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Chapter 5. Changes on the Western Frontier. Section 1. Cultures Clash on the Prairie. Greeks. Democratic Physically fit Religion built around myths and stories about gods and great people Competitive Make beautiful pottery Philosophical Brilliant story tellers with long oral traditions

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chapter 5
Chapter 5

Changes on the Western Frontier

section 1
Section 1

Cultures Clash on the Prairie

  • Democratic
  • Physically fit
  • Religion built around myths and stories about gods and great people
  • Competitive
  • Make beautiful pottery
  • Philosophical
  • Brilliant story tellers with long oral traditions
  • Brave warriors
native americans
Native Americans
  • Democratic
  • Physically fit
  • Religion built around myths and stories about gods and great people
  • Competitive
  • Make beautiful pottery
  • Philosophical
  • Brilliant story tellers with long oral traditions
  • Brave warriors
how americans viewed the greeks
How Americans viewed the Greeks
how americans viewed the natives
How Americans viewed the Natives
treatment of natives
Treatment of Natives
  • Assimilation
  • “Instead of killing them all, let’s just force them to act like us.”
  • They must give up their traditions, language, culture, clothing style, way of life… everything (but don’t worry because it is for their own good).
  • Dawes Act
  • Passed by Congress in 1887
  • Focused on trying to “Americanize” the natives
  • Breaks up reservations and redistributes the land to individuals.
  • About 65 million in 1800
  • Way of life foundation for many tribes
  • Food, clothing, fuel, sport, homes…
  • Slaughtered by settlers, soldiers, tourists, fur traders…
  • By 1890 fewer than 1000 bison left.
  • What happens to those that depended on the bison?
family life
Family Life
  • Natives lived in small extended family groups
  • Young men trained to become hunters and warriors
  • Women helped butcher and prepare the hides
  • Some young women chose their spouses
  • Belief that spirits control events in the natural world
  • Children who show a sensitivity to these spirits are trained to be shamans
  • Children learn through myths, games, stories and good examples
  • No individual is allowed to dominate the others
  • Leaders rule by counsel, not force and land is held for all to use
property claims
Property Claims
  • Even though the land West of the Mississippi was supposed to be for Native American use white settlers continued to push farther and farther West.
  • Why?
  • Gold, Adventure, Tabula Rasa (clean slate), Land, Grass is always greener…
  • Justification?
  • Racism
  • Different ideas about land claims
what are mining towns like
What are mining towns like?
  • Dirty
  • Thrown together
  • Mostly Male
  • Full of bars and brothels
  • Temporary
massacre at sand creek
Massacre at Sand Creek
  • Cheyenne returned to Sand Creek for the winter (where they were supposed to be
  • Army commander in the West wants to make the Natives suffer so he orders colonel Chivington to attack Sand Creek
  • November 29, 1864 Sand Creek was attacked at dawn (there were 200 warriors and 500 women and children camped there)
  • At the end 150 Natives were killed (mostly women and children)
death on the bozeman trail
Death on the Bozeman Trail
  • Trail runs through Sioux hunting grounds
  • Sioux asked government to prevent white settlement along the trail and were rejected
  • Crazy Horse and his warriors attack soldiers stationed at a fort and kill 80 of them
  • Violence between the two sides continues until the government closes the Bozeman Trail
  • Treaty of Fort Laramie forces the Sioux to live on a reservation along the Missouri River although Sitting Bull never signed it (although other Sioux leaders did with the expectation that they would be allowed to continue to use their hunting grounds)
red river war
Red River War
  • 1874-1875, with six years of tension leading up to it
  • Army rounded up all friendly tribes and put them on reservations
  • Then opened fire on all other tribes
  • They were instructed to kill all warriors and bring back all women and children
  • With these tactics the resistance was crushed on the Southern Plains
gold rush
Gold Rush
  • Within four years of the Treaty of Fort Laramie miners begin searching the Black Hills for Gold
  • Sioux, Cheyenne and Arapaho protest, but get no where
  • When Colonel Custer announced the Black Hills was covered in gold the gold rush began in earnest
  • Once again chiefs asked the government to stop the rush on their land
custer s last stand
Custer’s Last Stand
  • Colonel Custer marched on Little Big Horn the Natives were ready because of a vision
  • Crazy Horse, Gall and Sitting Bull led their warriors to outflank and crush Custer’s men. Within and hour Custer and his men were all dead.
  • Eventually the Sioux were defeated and a few of their leaders took refuge in Canada.
  • Later, Sitting Bull was forced to surrender himself or let all his people starve
dawes act
Dawes Act
  • Passed in 1887 meant to “Americanize” the Natives (force them to act like whites, they needed to give up their language, culture, traditions, hunting, schools, tribal councils and way of life)
  • Broke up the reservations and gave the land to individual Natives and sold the rest to settlers
  • The money from the sell was supposed to be used by the Natives to buy farm equipment. Eventually 2/3 of the reservation land was sold and Natives received no money from the sell.
wounded knee
Wounded Knee
  • December 28, 1890 the Seventh Cavalry rounded up 350 starving Sioux and marched them to a camp at Wounded Knee Creek in South Dakota.
  • The next day the soldiers demanded that the Natives give up all their weapons.
  • Most of them did, but at one point a shot was fired (who knows which side)
  • Minutes later 300 mostly unarmed Natives were dead (some of them children)
  • The soldiers left the corpses to freeze on the ground instead of burying them with respect
vaqueros and cowboys
Vaqueros and Cowboys
  • American cowboys copied almost everything from Spanish vaqueros in Mexico
  • Chaparreras=chaps
  • Bronco caballo=bronco
  • Mestenos=mustangs
  • Rancho=ranch
  • The entire way of life that we think is so “American” was borrowed from somewhere else.
cowboys vs farmers
Cowboys vs Farmers
  • Herd cattle to railroad stations to be shipped all over the country
  • Want wide open ranges for their cattle to graze on and be herded across
  • Long hours
  • Died down because of overgrazing, extended bad weather, invention of barbed wire…
  • Turned to large fenced in ranches.
  • Use cows to make dairy products like butter and cheese
  • Want fenced ranges and fields to keep their animals where they belong and out of their crops
  • Long hours
growing demand for beef
Growing Demand for Beef
  • With the growth of the railroads the demand for beef increasedat the end of the Civil War
  • A route from Sedalia, Texas to Chicago was beneficial until farmers started fencing off their land because they were sick of trampled crops
  • Some herds then had to be sold at ridiculous prices and other herd were left to starve
cow town
Cow Town
  • A more convenient route then had to be found
  • Chisholm Trail (from San Antonio through Oklahoma and Kansas)
  • Abilene became the biggest Cow Town and ranchers began to hire cowboys to drive their cattle to Abilene where 75,000 cattle where sold every year
day s work round up the long drive
Day’s Work, Round up & The Long Drive
  • 10-14 hours
  • Aged 15-40
  • Gun usually used to protect herd from wild or diseased animals
  • Beginning of the cowboys season in the Spring
  • Round them up into a huge corral, let them starve until the would rather eat instead of run away, then they separate them using brands
  • The long drive lasted 3 months, 1 cowboy/300 cows, a cook, a wrangler and trail boss who earned $100/month to supervise and negotiate with settlers and Natives, always had to be prepared for loss of cattle at the rivers and a stampede that could be started from lightning or even a sneeze
legends of the west
Legends of the West
  • Wild Bill
  • Buffalo Bill
  • Calamity Jane
  • Annie Oakley
  • All became famous Legends of the West which is often more hype than reality.
end of the open range
End of the Open Range
  • Overgrazing, bad weather, and the invention of barbed wire ended the Open Range
section 2
Section 2

Settling on the Great Plains

railroads open the west
Railroads open the West
  • 1850-1871 Federal gov. gave 170 million acres to railroads
  • 1860’s two companies race to lay track, Central Pacific from San Francisco and the Union Pacific from Omaha
  • Laborers are made up of Civil War vets, Irish and Chinese Immigrants, Afican Americans and Mexican Americans
  • Incredibly dangerous work
  • May 1869, finally meet in Utah to complete the Transcontinental Railroad
government support for settlement
Government Support for Settlement
  • Homestead Act offered 160 acres of free land to any citizen who was head of a household
  • Many who took advantage were exodusters (African-Americans who moved from post-Reconstruction South)
  • Abuses:
  • Cattlemen fenced opened land
  • Miners and woodcutters claimed natural resources
  • Only 10% actually settled by families that the land grants were intended for
  • 160 acres in Iowa or Minnesota is worth more than 160 acres of plains where more land is needed to make farming worthwhile
the closing of the frontier
The Closing of the Frontier
  • Settling in the West was growing exponentially
  • Washburn convinced Washington to protect some of the land (like Yellowstone Park)
  • Because the railroads were not using the land grants as intended (selling the extra land to businessmen instead of families) the railroads were forced to give back enough land to make up New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland and Virginia.
  • By 1880 individuals had bought mare than 19 million acres of government land in the west.
  • Ten years later the frontier was considered dead because the frontier line was no longer stable, but ever changing
dugouts and soddies
Dugouts and Soddies
  • Frontier settlers faced droughts, floods, fires, blizzards, locust plagues, and raids by outlaws and Natives.
  • Trees were scarce so they dug their homes out of the side of the hill (dugouts) or made houses from prairie turf (soddies)
  • Both were warm in the winter and cool in the summer
  • Soddies were small, dark, had little ventilation, were havens for snakes, insects and other pests and constantly leaked when it rained
women s work
Women’s Work
  • Work in the fields
  • Plowing, planting, harvesting
  • Sheered Sheep, carded wool
  • Dug wells, hauled water from the wells
  • Made soap and candles
  • Canned fruits and vegetables
  • Healed snakebites and crushed limbs
technical support for farmers
Technical Support for Farmers
  • 1837 John Deere invented a steel plow that could slice through the prairie sod
  • 1847 McCormick made a reaping machine
  • 1869 spring-tooth harrow invented to prep the soil
  • 1841 grain drill to plant seed
  • 1874 barbed wire to fence the land
  • 1878 corn binder
  • With all these what used to take 183 minutes, could now be done in 10
agricultural education
Agricultural Education
  • Morrill Act of 1862 and 1890 gave federal land to states to help finance agricultural colleges
  • Hatch Act of 1887 established agricultural experiment stations to inform farmers of new developments
  • Researchers developed grains for arid soil and techniques for dry farming
famers in debt
Famers in Debt
  • Machinery was expensive so famers took out loans to buy them
  • This was fine until the price of wheat fell and farmers could not longer pay back their loans
  • Bonanza Farming was seen as the solution (enormous single-crop spreads of 15,000 to 50,000 acres)
  • Some farmers mortgaged their land to buy more property to farm on to make ends meet, drought came and bonanza farms could not compete because they had no flexibility so they went bankrupt
  • At the same time shipping rates were raising because of abuses committed by the railroads
section 3
Section 3

Farmers and the Populist Movement

economic distress
Economic Distress
  • During Civil War government issued greenbacks which could not be exchanged for gold or silver
  • Worth less than hard money of the same value
  • After war greenbacks were removed from circulation
  • Farmers then had to pay back loans in money worth more than they had borrowed and receive less money for their crops at the same time
  • A bushel of wheat went from 2 dollars to 68 cents
problems with the railroads
Problems with the Railroads
  • High transport prices charged only to farmers
  • Higher rates for shorter hauls with no alternative
  • Railroads worked with grain brokers and merchants to control grain storage prices and the market price of crops
  • Debt increased as famers bought supplies on credit that they could not pay for due to the high interest rates
the farmers alliances
The Farmers’ Alliances
  • Oliver Hudson Kelley started the Patron of Husbandry which became known as the Grange
  • Meant to provide a social outlet and an educational forum for isolated farmers
  • Ended up spending most of their time fighting the railroadsby organizing, setting up cooperatives and sponsoring state legislation to regulate railroads
  • 4 million in South and West
the populist party platform
The Populist Party Platform
  • Grange movement morphs into Populism
  • Goals: increase in money supply, graduated income tax, federal loan program, direct election of senators, single terms for president and vice-president, secret ballot, 8 hour work day, restrictions on immigration
  • Fades into the Democratic Party
panic of 1893
Panic of 1893
  • Farmers in debt
  • Railroads grew faster than their markets and therefore went bankrupt
  • Government’s gold supply was depleting because the farmers had forced them to buy silver
  • Bank runs
  • Stock prices fell
  • Silver plunged and mines closed
  • Eventually 15,000 businesses close and 500 banks collapse
silver or gold
Silver or Gold



  • Businessmen, bankers, Republicans
  • Gold Bugs
  • Want the Gold Standard, where gov. backs currency only with gold
  • Would make less currency available, deflation (prices fall, value increases)
  • Farmers, Laborers, Democrats
  • Silverites
  • Want bimetallism, where gov. would back currency with silver and gold
  • Would make more currency available, inflation (prices raise, value decreases)
bryan and the cross of gold
Bryan and the “Cross of Gold”
  • William Jennings Bryan became the Democratic nominee for president
  • Bryan delivers a speech that claims the Republicans are trying to crucify the entire nation on their “Cross of Gold”
  • The Populist party backed Bryan as a presidential candidate, but nominated their own vice-presidential candidate
the end of populism
The End of Populism
  • Bryan could not compete with McKinley (the Republican nominee for president) because he did not have as much money, lost the support of the city dwellers, and lost the support of Democrats who wanted to keep the “gold standard”
  • He campaigned hard, visited 27 states and made up to 20 speeches a day
  • McKinley campaigned from his front porch and sent his people into the country to speak on his behalf
  • Although the race was within ½ million votes, McKinley won and the Populism movement collapsed while the Democratic party absorbed most of their goals