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The West 1860-1900

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The West 1860-1900
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  1. The West 1860-1900 Why do people move?

  2. Questions • What conditions lured people to migrate to the West? • Where did the western settlers come from? • How did the American frontier shift westward?

  3. Push-Pull Factors • When geographers study reasons for major migrations, they look at what they call push-pull factors • Push-Pull Factors-events and conditions that either force (push) people to move elsewhere or strongly attract (pull) them to do so.

  4. Push Factors • Push factors are conditions that drive people from their home lands • Push factors include: • War/Conflict/Violence (displacement) • Famine • Scarce land in home country • Political or religious persecution • Poverty

  5. PullFactors • Pull factors are conditions that attract people to a new country or area • Pull factors include: • The promise of political or religious freedom • Hope for a new life • Industry (i.e. the North vs. South) • Jobs • Land • Money

  6. Push Factors After the Civil War • The Civil War had displaced thousands of farmers, former slaves, and other workers. • Eastern farmland was too costly. • Failed entrepreneurs sought a second chance in a new locations. • Ethnic and religious repression caused people to seek the freedom of the west. • Including former slaves • Outlaws sought refuge.

  7. Pull Factors After the Civil War • The Pacific Railway Acts of 1862 and 1864 • Morrill Land-Grant Act of 1862 • Land speculation • Homestead Act, 1862 • Legally enforceable property rights • Resource speculation

  8. Immigrants from Other Countries

  9. German Immigrants to the West • German-speaking immigrants arrived seeking farmland. • They brought the Lutheran religion with its emphasis on hard work and education. • Many moved to what is now the Midwest including Wisconsin, Minnesota, Iowa, Michigan, and Nebraska

  10. German Heritage 1990’s

  11. Scandinavian Immigrants to the West • Lutherans from Scandinavia settled the northern plains from Iowa, Minnesota, Wisconsin and the Dakotas • Many pursuing dairy farming.

  12. Other Immigrants to the West • Irish, Italians, European Jews, and Chinese settled in concentrated communities on the West coast • They took jobs in mining and railroad construction • This brought them to the American interior.

  13. Chinese Immigrants • Railroad companies began hiring Chinese men as workers • The workers were punctual, willing and well-behaved • Also known as “Celestials” because of their religious beliefs • Experienced harassment from Caucasian workers

  14. Chinese Immigrants • Chinese teams were organized into groups of 20 • Each group had a white foreman • Each worker received $27/mo compared to $35/mo Irish workers made • Irish workers received housing but Chinese workers did not

  15. African-American Immigrants to the West • After the Civil War, thousands of African Americans rode or walked westward, often fleeing violence and exploitation • Many African-Americans sought the opportunity to own and farm their own land • They also saw the west as a way to escape the discrimination and violence they experienced in the South

  16. African-American Immigrants to the West • Benjamin “Pap” Singleton led groups of southern blacks on a mass “Exodus” • a trek inspired by the biblical account of the Israelites’ flight from Egypt to a prophesied homeland • Hence, the settlers called themselves Exodusters

  17. Benjamin “Pap” Singleton • Born a slave in 1809 but escaped to freedom in Detroit in 1846 • After the war he returned to Tennessee • Even though former slaves had freedom they were still terrorized by the KKK • Sharecropping essentially re-enslaved many former slaves by limiting profit • Singleton decided he wanted to help former slaves escape the violence and oppression of the south so………..

  18. Benjamin “Pap” Singleton • Singleton decided to lead his people to the promised land (Kansas) • Like a “Black Moses” he encouraged people to make the exodus to Kansas for more opportunities • This mirrored the story of Moses, the man who led his people (the Jews), to the promised land in the Bible • In 1873 nearly 300 Blacks followed him to Cherokee County, Kansas and founded “Singleton’s Colony”

  19. Singleton and the Exodusters • Between 1870 and 1881 the organized movement of African-Americans gave way to a larger “Exodus” • Tens of thousands of Southern Blacks fled to Kansas and other Northern states to flee oppression • Many came unprepared but most who remained ultimately improved their quality of life • Many also made important contributions to the state and their community • Singleton, the man known as the “Father of the Negro Exodus” died in 1892

  20. Exodusters • Some 50,000 or more Exodusters migrated west.

  21. Mormons