Chapter 18 – Americans Move West Section Notes Video Miners, Ranchers, and Railroads Wars for the West Farming and Populism The Impact of the West on American Culture Maps Quick Facts Routes West Native American Land Loss in the West, 1850-1890 Skills Page Maps: Migration Causes and Effects of Westward Expansion Effects of the Transcontinental Railroad Chapter 18 Visual Summary Images Completion of the Transcontinental Railroad The Plains Indians Pioneer Family Deadwood, South Dakota
Miners, Ranchers, and Railroads • The Big Idea • As more settlers moved West, mining, ranching, and railroads soon transformed the western landscape. • Main Ideas • A mining boom brought growth to the West. • The demand for cattle created a short-lived Cattle Kingdom on the Great Plains. • East and West were connected by the transcontinental railroad.
Americans continued to move west during the 1800s. The American frontier reached the Pacific Ocean when California was added to the Union in 1850. Settlers built homes, ranches, and farms. Railroads expanded west to bring western goods to eastern markets. Mining companies shipped gold and silver east from western mines. Main Idea 1: A mining boom brought growth to the West.
Mining in the West Mining became big business with discoveries of large deposits of precious metals, such as the Comstock Lode in Nevada. Miners from all over the world came to work in the western mines. Boomtowns grew quickly when a mine opened and often disappeared quickly when the mine closed. Mining was dangerous. The equipment was unsafe and miners had to breathe hot, stuffy air that causes lung disease. Poorly planned explosions and cave-ins killed and injured miners. Fires were also a threat.
The increasing demand for beef helped the cattle industry grow. Cattle ranchers in Texas drove herds to Abilene, Kansas, to be shipped east. Cattle ranching spread across the Great Plains, creating the Cattle Kingdom that stretched from Texas to Canada. Ranchers grazed huge herds on public land called the open range. Competition, the invention of barbed wire, and the loss of prairie grass brought an end to the Cattle Kingdom. Main Idea 2: The demand for cattle created a short-lived Cattle Kingdom on the Great Plains.
Cowboys • Cowboys were workers who took care of ranchers’ cattle. • They borrowed many techniques from vaqueros, who were Mexican ranch hands. • One of their most important duties was the cattle drive. • The Chisholm Trail was a popular route for cattle drives. • Life in cattle towns was often rough and violent.
The growth of the West created a need for communication across the country. The Pony Express carried messages on a route 2,000 miles long. Telegraph lines put the Pony Express out of business. Demand for a transcontinental railroad grew. Congress passed the Pacific Railway Acts of 1862 and 1864, giving railroad companies loans and land grants. The railroads agreed to carry mail and troops at a lower cost. Main Idea 3:East and West were connected by the transcontinental railroad.
In the race to complete a transcontinental railroad, the Central Pacific started in San Francisco and worked east, and the Union Pacific started in Omaha and worked west. Large numbers of Irish and Chinese immigrants worked on the railroads. Geography and weather posed many challenges to building the railroads. On May 10, 1869, the railroad lines met and joined the two tracks with a golden spike at Promontory, Utah. Companies continued building railroads throughout the West. The Great Race
Results of the Railroad Growth • Economic growth and population in the West increased. • Railroads provided better transportation for people and goods • They also encouraged people to move west. • Railroads became one of the country’s biggest industries. Panic of 1873 • Railroad speculation increased. • The collapse of railroad owner Jay Cooke’s banking firm helped start the Panic of 1873. • Many small western railroads were deeply in debt by the 1880s.
Wars for the West • The Big Idea • Native Americans and the U.S. government came into conflict over land in the West. • Main Ideas • As settlers moved to the Great Plains, they encountered the Plains Indians. • The U.S. Army and Native Americans fought in the northern plains, the Southwest, and the Far West. • Despite efforts to reform U.S. policy toward Native Americans, conflict continued.
The U.S. government negotiated treaties with Plains Indians in the mid-1800s to gain more western lands for settlers. Plains Indians, including the Sioux, Pawnee, and Cheyenne, lived by hunting buffalo. Buffalo were used for food, shelter, clothing, and utensils. Conflict grew with the Plains Indians as miners and settlers increased in number. Main Idea 1: As settlers moved to the Great Plains, they encountered the Plains Indians.
Struggle to Keep Land The Treaty of Fort Laramie recognized Native American claims to the Great Plains. It allowed the United States to build forts and travel across Native American lands. The U.S. government negotiated new treaties after gold was discovered in Colorado, sending Native Americans to live on reservations, areas of federal land set aside for them. The movement of pioneers and miners across the Great Plains and through Native American hunting grounds led to conflict with the Sioux, led by Crazy Horse. Most southern Plains Indians agreed to go to reservations under the 1867 Treaty of Medicine Lodge,but the Comanche continued to fight until 1875.
When Native Americans resisted confinement on reservations U.S. troops forced them to go. Included African American cavalry called buffalo soldiers Most Native Americans had stopped fighting by the 1880s, except the Apache, led by Geronimo, who fought until 1886. Main Idea 2:The U.S. Army and Native Americans fought in the northern plains, the Southwest, and the Far West.
Fighting on the Plains • Northern Plains • Battles with the Sioux throughout the 1800s. • In 1876 George Armstrong Custer’s troops were defeated by Sioux forces led by Crazy Horse and Sitting Bull at the Battle of Little Bighorn, the Sioux’s last major victory. • U.S. troops killed about 150 Sioux in the Massacre at Wounded Knee in 1890. • Southwest • Navajo refused to settle on reservations. • U.S. troops raided Navajo fields, homes, and livestock. • Out of food and shelter, the Navajo surrendered. • Navajo were forced on a 300-mile march, known as the Long Walk, to a reservation and countless died. • Far West • Initially, the United States promised to let the Nez Percé keep their Oregon land. • Later, the government demanded land. • Fighting broke out. • U.S. troops forced the Nez Percé to a reservation in what is now Oklahoma where many died.
Ghost Dance movement Predicted the arrival of paradise for Native Americans Misunderstood by U.S. officials, who feared it would lead to rebellion Gradually died out after the Wounded Knee Massacre in 1890 Sarah Winnemucca, a Paiute, lectured on problems of the reservation system and called for reform in the 1870s. Dawes General Allotment Act of 1887 Made land ownership among Native Americans private Tried to lessen traditional influences of Native American society so as to encourage them to adopt the ways of white people Ended up taking about two-thirds of Native American land Main Idea 3:Despite efforts to reform U.S. policy toward Native Americans, conflict continued.
Farming and Populism • The Big Idea • Settlers on the Great Plains created new communities and unique political groups. • Main Ideas • Many Americans started new lives on the Great Plains. • Economic challenges led to the creation of farmers’ political groups. • By the 1890s, the western frontier had come to an end.
Two important land-grant acts helped open the West to settlers in 1862. The Homestead Act gave government land to farmers. The Morrill Act gave federal land to states to sell in order to fund colleges to teach agriculture and engineering. People who made new lives in the West included women, immigrants, and African Americans. Thousands of southern African Americans, known as Exodusters, moved to Kansas. Main Idea 1: Many Americans started new lives on the Great Plains.
New Lives in the West • Farming • Breaking up tough grass on the Plains earned farmers the nickname “sodbusters.” • 1880s—Mechanical farming was becoming common. • 1890s—Farmers began dry farming, growing hardy crops such as red wheat. • Crops were shipped east by train and then overseas; the Great Plains became known as the breadbasket of the world. • Building Communities • Women were an important force in settling the frontier. • Annie Bidwell, a founder of Chico, California, supported many social causes. • Harsh life on remote farms led farmers to form communities, creating churches and schools. • Children helped with many chores on the farm.
The United States was growing during the period 1860-1900. The population more than doubled. The number of farms tripled. Farmers could harvest a bushel of wheat 20 times faster in 1900 than in 1830. Farm incomes fell. More farms and greater productivity led to overproduction, which led to lower prices. Many farmers lost their farms and homes and became tenant farmers. By 1880, one-fourth of all farms were rented by tenants. Farmers formed associations to protect their interests. Main Idea 2:Economic challenges led to the creation of farmers’ political groups.
The National Grange and the Railroads The National Grange of the Patrons of Husbandry was a social and educational organization for farmers. The Grange called for laws to regulate railroad rates. • The Supreme Court ruled: • 1877 that the government could regulate railroads • 1886 that government could regulate only companies doing business across state lines Congress passed the Interstate Commerce Act in 1887 to provide national regulations for trade, but could not enforce them.
Free Silver Debate and the Populist Party • Free Silver Debate • The U.S. had been on the gold standard since 1873, resulting in deflation. • Many farmers supported the unlimited coining of silver and the backing of paper currency with silver. • Congress passed the Sherman Silver Purchase Act to increase the amount of silver purchased for coinage, but it did not help farmers much. • Populist Party • The Farmers’ Alliances formed the Populist Party to have power and a candidate that would represent them. • It supported government ownership of railroads and communication systems, free silver, and labor regulation. • It supported William Jennings Bryan in the election of 1896, but his defeat marked the end of the Farmers’ Alliance and the Populist Party.
William Jennings Bryan • Politician from Nebraska; served in Congress • Supported free silver coinage • Populist • Influential speaker and newspaper editor • Democratic candidate for president in 1896 • Populists supported Bryan instead of splitting the silver vote.
Only small portions of the Great Plains remained unsettled by 1870. U.S. officials allowed homesteaders to settle the Indian territory in what is now Oklahoma in 1889. Settlers claimed more than 11 million acres of former Indian land in the Oklahoma land rush. The frontier had ceased to exist in the United States by the early 1890s. Main Idea 3:By the 1890s, the western frontier had come to an end.