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Chapter 6

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Chapter 2
SETTLING THE WEST
(1865-1890)
Objectives
 Lessons 1 & 2: Mining and Ranching & Farming the Plains
 1) Students will be able to demonstrate an understanding of key
challenges faced when settling the West.
Settling the West
 Manifest Destiny – 19th century doctrine that
westward expansion of the U.S. was not only
inevitable but a God given right
 Manifest Destiny encouraged westward expansion
 Manifest Destiny justified the mistreatment of
Native Americans because they were considered
uncivilized. It was the right and “duty” of Americans
to civilize & Christianize the Native Americans.
“American Progress” – John Gast
“American Progress”
 Analyze the “American Progress” painting by John




Gast and briefly respond to the these questions in
your notes:
1) Describe what is happening in the picture?
2) What does the woman represent?
3) What does the artist want you to think, know, and
feel?
4) What is the artist’s opinion about westward
expansion?
Lessons 1 & 2–
Transforming
the West
Manifest Destiny
realized
RAILROADS
Western
Settlement
MINING
RANCHING
FARMING
RAILROADS
While MANIFEST
DESTINY encouraged
Western settlement,
RAILROADS allowed
for people to move
WEST
*It took 250 years to
settle first 400 million
acres
**It took 30 years to
settle next 400 million
acres (1870-1900)
 Railroads open the West
 Transcontinental Railroad built connecting East &
West – authorized by Congress during the Civil
War
 Private Companies Built
 Central Pacific – Mostly Chinese immigrants
 Union Pacific – Mostly Irish immigrants
 Supported By Government
 Land Grants




for every mile of track laid in a state, RR companies
received 10 square miles
For every mile of track laid in a territory, RR
companies received 20 square miles
170 million acres (1/2 billion $ worth of land)
Loans & Subsidies
 Transcontinental RR finished 1869 at
PROMONTORY POINT, UTAH
 Settlement of Western Territories follows

Ten territories become states (1864 – 1896)
Transcontinental Railroad
Promontory Point, UTAH
(May 10, 1869)
 Discovery of Gold or Silver

Mining Towns
Boomtowns to ghost
towns
Major discoveries in Nevada (Comstock
Lode), Colorado (Pikes Peak), Black Hills
(Dakotas)
 People move to area

Miners want to strike it rich – “Prospectors”
 Boomtowns created
Mining helped to:

1)Finance the Civil War

2)Facilitate building of
RR

3) Intensified bitter
conflict between white
settlers & Native Am.



Communities developed around mining –
Leadville, CO; Helena, MT; Denver, CO
Saloon keepers, boarding houses, casinos,
hotels
Justice and order needed to limit violence &
lawlessness
Marshalls & Sheriffs
Vigilantes – Self-appointed enforcer of the
law
Vigilance Committees - group of citizens
organized to find criminals and bring justice.
Mining and
Western
settlement
 Mining Leads to Statehood
 Nevada – Comstock Lode in 1864 led
prospectors to flood the area
 “Pikes Peak or Bust” – Gold and Silver in
Colorado; Denver becomes 2nd largest
western city
 North and South Dakota– Black Hills gold
rush
 Montana – Copper Mining/Ranching
 Big Business Took over
 Once loose surface gold was gone, big
machinery was needed to mine & extract
minerals
 Hydraulic Mining – method of mining by
which water was sprayed at a very high
pressure to expose large deposits of minerals
beneath the surface
 Corporations came to dominate mining &
advanced techniques along the way (quartz
mining)
Mining
Boom Towns
 Creede, Colorado (Silver
Mining)
 Now
Mining Regions
“Ghost Towns”
(Calico, CA)

Cattle
Ranching

Cattle business on the Great
Plains expanded after the Civil
War due to the demand for beef in
growing cities
Railroads allowed ranchers to
make profit off cattle

Open Range System –
cattle grazed on
un-fenced
property
END OF THE OPEN
RANGE
1)Overgrazing
2)Barbed Wire
3) Bad weather –
harsh winters
and dry
summers

Started to round up the longhorn cattle and ship them
east to market
COWBOYS – drove herds of cattle
across the open range
Language, skills , and identity
influenced by Mexican vaqueros
 Real-life of cowboy differed greatly
from romanticized myths of the “old
west”
 35,000 worked b/w 1864 & 1884
(drove over 5,000,000 head of cattle
during this time)
 Cattle drives lasted about 3 months –
dangerous overland transport of
cattle herds
 Legends of the West: “Wild Bill” &
“Calamity Jane”

Barbed Wire Ends the Open Range
Settling the
Hispanic
Southwest
 With the U.S. victory over Mexico in
the Mexican-American War in 1848,
the U.S. acquired the vast region of
the American Southwest.




Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo – granted the
region’s residents property rights and
citizenship
As Americans moved to the West, cultures
clashed.
Hispanic Americans struggled to hold on to
economic, political, and cultural
dominance
Increasingly, the original Hispanic
population found its status diminished and
often relegated to lower paying and less
desirable jobs
US Land Acquisition
Mexican Land
Given to the
USA
TREATY OF
GUADALUPE
HIDALGO – 1848
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