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Unit 8: Conquest and Survival: The Trans-Mississippi West (1860-1900)
Transcript of Unit 8: Conquest and Survival: The Trans-Mississippi West (1860-1900)
Surviving tribes adapted...
The Reservation Policy
The Open Range
Destruction of buffalo clears path for cattle industry
Farming Communities on the Plains
The World's Breadbasket
The Indian Wars
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Transformation of Indian Societies
Conquest and Survival: The
Plains Indians use horses and firearms.
Some tribes learn English; convert to Christianity
Tribes autonomous; reside w/in American boundaries
Reality: Treaties and force used to claim land
Displacement of Indians to reservations
As whites expand West...
Access to farmland
Creation of ranches
Investment in natural resources
Major Indian Battles and Indian Reservations, 1860-1900
U.S. Gov't plan "zones" for Indians
Purpose: Have access to natural resources and land
Bureau of Indian Affairs
created to provide guidance to Indians
U.S. Military to provide "protection" for Indians
Overall Impact of Reservation Policy
Reservation provisions inadequate
Nomadic tribes face intense competition for survival
(*b/n tribes & with whites)
Diseases ravage Indian populations
Buffalo destroyed by:
Longhorn cattle drives from TX-KS railroads
Wanna see my driver's license?
The Birth of the Cowboy
workday length tiresome
no protection from element
poor diet = disease
Ethnically Diverse Industry
Vaqueros (Mexican Cowboys) pre-1845
At it's peak:
1/5 to 1/3 cowboys were Indian, Mexican, or African American
Few women allowed
Whites were former soldiers avoiding indoor/boring lives
Frontier Violence and Racism
Combo of gambling and drinking led to violence b/n cowboys
1870s: Range wars turned violent
Ranchers battle over same land
Cowboys battle over right to work
1880s: Open Range slowly closes
Homestead Act (1862)
Gov't incentive program
160 acres (FREE) if:
you live on land and improve it for 5 years
or you could buy outright ($1.25/acre)
Near Lincoln, Nebraska
Near Big Sky, Montana
Wikipedia's stock photo of "The Great Plains"
Successful in central/upper Midwest
State gov't, Fed gov't, land companies, speculators bought best land
Adventurous female Homesteaders encouraged
Populating the Plains
Lizzy Chrisman & Sisters, 1887
Railroads key to success
deliver crops/cattle to east
brought goods to Plains
Put communities on the map
2 Million Immigrants:
Work Dawn to Dusk
Survive and prosper through hard work
Men: work seasonal; need other jobs
Women: daily activities routine
Children: run errands, complete chores
Community was key!
Cultivation difficult (sod)
Farmers develop new cultivation techniques
Weather & plagues of locusts :(
Toll on the Environment
destroyed plant & animal species
replace buffalo w/cattle & sheep
~ate grass to root; dust storms
commercial ag depletes some water supplies
Gov't creates Forest Service & Newlands Act (environ. protection)
Reform Policy and Politics
Promote Indian assimilation
Eradicate distinct tribal customs
Racist assumptions = near cultural destruction
The Dawes Severalty Act (1887)
Indians granted land if sever from tribe
Indian religious & cultural ceremonies banned
Telling of Indian myths banned
Creation of "Indian schools"
~attendance was mandatory
The Ghost Dance
Last "rebellious act" of Native Americans
Ghost Dancers tell of prophet's vision
Whites fearful; Ghost Dance = warning of retribution
Ghost Dance = religious ceremony
Whites demand military protection/intervention