Chapter 12: Change and conflict in the American West
• Mining and Ranching opportunities in the west
• Miners: in search of the Big Strike
• Few of the prospectors that went west to find gold knew little to nothing about prospecting gold.
¨ Many stores on the trail west sold “unhelpful” books on “how to prospect gold”
¨ This was a good, cheap way to make money in the Midwest
• Ranchers and cowboys find a home
¨ Were, essentially, mexican cowboys
¨ They dressed and acted like cowboys
¨ They round up and branded cattle and livestock
• Chisholm Trail
¨ From San Antonio, Texas to Abilene, Kansas
¨ Live cattle was put on trains up the Chisholm trail to different cattle towns
• Railroads open the west to rapid settlement
• The first transcontinental railroad creates huge challenges
• Merchants wanted a faster way of transportation
• C.P. Huntington went to Washington as a lobbyist to push for a railroad bill
¨ Lobbyists try to persuade legislators to pass favorable laws
¨ They passed the Pacific Railway Act
• Created a railroad through California and Oregon
• Congress couldn’t decide between a northern or southern route. After the Civil War they chose a Northern Route
• Working on the railroad: Jobs and hardships for immigrants
• There were jobs then there were people to do them
¨ the civil war took many workers lives
¨ the gold rush eliminated half of the workers
• Railroads become lifelines in the west
• Both companies lines met on May tenth, 1869
¨ This spot was called promontory point
¨ There was the Irish company and the Chinese company
• The time from the Pacific to the Atlantic went from four months to ten days
• Farmers NEEDED them so, they decided to charge ridiculous taxes, because they knew the farmers would have to pay them
• Indian Wars shatter the Great Plains
• Cultures clash on the Great Plains.
• The native Americans would not give up their religions and beliefs to assimilate into American society
• The native Americans were only viewed as obstacles in the path of America’s expansion
• Americans started building reservations for the Indians to live on
¨ Reservations were areas that the Indians were paid to live on.
• The payments kept being delayed so the native Americans started starving
¨ This was hard for the Indians since they were mainly a nomadic peoples who followed their primary source of food, which was the buffalo
• Adaptation and Efforts to assimilate American Indians
¨ Assimilation is the act of throwing someone into a culture and expecting them to adapt to the religion, culture, and language of the language
• Dawes Act
¨ The Dawes Act of 1887 furthered native American assimilation by setting up boarding school that young native Americans went to
• Settling to the Great Plains
• Opportunities and challenges on the Great Plains
• Homestead Act
¨ The gov’t offered people 160 acres of land for a small fee to anyone who would farm and work there
¨ The ground was dry, very little water, and there were no trees
• Morrill land-Grant Act
¨ Gave states land for agricultural colleges
• African Americans see the plains as the “promised land”
¨ Migrants to the Great plains were called exodusters
¨ Is a reference to exodus, a book in the bible about the Israelites escape from slavery and the beginning of their journey to the “promised land”
• Farmers rise up in protest
• Farmers Frustrations give rise to populism
¨ A political philosophy that favors the common person’s interests over a wealthy person’s
¨ Many farmers felt that the common folk were in need more than the wealthy
• Monetary Policy
¨ The value of a country’s currency
¨ America wanted to change the value of the country’s currency
• The rise and fall of the populist party
• The populist party
¨ A political party revolving around the idea of populism
1. What happened in California in 1848 that resulted in a population boom for the territory?
2. What served as a valuable resource for Great Plains ranchers?
3. The “Big Four” sought government support to construct a
4. Those who persuade legislators to pass laws favorable to the groups they represent are called
5. Which of the following was a difficulty faced in building a transcontinental railroad?
6. What group made up the majority of the Central Pacific’s workforce?
7. Why did many consumers ask for government control over railroads companies?
8. What were Native Americans’ beliefs in terms of land rights?
9. What did the federal government do hoping to end conflict between Indians and settlers?
10. How did many tribes react to being placed on reservations?
11. What event led to the hunting down of Sioux Warriors by federal troops?
12. What legislation by Congress accelerated the process of Native American assimilation?
13. What did the Homestead Act offer American settlers in the west?
14. Former slaves migrating to the Great Plains were known as
15. What political ideology arose from discontented western farmers?
16. Which of the following was an example of a “Granger law”?
17. Government control of the supply and value of a country’s currency is called
18. What was the traditional monetary policy maligned by populist politicians?
19. Those who advocated inflationary monetary policy became known as
20. Which presidential candidate declared, “You shall not crucify mankind on a cross of gold”?
21. During the 1860s, many western Indian tribes were forced off their lands and onto
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