Chapter 26 The Great West and the Agricultural Revolution
The Clash of Culture on the Plains • In 1860 there were about 360,000 Native Americans in the trans-Mississippi West area. • White pioneers wanted to explore westward which caused a clash between Indians and whites. • In years pass there had been conflict between different Native American tribes over land in the west giving a foundation of the Native American culture.
The Clash of Culture on the Plains • White pioneers spread cholera, typhoid, and smallpox to the Indians so the federal government stepped in signing off treaties with “chiefs” of “tribes” establishing boundaries for each tribe. • The only reason why the Indians surrendered their land was because the federal government made a promise to supply them with food, clothes, and other supplies, but all they received were moth-eaten blankets, spoiled food, and other harmfulprovisions.
Receding Native Population • Indian wars beginning in the West were gruesome (aggressive whites were shooting peaceful Indians just to make sure they wouldn’t give any trouble.) • In 1864, Colonel J. M. Chivington’s militia killed 400 Indians because they said they had been promised immunity. • In 1866, Sioux party ambushed Captain William J. Fetterman’s 81 soldiers and civilians leaving no survivors. • The Sioux ambush resulted in the federal government giving the Sioux tribes the asked for “Great Sioux reservation”
Receding Native Population • In 1874, Custer discovered gold in the Black Hills of South Dakota (part of the reservation) greedy gold-seekers swarmed there causing the Sioux tribes to usewarpath. • By 1876, the 2,500 armed Indians wiped out the 264 officers and men. • In 1877, Nez Perce Indians in northwest Oregon fought with U.S. authorities who wanted to put them into reservations. Chief Joseph surrendered because they had been pushed back toward Canada together with his 700 Indians. They send them to dusty camps in Kansas were the majority dead. Eventually the survivors were send back to their ancestral land in Idaho.
Bellowing Herds of Buffalo • When the Spaniards arrived in America millions of buffalo surrounded the vast grasslands. • Buffalo was the main supply for Indians. They would use it for food, clothes and other supplies.
After the Civil War in 1868 15 million buffalos were left. Because of the railroad construction they were killing the buffalo. • They would killed them for thelust of slaughteringor for the excitement. • By 1885 only one thousand buffalo were left and were in danger of extinction.
The End of the Trail • In the 1880’s a movement to try to reform Indian policy began. • Helen Hunt Jackson wrote A Century of Dishonor writing about how cruel the whites treated the Indians and later also wrote the novel Ramona describingthe moral sense of Americans. • Humanitarians wanted to treat the Indians kindly but others wanted to keep the same policy containing brutal punishment and forced containment.
The End of the Trail • Both sides were trying to convert them to Christianity and reform them to white society so none of them really showed any respect to the Native American culture. • In 1890 the Battle of Wounded Knee-stop the “Ghost Dance” cult to spread. The army killed 200 Indian men, women and children.
Dawes Severalty Act • Dawes Severalty Act-In 1887 tried to reform Indian policy. The act dissolves many tribes as legal entities, it sets up individual Indian family ownership of 160 free acres. As long as the Indians behave like “good white settlers” they would get full title to their holdings and citizenship in twenty-five years. • Dawes Act tried to turn Indians into rugged individuals. They created boarding schools for Indian children to attend. Separating them from their tribes and educating them in English and teaching them white values and customs. • By 1887 about 243,000 Indians were felt compared to 360,000 in 1860.
Mining: From Dishpan to Ore Breaker • In 1848 a gold discovery in California began causing hundreds of families to move west to discover their fortune. • In 1849 the “forty- niners” came to Nevada where the ComstockLodehad been uncovered as well as and silver.
Mining: From Dishpan to Ore Breaker • Saloons were created where miners would drink liquor in the company of accommodating women. • The mines would cause a whole town to be swarmed in by greedy gold minors ready to discover their wealth but as soon as that was over they would all leave leaving the towns completely deserted. • The age of big business gradually came to the mining industry. • The mining industry helped pay much of the Civil War.
Beef and the Cattle Drive • After the Civil War the grassy plains in Texas were full of long-horned cattle. • Because of the transcontinental railroads cattle meat was able to be transported everywhere causing the industrial meat-packing business to begin. • Texas cowboys-(black, white, and Mexican) drove herds of cows until they reached a railroad terminal.
Cattle Drive • The “Cattle Drive “ was profitable, of course, to those who didn’t catch any diseases from the cattle, who were able to escaped from Indians, stampedes, and other hazards. • In 1866 to 1888, 400 million mooing herds were driven northward toward Kansas from Texas. • In 1886-1887 a terrible winter camecausing the cattle to starve and freeze making this “Cattle Drive” come to an end.
The Farmers’ Frontier • Railways took a major role in developing the agricultural West through the profitable marketing of crops. • Homestead Act-In 1862 allowed western farmers to acquire 160 acres of land as long as they lived on it for five years, improved it, and paid a fee of $30. • The Homestead Act encourage a rapid filling of empty spaces and provided a motivation to the family farm. • Disadvantage of the Homestead Act was the six-year drought of 1888 and 1992 on the Great Plains. 2 out of 3 farmers were forced to give up their land because of the drought. Life in western Kansas, eastern Colorado, and Montana was virtually impossible to survive.
Inventions • Barbed wire was invented by Joseph F. Glidden in 1874 to solve the problem of fencing areas without using any trees. • Engineers had to produce irrigation to 45 million acres in seventeen states.
The Far West Comes of Age • From the 1870s to 1890s there was a great population growth in The Great West. • Six new states joined the Union- N. Dakota, S. Dakota, Montana, Washington, Idaho, and Wyoming to get more electoral and congressional votes. Leaving only Oklahoma, New Mexico and Arizona remaining to join.
The Far West Comes of Age • Federal government gave settlers stretches of fertile land in Oklahoma bringing scores of people to Oklahoma Territory illegally. • On April 22,1889 Oklahoma Territory was open legally causing 50,000 people enter the state creating a tent city. • By the end of the year 60,000 new inhabitants were in the state.
The Fading Frontier • By 1890 there was no longer unsettled areas in the West. The frontier was no longer visible. • This inspired the writing of the essay “The Significance of the Frontier in America History” by Frederick Jackson Turner. • Seeing that the land was limitless, seeds were planted and national parks were created (Yellowstone in 1872,Yosemite and Sequoia in 1890) to try and preserve the land.
Farming Becomes a Factory • Most of the travelers moving West to farm did not know how to and had very little money to even move West. • Chicago, Denver, and San Francisco became the big cities where failed farmers went to find a job. • After 1880 the area from the Rocky Mountains to the Pacific Coast was the most urbanized region in America. • High Prices persuade farmers to grow “cash crops” like wheat and corn to gain profit. • As long as the prices stayed up all was good but in the 1880s bankruptcy fell and they began to see how the business worked
Farmers take their Stand • Government was charging them high local taxes in the West while in the East they had safe-deposit boxes. • The Grange was organized in 1867 to try to organize the farming system. • Oliver H. Kelley was the leader • By 1875, it had 800,000 members in Midwest and South • Created individual self- improvement to improve farmers’ collective troubles. • Created self owned stores, grain elevators, and warehouses for producers.