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Closing the Frontier

Closing the Frontier

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Closing the Frontier

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  1. Closing the Frontier The Indian “Problem” and the Chinese “Experience”

  2. Indian Culture on the Great Plains • Impact of the Horse • Strengthened the more nomadic tribes: • Sioux, Kiowa, Cheyenne • More Nomadic, more warlike • Dependence on the Buffalo

  3. Romantic View of Indians Hunting Buffalo

  4. Indians on the Plains • Romanticism and Realism

  5. The Traditional View of the West

  6. William “Buffalo Bill” Cody’s Wild West Show

  7. The Real and Romanticized • Plains Tipi

  8. “Buffalo Bill” Cody & Sitting Bull

  9. Realism or Romanticism?

  10. Realism

  11. Sources of Conflict • Land • Whites assumed expansion into the plains • Necessary to reach California and Oregon before 1860 • After 1860, gold and Homestead Act attracted settlers

  12. Sources of Conflict • Cultural Differences • To whites, Indians and lifestyle were “uncivilized” • Policy of assimilation: Indians must accept white ways • Christianity • Private property

  13. Sources of Conflict • Land • Indians refused to surrender lifestyle and Culture • Anger over white violations of treaties • War was only alternative

  14. Indian Wars • More or less continuous conflict, 1865-1877 • Bozeman Trail and Gold • Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIR) Corruption • Railroad and Mining Intrusion onto Indian Land

  15. The Settlement of the Trans-Mississippi West, 1860–1890

  16. The Oklahoma Land Rush, 1889–1906

  17. The Mining and Cattle Frontiers, 1860–1890

  18. Transcontinental Railroads and Federal Land Grants, 1850–1900

  19. Major Indian-White Clashes in the West

  20. The Battle of Little Big Horn1876 Gen. GeorgeArmstrong Custer Chief Sitting Bull

  21. Battle of the Little Big Horn

  22. 7th Cavalry Headstones on Last Stand Hill

  23. Geronimo • Led Comanche Resistance • Surrendered 1886

  24. Chief Joseph I will fight no more forever! Nez Percé tribal retreat (1877)

  25. Results Of Conflict • Defeat and decimation of remaining tribes • Destruction of the Buffalo • Only 228,000 remain by 1890 • The Dawes Act (1887)

  26. Destruction of the Buffalo

  27. Helen Hunt Jackson A Century of Dishonor (1881)

  28. The Dawes Act • Goals • Restrict Indian to Reservations • Assimilate via land ownership

  29. The Dawes Act • Provisions • Tribes lose legal status as “nations” • Tribes lose legal claims to territory • Indians become citizens • “Head of Household” receives 160 acres • Surplus land held in “trust” by U.S. government for 25 years

  30. The Dawes Act • Consequences • Cultural disaster: alcoholism and despair • Poverty: Land unsuitable to agriculture • Corruption: Bureau of Indian Affairs misuses “trust”: 138,000 acres reduced to 48,000 by 1934.

  31. The Ghost Dance • Origin • Despair of life under the Dawes Act • Longing for a return to the old ways • Wovoka’s vision • Paiute shaman • during an eclipse of the sun in • saw the second coming of Christ and received a warning about the evils of the white man.

  32. The Ghost Dance • Origin • converts of the new religion were supposed to take part in the Ghost Dance to hasten the arrival of the new era as promised by the messiah

  33. Ghost Dance Song • The whole world is coming,A nation is coming, a nation is coming,The eagle has brought the message to the tribe.The Father says so, the Father says so.Over the whole earth they are coming,The buffalo are coming, the buffalo are coming,The crow has brought the message to the tribe,The Father says so, the Father says so.

  34. The Ghost Dance and Wounded Knee • Whites fear dance as preparation for war • Dance Banned by BIA • Sioux continue • Soldiers sent to arrest leaders and disarm men

  35. Ghost Dance Shirt

  36. Massacre at Wounded Knee • 150-300 Sioux men, women and children killed – Ironically - by U.S. 7th Cavalry • Symbolizes the end of Indian resistance to white settlement

  37. Ghost Dance Shield

  38. Frozen Corpses at Wounded Knee

  39. Mass Grave at Wounded Knee

  40. The “Battle” of Wounded Knee • Consequences • Officially 146 Indian men, women and children Killed by 7th Cavalry troops • Some claim as many as 300 died • Most killed as they ran • Signaled the end of Indian resistance

  41. Western Indian Reservations, 1890

  42. The Chinese-American Experience • In the mid-19th century, Chinese came to "Gold Mountain," as they called America, to join the "Gold Rush" that began at Sutter’s Mill, Sacramento, California.

  43. Chinese Labor • Chinese became a significant part of the labor force that laid the economic foundation of the American West. • Chinese are best known for their contribution to the construction of the Transcontinental Railroad, the completion of which united the country economically and culturally.

  44. Chinese Labor • Some migrated to the east coast • Chinese in New England

  45. The Chinese-American Experience • Chinese suffered severe exploitation and discrimination. • White workers viewed them as economic competitors and racial inferiors. • Discriminatory laws were passed • The commission of widespread acts of violence against the Chinese followed.

  46. The Chinese-American Experience • Under the racist slogan, "Chinese must go!" an anti-Chinese movement emerged that worked to deprive the Chinese of a means of making a living in the general economy. • Hostility hindered efforts by the Chinese to become American. • It forced them to flee to the Chinatowns on the coasts, • In these ghettos, they were isolated from the rest of the population, making it difficult if not impossible to assimilate into mainstream society. • Native-born Americans criticized them for their alleged “unassimilability”.

  47. American “nativism” • According to historian John Higham: • “No variety of anti-European sentiment has ever approached the violent extremes to which anti-Chinese agitation went in the 1870s and 1880s. Lynching, boycotts, and mass expulsions…harassed the Chinese.”

  48. Discrimination

  49. The Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882 • Identified for the first time a specific group of people by name as undesirable for immigration to the United States, • The act marked a fateful departure from the traditional American policy of unrestricted immigration.