U.S. History Chapter 15 Looking to the West. The culture of the Plains Indians declines as white settlers transform the Great Plains. Meanwhile, farmers form the Populist movement to address their economic concerns. Section #1: Moving West. Why did they want to go west?
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U.S. History Chapter 15 Looking to the West. The culture of the Plains Indians declines as white settlers transform the Great Plains. Meanwhile, farmers form the Populist movement to address their economic concerns
Section #1: Moving West • Why did they want to go west? • 1.) Explore! • The Great Plains, the Pacific Northwest, & the Southwest. • 2.) New Beginnings! • In life, opportunity, etc. • 3.) Be own Boss! • Can own their own farm. • 4.) Overpopulated! • East is way too crowded.
Moving West • Big Business owned land. • RR companies profited as settlers moved. • Land next to RR especially popular. • Morrill Land Grant Act • Created to support state colleges. • Fed Gov’t gave land to state gov’t, they sold it to fund agricultural land-grant colleges. • Homestead Act (signed by Pres. Lincoln) • Fed Gov’t gave land directly to settlers!
Homestead Act • Gave 160 acres to anyone who: • 1.) Had to be 21 or head of family • 2.) Had to be American citizen, or immigrant who has filed for citizenship. • 3.) Pay the $10 registration fee. • 4.) Build a house and live on the claim for 6 months per year. • 5.) Had to farm actively for 5 consecutive years before claiming ownership. • By 1900, more than 600,000 families filed claims.
Problems with the Homestead Act • People couldn’t meet all the requirements. • Some didn’t know how to farm and couldn’t make it work. • Dirt was hard, water scarce, and climate varied. • Fraud occurred often!
It’s a “hard knock life” for settlers • Water was scarce, used buckets to collect rain. • This carried “Prairie fever” or typhoid. • Working prairie sod was back-breaking labor. • Women made soap, clothing, candles, and preserved food. • Families cooperated in raising houses/barns, sewing quilts, husking corn, etc.
Thousands of African Americans moved west after the Civil War. To escape persecution after Reconstruction. Benjamin “Pap” Singleton became the leader of a group of southern African Americans planning a mass “exodus”. They called themselves Exodusters. Married women experienced solitude as their husbands went to look for work. Needed to stay at home to prevent squatters. Loneliness made women want to go outside the home. Western women began to want the vote. Wyoming became the first state to allow women to vote in 1890. African Frontier American WomenSettlers
Section #2: Conflict with Native Americans • Remember… • Clearing the East of Indians; President Jackson; Trail of Tears; Reservations; Assimilation; War. • Clashes of Culture! • Indians and settlers looked at the world differently. • Settlers felt that the resources were there to be used. • Settlers used large scale hunting, mining, and farming. • Plains Indians used only the resources they needed for their actual needs. • They saw the white settlers as being greedy and destructive. • Look at land ownership… (page 439).
Fighting begins, with the Sioux • Little Bighorn (most famous battle of the Indian wars) • The Black Hills of South Dakota had been set aside for the Sioux and Northern Cheyenne • 1874 - U.S. Army exploring party found gold • Settlers went looking for gold • Gov. tried to buy the Black Hills (Sioux considered land sacred) • 1875 and 1876 - Sioux warrior left their reservations and united under the leadership of Sioux chief, Sitting Bull • Massacre at Wounded Knee • After Sitting Bull died, some American soldiers tried to arrest some Indians who left their reservation. • Shots were fired and more than 200 unarmed Sioux (women & children) were killed.
Chief Joseph • Led the Nez Perce people • Nez Perce lived in northwest (Oregon and Idaho) • Fished for salmon, gathered food, and hunted • Chief Joseph refused to sell land to government • 1877 - Gov. ordered the Nez Perce people to move to a reservation • They fled and tried to evade the army • Captured about 40 miles south of Canada • Chief Joseph made speech • Said that he would fight no more
Indians way of life destroyed • Whites killed buffalo • Indians depended on buffalo to survive (how?) • As conditions grew worse and Indians were forced onto reservations, many whites wanted to help & an Indian Rights Movement began. • Helen Jackson wrote, A Century of Dishonor and said, “It makes little difference…where one opens the record of the history of the Indians; every page and every year has its dark stain.” • Some whites felt Indians should be more “civilized” • What does this mean? How can this happen?
Many white though that only solution was to make the Indians become more like the whites - Assimilation - to adopt the culture of the people around you Dawes Act (1887) Intended to make Indians give up their traditions and accept White customs Reservation lands were divided up in farm plots for families and individuals (40 to 160 acres) Any remaining land was sold to white settlers Profits used to pay for Indian schools Indians who accepted the plots of land could become citizens for the 1st time Dawes Act failed Many western Indians didn't want to settle down as farmers Lacked tools and training Many sold their plots to white settlers cheap End 1800's - situation of the American Indians was tragic 20th century U.S. government finally realizes importance of Indian way of life Assimilation
What happened with Indian Territory? • 70 Indian Nations forced onto Reservations. • After the Civil War, many settlers began to enter their government-given land. • Due to large amount of settlers Gov’t opened up 2 million acres of Indian Territory, that hadn’t been assigned yet, to the settlers. • These settlers, “Boomers”, staked off hundreds of claims within a few hours. • Oklahoma City had 10,000 resident at the end of the 1st day. • Some settlers, “Sooners”, had already sneaked past the gov’t to stake a claim.
Section #3: Farming, Mining, and Ranching • Lumber was scarce • Many settlers dug homes into sides of ravines or hills • Made soddy or sod home by stacking blocks of turf • Snakes & bugs sometimes crawled into cracks • Burned cow chips for fuel • Grew cash crops (wheat and corn) • Had to fight year around battle against weather (blizzards and extreme heat) • Not enough rain, unpredictable • Droughts/wind = dust storms and prairie fires • Grasshoppers, locusts, boll weevils destroyed property • Summer temps exceeded 100’
New Technologies on the Farm • Dry farming – planting crops that don’t require lots of water & kept fields free of weeds. • New machines: • More efficient plows, automatic drills to spread grain, cornhuskers. • Department of Agriculture, 1862 • Gathered stats on markets, crops, and plant diseases. • Published farming techniques (crop rotation, hybridization, and preservation of water and topsoil)
New machines and techniques allowed farms to produce more. Owners wanted to reap a “bonanza” by supplying food to big populations in the East. Bonanza Farms created Controlled by large business and managed by professionals. More was produced and prices fell. Farmers invested in machines & raised crops yielded by machines. If those prices dropped, farmers couldn’t pay off debt from machine. Land speculation increased this. People would buy more than they could manage. Bonanza Farms & Farmer’s Debt
Striking it Rich!!!! • Gold Rush, California, 1849 (Sutter’s Mill) • People really thought they could strike it rich with no problem. • Chinese men began to mine gold after the Transcontinental RR was built. • Most did not strike it rich. • Many went home empty handed, leaving behind mining ghost towns.
Cattle Industry • Learned industry from Mexicans. • Cowboys' roots were in Texas. • Since Buffalo were gone, was room for cattle! • Joseph McCoy organized 1st cattle drive. • Cattle sold for $40 per head in the east ($3 per head in Texas) • Cowboys manage the long drive. • Taking cows from open range to cow towns, where waited for RR. • Fears/Risks: stampedes, cattle thieves, bad weather, 18 hr day, etc. • 12 cowboys, 3000 cows.
End of the Open Range • Late 1800's, long drives end and so does cattle driving. • Joseph Glidden, invents Barbed Wire. • Fences Cattle in, no more open range! • Cowboys had overproduced cattle. • Overgrazing, tick fever, bad weather from 1883 to 1887 destroyed whole herds • Ranchers began keeping smaller herds that yielded more meat per animal.
Section #4: Populism • Farmer’s Complaints • Crop prices were dropping, big business and the gov’t wouldn’t help. • Farmer’s and Traffic: • Tariffs helped farmers by: • Protecting them against competition from farm imports. • Tariffs hunt farmers by: • Raising the prices of manufactured goods. • Preventing foreigners from earning the American currency they needed to buy American crops. • Reduced the international market for American farm products.
Mo’ Money Mo’ Problems • More $ the Fed Gov’t puts out – inflation • Helps people who sell things. • If Gov’t reduces $ supply – deflation • Helps people who lend money, interest. • Dollar is greater, drop in prices of goods. • Post Civil War, Americans had a Deflation. • Monetary Policy • The Fed Gov’t plan for makeup and quantity of the nation’s money supply, thus emerged as a major political issue. • Supporters of inflation and deflation begins to speak out.
Supporters: Gold Bugs: bankers and wealthy industrialists. Position: A Gold Standard would limit the amount of money in circulation and deflate prices. Benefits: The economy would be more stable. The wealthy would have protection for their money. Supporters: Silverites: silver miner, farmers, and debtors. Position: The unlimited coinage of silver would increase the money supply and inflate prices. Benefits: The economy would be stimulated. Farmers would get more money for their goods; debtors would more easily repay loans. Gold Standard vs. Free Silver
Gold Bugs • 1873 – supporters to tight money won. • $ was on a bimetallic standard. • Currency consisted of gold or silver coins or US treasury notes that could be traded in for gold or silver. • 1873 – To ensure economic stability, Congress put the nation’s currency on a gold standardy. • Reduced amount of money in circulation because the money supply would be limited by the amount of gold held by the gov’t. • Conservative Gold Bugs were pleased. • Many were big lenders who liked the idea of being paid back in money backed by the gold standard.
Silverites • Mostly silver-mining interests and western farmers, were furious at the nation’s move to a gold standard. • Claimed the end of silver as a monetary standard would depress the prices of farm produce. • Called for free silver – unlimited coining of silver dollars as a means of increasing the money supply.
Silverites & Bland-Allison Act • The Bland-Allison Act (1878) • Huge victory for Silverites. • Required the Fed Gov’t to purchase and coin more silver, increasing the money supply and causing inflation. • Passed by Congress, vetoed by President Hayes, and Congress overrode veto. • Treasury Dept. did not follow through.
Organizing Farmer Protest • The Grange • Helped form farming cooperatives. • Where farmers saved money by buying goods in large quantities. • Pressured state legislatures to regulate business on which farmers depended. • Grain elevators that stored crops and RR that shipped them. • Was popular, but Farmers wanted more options…
Farmer’s Alliances • Wanted: • Federal regulation of RR • More $ in circulation • Creation of state departments of agriculture • Farm credit • Women served as chief officers • Mary Elizabeth Lease said, “raise less corn, and more hell!” • African Americans had their own “Colored Farmer’s Alliance.” • Natural disasters fueled these alliances. • How would the Federal Gov’t help?
An Inactive Gov’t • In all elections, 1876-1892, no candidate won a popular vote. • So, Presidents lacked power of bold action. • Many were friends of big business, that weren’t friends with farmers. • G. Cleveland signed Interstate Commerce Act, in 1887. • Response to many complaints against RR. • Regulated prices that RR charged to move freight b/t states, requiring rates to be in proportion to distance traveled. • Illegal to give certain rates to certain customers. • Said Congress could regulate the RR. • And in 1890 – Sherman Anti-trust Act was passed. • But enforcement was lax.
The Populist Party • 1880's - Several political parties combined • Populism - movement of the people • Populist Party wants reforms • Economic: increase money supply, graduated income tax (more on the wealthy), & federal loans • Political: Senate elected by popular vote, secret ballot & 8-hour day • 1892 - Populist candidates elected at different levels of government • Democratic Party eventually adopted platform
The Populist Party (cont.) • Wanted to unit African American and White Farmers. • They generated a lot of buzz for the 1892 election, but only got about one million votes. • Nominated James Weaver. • Cleveland won again, and alienated labor by putting down the Pullman strike. • Made farmers mad by backing a gold standard, and he tried to lower the tariff. • The farmers became even more known and American added “hayseed Socialist” to their list of scary unified peoples.
Panic of 1893 • Railroads expanded faster than markets - Some went bankrupt • Government’s gold supply became depleted - Led to rush on banks - Businesses, banks collapse - Panic became depression
Bryan’s “Cross of Gold” • 1896 – Republicans nominated William McKinley. • 1896 – William Jennings Bryan, captured Democratic nomination by arguing for free silver. • “You shall not crucify mankind upon a cross of gold!” • He was so good that the Populists loved him too! • Bryan lost, despite best efforts. • He actually campaigned modern day style. • McKinley stayed at home, thought campaigning was undignified. • Urban and Industrial Midwest and Northern states feared free silver would eat away the buying power of their wages. • Urban American defeated Rural America.
Is it the end of Populism? • It could not bridge the divided b/t America’s farms and cities. • Nor could it slow America’s transition from an agricultural nation to an industrial nation. • From 1900-1920, the nation’s gold standard actually allowed crop prices to slowly rise. • The silver movement died, as did Populism. • The goals live on…
Section #5: Frontier Myths • The West by 1900: • Many Western lands were now states. • Cali, Oregon, Kansas, Neb, Nev, Colorado, N. & S. Dakota, Montana, Wash, Wyom, Idaho, Utah, Okl, N. Mex, and Arizona. • More farms owned by large corporations. • Many individual farmers in deep debt. • 1872 – Yellowstone National Park (Wyoming) • Created to preserve some Western lands. • 1890 – Superintendent of the Census announced the end of the frontier!
Frederick Jackson Turner said the frontier had played a central role in forming America’s character. The West had forced people to forget their culture and adapt, innovate & invent! Turner felt the West had produced a highly individualistic, restless, and socially mobile American. Created Americans who were ready for adventure, bent on self-improvement and committed to democracy. Problems with this: Saw settlers as whites only. No difference in experiences of women/men. Didn’t take into consideration Native Americans, Spanish, Japanese, Chinese, etc. Didn’t include how Gov’t helped big business. Didn’t remember European culture. Turner’s Frontier Thesis
Realities of the Frontier • Not everyone was a eastern European white. • Chinese, Japanese, & African Americans. • Af Amer soliders in army – Buffalo soldiers. • Democracy was well liked, but minorities and their rights, often forgotten. • Destruction of land was evident. • Buffalo basically gone, over cultivation killed fields, RR tunnels destroyed Mtns. • Promotes stereotype of “manly man” making it in the West! • “Home on the Range,” and “Don’t fence me in.”
Causes: Big Business put Western land up for sale. Morrill Land Grant Act provides state gov’ts with millions or acres to sell. Homestead Act gives land to settlers willing to farm. European immigrants, people seeking opportunity, and people fleeing racial prejudice in the East seek land in the West. California Gold Rush draws thousands of fortune seekers. Effects: Violence erupts between settlers and Native Americans. Many Native American groups are destroyed or displaced. Challenges of prairie farming lead to increased mechanization. Bonanza farms and cattle ranching industries develop. Frontier myths influence national identify. Cause and Effect: Westward Expansion