, led by Crazy Horse & Sitting Bull, back on the reservation. General Custer of the U.S. Army led his troops against more than 2,000 Sioux Indians.
BATTLE OF LITTLE BIG HORN General Custer & all of his men died in that attack, which came to be known as “Custer’s Last Stand.” The Sioux were inspired by their victory, but within a few months they were forced to surrender to the federal government.
CHIEF JOSEPH In 1877, when the federal government sent troops in to force the Nez Perce Indians off their lands in the Washington territory & into a reservation.
CHIEF JOSEPH In late 1877, just a few miles from the Canadian border, U.S. troops captured Chief Joseph & his warriors, the old people, the women, the children, & sent them off to Indian territory.
CHIEF JOSEPH Chief Joseph led 400,000 of his people (the Nez Perce Indians) on a long trek toward the Canadian border to escape the troops.
GERONIMO Geronimo was a Native American leader who fought against Mexico & the United States & their expansion into Apache tribal lands in the Apache Wars from 1858 to 1886.
Battle of Wounded Knee A battle fought in 1890 in Wounded Knee, South Dakota that was the last major encounter between the Native Americans & the U.S. Army.
Battle of Wounded Knee The U.S. Army opened fire on the Lakota Sioux Indian tribe, massacring nearly all of Lakota Sioux inhabitants. The battle is remembered at one of the great injustices that occurred by the government against the Native Americans.
Population Reduction As a result of the Native Americans losing battles to the U.S. Army, the population of American Indians decreased in the late 1800’s. Disease also decreased the population of the Native Americans.
NATIVE AMERICAN CHANGES The U.S. government attempted to get the Native Americans to assimilate & change their lifestyle by getting rid of the buffalo population.
NATIVE AMERICAN CHANGES The Native Americans relied on hunting buffaloes as their main source of food. So the government tried to kill off all the buffalo to starve the American Indians of their main source of food, the buffalo, & force them onto reservations.
NATIVE AMERICAN CHANGES The government also agreed to treaties with American Indians to settle land disputes. Many of the treaties were broken by the government to get more of the Native Americans homeland so more settlers could move & expand westward.