First Along the River Chapter 3 By: Lauren Spier
Chapter 3 The Early 1800s: Destroying the Frontier • During the 1800s, the major concerns of the Americans was settling the West. • They believed it was “God’s Bounty” meant for them to use while expanding their nation. • Reflection their actions was unthinkable. • Very few voices spoke out for the preservation of the wilderness (Ex. Ralph Waldo Emerson, Henry David Thoreau, and George Catlin)
Manifest Destiny • In the 1840s, Americans coined the term Manifest Destiny to describe their need to move further West. • Large groups of people moved west, some towns growing from 500 to 4,000 in 10 years. • As settlers continued to push further and further West, new inventions were used, such as the train, to continue helping the growth. • The United States soon acquired new states, such as Texas, Alaska, New Mexico, and California. • Urbanization grew because of higher immigration.
Domesticating the Wilderness • Many of the native North American plants were quickly over taken by the European plants. • Much of the timber along the trails was taken and used, creating massive shortages. • Many native animals were killed for their pelts, or because they destroyed the settlers crops. • The American Bison was driven to near extinction because it was killed for sport as well as food. • Many other animals were driven off the plains to make room for the cattle and swine being moved onto it. • Wild stallions were also killed because they impregnated valuable mares, and ate the nearby grasslands.
Final Conquest of the West • After the Civil War, the United States government became involved in Westward expansion. • The government began to remove the Native Americans, who “stood in the way of progress”. • The Trans-Continental railroad was the biggest achievement of sponsored expansion west. • Land was given to settlers with certain government policies, but ranchers and timber companies took advantage of the loosely enforced policies. • A new invention, barbed wire, was starting to partition up the frontier. • Most believed the resources of the West were inexhaustible, and did not think about the consequences of their actions.
Renewed Interest in Nature • The romantic era helped bring about a renewal in nature. • Many different people, using different methods such as writing and painting drew attention back to nature. • The arguments of people such as Henry David Thoreau and Ralph Waldo Emerson helped shape the environmental movement. • George Catlin’s argument helped initiated the idea for National Parks. Oil Painting 1 By: George Catlin
Sources • http://www.sjlshots.com/tag/barbed-wire/ • http://bubblelibrary.blogspot.com/2011/05/when-were-american-bison-almost-wiped.html • http://www.mitchellteachers.net/USHistory/WestwardMigration/ManifestDestinyandSettlingtheWestLesson.html • http://ppaintinga.com/george-catlin-paintings/