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The Changing Frontier, 1850-1900

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Theresa Nelson

on 19 December 2013

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Transcript of The Changing Frontier, 1850-1900

The Changing Frontier, 1850-1900
Native Americans

The Background
Plains Indians
unique culture
used to be farmers and not nomadic
Cattle Ranching
traditions and ceremonies

•Sun Dance- a religious ceremony associated with the sun, practiced by North American Indians of the Plains, consisting of dancing attended with various symbolic rites and commonly including self-torture.

C.Spanning the Continent
1. transcontinental rail line connected the East and West coasts
2. challenges included:
battles on where rail line should be

the bad conditions including hot weather, rugged mountains, and rivers

A. The Big Idea
1. Railroads connected the East and West
mines far away from industrial centers/ factories
B. Railroads and the government
1. government supported railroad companies
subsidies- land grants/ financial aid

Until 1850, most of the nation's land was empty
The west became known as "The Frontier"
Minnesota, Iowa, Missouri, and Arkansas, California, Oregon, and Washington were territories with very few people
Utah had Mormons, Colorado had miners, New Mexico had Mexican-Americans, Oklahoma was Indian Territory
pioneers, miners, and hunters passed through the west but didn't settle
The Horses and the Buffalo
Spaniards brought horses
changes their hunting styles from on foot to riding horses
Buffalo were very important
Native Americans used the for everything
Manifest Destiny!!
caused Americans to move west
belief that is inevitable that Americans should occupy the entire North American continent
created by John Sullivan, a New York paper man
used to promote people to move west
fostered competition against Americans to move west
new ways of life and riches found/formed
cattle ranchers, farmers, miners, cowboys
transportation and Native Americans affected
The transcontinental rail line was finished May 10,1869
New Industry to make money
newspapers claimed miners made $20 a day
50,000 people went west in search of gold and silver
railroads impacted and were impacted by mining
this spike was put in the place where the two rail lines met up
D. Railroad Companies
1. Large companies bought smaller companies
this was called a pool or a monopoly
2. companies formed unions, made standard prices, and an easier process to satisfy customers

How, Where, and What
Individuals strained gold dust from rivers and streams and scratched gold out of the ground and off of rocks
Companies used heavy equipment to cut through the rock, carry minerals to the surface and crush stone. They could afford to hire experienced miners
equipment was expensive and companies overrun and made more money than individuals
the mining boom started when gold was discovered in California in 1849
miners continued to look for new places to mine
the mining industry spread all through the west
In 1858, gold was found in Pikes Peak, Co
by spring 1859, 50,000 people flocked to CO
LODE: rich vein in gold or silver found in between rock layers
•many nations came together to hunt and attend special events
•held councils at summer gatherings
◦elders consulted about problems facing the whole nation
•most important religious ceremony- Sun Dance
E. Improving Railroads
1. almost every city had different times
this annoyed passengers of the railroads because they were constantly having to change their watches at every city
4 different time zones created (Pacific, Central, Eastern, Rocky Mountain)
Reservations lead to battle

Native Americans grew angrier and angrier as whites took their land and forced them into reservations.
to show that they raided wagons, stole cows and animals and burned ranches
F. Inventions that changed railroads
1. Air Brakes- stopped trains, made travel safer
George Westinghouse
2. Janny Car Couplers- used to connect cars
Eli H. Janny
3. Refrigerated Cars- used to ship perishable goods
Gustavus Swift
4. Pullman Sleeping Car- used for overnight travel, seats reclined

Comstock Lode
Homestead act
In 1859,miners in Nevada found a vein of silver by the Carson River
The lode was found in quartz rock and named after Henry Comstock
about $292 million found
miners were crazy for gold and silver and didn't mine for minerals until later
boomtowns formed

F. Barons

1. powerful individuals in railroad industry
aggressive and competitive
2. Cornelius Vanderbilt- consolidated many companies
3. James J. Hill- built northern line
People mined gold and silver
they were purchased/backed a lot of money
miners did everything they could to find gold and silver
eventually gold and silver veins would run out
mining became a big, profitable industry in the south
Boom and Bust
the govt. encouraged people to move west by saying that if they lived on the land for 5 years the govt. would give you 160 acres of land with only a $10 admission fee.
G. Effects of the Railroad
Challenges for the farmers
droughts and fires
open range cattle
snow and blizzards
Native Americans!
The mining boom
bonanza: when a large amount of valuable ore is discovered
the California Gold rush:
1948--James Marshall was building a mill on the American River when he found gold (Sacramento, CA)
1/2 a million people came to California
other deposits of gold or silver were found n Colorado, Oklahoma, Nevada, South Dakota, Washington, Montana, Wyoming, Idaho
When a mine runs out of ore in the area and miners leave to find a new mine
brought thousands of people to the west- many territories able to enter into union
carried metals+produce to East
boosted steel, iron, and construction companies
changed how people measured time- time zones
united cultures and people of different regions
invented standard gauge
Native Americans lost a lot of land and brought conflict
Created by gold and silver discoveries
towns that develop quickly around mining sites
busy and chaotic places
Money lost quickly
violent without law enforcement
mostly men
abandoned when mines were busted--become ghost towns
Ghost towns:
abandoned towns or villages that contain visible remains
form when:
gold or silver runs out
miners move on
stores and merchants leave
town is abandoned
Steel Plowing
light weight
helps digging into sod
people who used these were called sod busters
Problems with mining;
streams polluted
forests cut down
Native Americans forced off their land
foreign miners treated unfairly
few miners got rich
Mining Towns:
no law officials
vigilantes formed
self-appointed law officers who treated people unfairly and punished without trials; often got away with crimes themselvs
fights and killings often over money
San Francisco was the only boomtown to form a political government system
very few actually made money
9:1 male to female ratio
Mexicans, Native Americans, and Chinese worked in mine shafts
many were violent, dangerous, and not very nice
mining was popular in the West
people traveled West
railroads used
new states and territories formed
gold and silver out
other metals became popular for mining
copper, lead, zinc
still not enough for all miners to make money
used to pump water from underground
Barb wire:
fencing technique that replaced wood fences because they didnt have wood
Dry Farming:
farming technique that plants the seed in the moist ground because there was little rain
needed a lot of land farmers didn't have--many went in debt and had to rent
Some miners made money, but many didn't
economy was improved because money was backed by gold and silver and more people were spending
real estate prices soared
new cities, states, and territories were formed

When the spanish settled Mexico they brought a tough breed of cattle with them

Cattle Gradually spread across Texas and the Great Plains

Texas was an *open range*
- It wasn't fenced in (barbed wire will end this)

Ranchers would round up stray cattle to add to their own herds

Cattle on the Plains
Railroads and Cow Towns

Markets for beef were in the north and the east
-in 1865 the pacific railroad reached Kansas and Missouri

The Value of cattle increased from $3-$40

Cattle provided meat which profited the farmers

Cattle could now be shipped to the north and eastern cities

Long Drive
Long Drive- The herding of cattle for 1000 miles or more to meet railroads

Because there were no direct railroads long drives were created

Cattle drives would leave Texas in the spring and travel to cow towns

A single herd could contain more than 2500 cattle, 8-10 cowhands, 1 trail boss, and wranglers

Investors made and enormous amount of money from a successful drive
Life On the Great Plains
Exciting, lonely, and dangerous

Cattle Driving- The process of moving cattle from 1 place to another
- very hard work

_ rode up to 15 hours on horse back
- worked through dangerous conditions
- Were civil war veterans, african-americans, or hispanics
- often weren't respected

The End of Cattle Ranching

The beef market put so many cattle up for sale that the price of cattle rapidly declined

Sheepherders competed with the cattle for land

Farming arose

The Cold Winter of 1886-87
- Terrible blizzards
- Cattle weren't able to graze
African Americans migrated to Kansas in 1870

they were no longer under federal protection so they moved west for safety

by 1881, 40,000 African Americans had migrated
The Farmer's Organizations
Farmers struggled after the civil war
farming expanded
prices dropped
transportation prices were high
high demand at war time fell
farmers blamed their problems on
railroad companies that charged a lot of money to transport goods
eastern manufacturers that charged high for grain to be processed
bankers who charged high interest to borrow money for needed supplies
The National grange:
organization to stop farmers problems
became a political movement
offered education, fellowship, and support for farmers
library for farmers with books on farming and raising animals
social events for lonely farming families
encouraged being self-sufficient and providing for yourself
invented cash cooperatives:
stores where they could buy products from each other for cash only
failed because they didn't always have the cash
The Farmers Alliances
network of organizations in west and south
grew rapidly
sponsored education, buying, and selling
store farmer's crops in warehouses and lend money
created to reduce the power of railroads, banks, and merchants and provide federal protection
Populist Party;
active in 1890 elections
won 6 governorships, 3 senators, 50 representatives
became a political party
populist party
goal was to appeal to the common people
said government should own railroads and telegraph lines so the prices would lower and be fair
thought they should replace gold-backed currency for silver-backed currency because money would be worth less so prices would be lower
instead you needed more money to buy the same thing which caused more debts
supported politacal and labor reforms
believed President and VP should be limited to a single term
thought they should elect senators directly
secret ballots
shorter work hours
income tax
nominated James Weaver for president
didn't win
support for the party grew
did well in local and state elections
they hoped to win the 1896 presidential election but they lacked support and money
Free silver:
idea that split the populist party
because southerners didn't want to work under African Americans
Southern states were mostly Democratic
freedman joining the party weren't able to vote because the southerners
debtors supported because they thought it would help them pay their debts
silver-miners supported because they would be able to sell their silver
since silver was less expensive, prices would be higher so you would need twice as much money---didn't work
Oklahoma Land Rush
Oklahoma was the last region to be settled
people moved there for farming even though it was indian territory
April 22, 1
Summary of Farming:
Americans migrated to the frontier for farming
farming was not a simple task
new methods of farming were formed to fit the environment
dry farming
movements of farmers formed:
National Gorge
Farmer's Alliance
Populist Party
farmers stood for the common people
Sod busters: plain farmers
Election of 1896
Populist Candidate; William Jennings Bryan; Republican Candidate: William McKinley
McKinley won
Populist Ideas spread;
silver standards; 8 hour work day; income tax, secret ballot, direct election of Senators
Jobs on the Farm:
Men: work in the fields and care for animals
Women: cared for children, sewed, cooked, made candles
children; worked on the farm and didn't go to school
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