Hist-18 Ch. 16

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Describe the culture of the Plains tribes, with particular emphasis on gender roles and the importance of the American bison (buffalo). What three tribes dominated the northern plains by the mid-nineteenth century?
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The Plains tribe was a diverse group of tribes and language groups. Some formed alliances with one another; others were in constant conflict. The women's roles in the tribe were largely domestic and artistic. They also tended fields and gardens in those places where bands remained settled long enough to raise crops. Men worked as hunters and traders and supervised the religious and military life of the band. Most of the Plains Indians practiced a religion centered on a belief in the spiritual power of the natural world. Many of the Plains tribes subsisted largely through hunting buffalo. Riding small but powerful horses, descendants of Spanish stock, the tribes moved through the grasslands following the herds.
Indians were in advantage because were proud and aggressive warriors, schooled in warfare from their frequent skirmishes with rival tribes. They competed with one another to develop reputation for fierceness and bravery both as hunters and as soldiers. The whites advantage was that the Indian's various not united tribes. Also, some tribes were assisting the whites to annihilate other Indian tribes. Also, the Indians were tragically vulnerable to eastern infectious diseases and were outmanned and outgunned.
When the United States acquired title of New Mexico in the aftermath of the Mexican War, General Stephen Kearney-- who had commanded the American troops in the region during the conflict -- tried to establish a territorial government that excluded the established Mexican ruling class. He drew most of the officials from Anglo-Americans. Hispanic societies survived in the Southwest in part because they were so far from the centers of English-speaking society that Anglo-American migrants (and the railroads that carried them) were slow to get there. With the railroads come extensive new ranching, farming, and mining and more Mexican immigrants.
IN CA: Reckless expansion, growing indebtedness, and a severe drought that devastated Mexican ranching culture

IN TX: fraud, coercion and the inability to compete with Anglo-American ranching kingdoms

Mexicans in southern Texas became an increasingly impart first working-class relegated largely to unskilled farm for industrial labor
Democrats took hostility because there was political pressure to gain power. They were racist towards them for economics and racial arguments. The Chinese did not accept the new laws quietly. They were shocked by the anti-Chinese rhetoric that lumped them with Blacks and Indians and they argued that they were better.
The Homestead Act of 1862 permitted settlers to buy plots of 160 acres for a small fee if they occupied the land they purchased for five years and improved it.

They thought land would be enough to sustain a farm family (rising costs to run a farm). They made calculations based on Eastern experiences, which was innapropriate for the west. Many abandoned before 5 years.
The whites worked alongside AA, Chinese, Filipinos, Mexicans, Indians, immigrants, etc. In almost every area the western economy, white workers (whatever their ethnicity) occupied the upper tiers of employment: management and skilled labor. The lower tiers--unskilled and often arduous work in the mines, on the railroads or in agriculture--consisted overwhelmingly of non whites.
The western cattle industry was Mexican and Texan by ancestry. Long before
citizens of the United States invaded from the Southwest, Mexican ranchers
had developed the techniques and equipment that the cattlemen and cowboys of
the Great Plains later employed: branding (a device known in all frontier
areas where stock was common), roundups, roping, and the gear of the herders
- their lariats, saddles, leather chaps, and spurs. Americans in Texas
adopted these methods and carried them to the northernmost ranges of the
cattle kingdom. Texas also had the largest herds of cattle in the country;
the animals were descended from Spanish stock - wiry, hardy longhorns - and
allowed to run wild or semi wild. From Texas, too, came the horses that
enabled the caretakers of the herds, the cowboys, to control them - small,
muscular broncos or mustangs well suited to the requirements of cattle
After fattening massive herds on the unfenced pastures of the public
domain, cowboys drove the hardy longhorns hundreds of miles with their
horses on the famous "long drives," much of them through dangerous Indian
country. As railroads extended further west they opened up new, more
convenient trailheads. They also brought competition from sheep herders and
more settled farmers bent on fencing in the open range. The great open-field
cattle herds moved steadily westward and then finally disappeared in the
late 1880s, when cattle raising became largely restricted to enclosed
Why did women tend to gain the right to vote in the western states and territories before they did in the East?East coast women existed in a more formalized society. Most women didn't work, and most were forced by either social norms or their own families to exist in a subservient position to their husbands. The vast majority of these women were passive toward the idea of womens liberation. They may have supported the idea internally, but the actual number who spoke up about it was fairly small. It was a social no-no. Things were different out west. Pioneer women often worked alongside their husbands on the farm or establishing new businesses and were often seen as equal partners in the relationship. They were far more likely to speak up when wronged, and it wasn't uncommon for them to own property in their own names. In that kind of environment, it was much harder for men to argue that women were somehow inferior, and a much larger percentage of men were open to the idea of giving their "partners" the same legal rights they had.To what factors does the text attribute much of the romantic image of the Far West? Explain.The western landscape, the cowboy culture, and the idea of the frontier are attributed to the romantic image of the Far West. The rugged and natural western landscape inspired artists and attracted tourists. Life was free-spirited. The Far West was to be the last frontier.How accurate was Frederick Jackson Turner's thesis about the American frontier?Turner's assessments were both inaccurate and premature. The West had never been a "frontier" in the sense he meant the term: an empty, uncivilized land awaiting settlement. But Turner did express a growing and generally accurate sense that much of the best farming and grazing land was now taken, that in the future it would be more difficult for individuals to acquire valuable land for little or nothing.Describe the evolution of basic national Indian policy up to the 1880s. What did the polices accomplish? How were the policies and their implementation flawed?Policy during American Indians during the 1850's to 1880's was constantly changing. After granting Indians limited sovereignty in 1860 through the Senate white demands for access to lands in Indian Territory gave whites new reservation policies known as "concentrations". In 1867 Congress established the Indian peace commission to try and calm the Indians and prepare a new final Indian policy.Describe how the influx of white settlers in the West led to violence and warfare. What were the major encounters? Why did the whites ultimately prevail?White settlers continued to push Indian populations further and further West taking lands cultivated by Indian cultures and killing of the buffalo herds. These clashes caused many Indians to revolt against the white invader. But many tribes couldn't get passed their own personal issues to all fight together against the white settlers which made it easier for white settlers to push and kill off tribes one by oneWhat was the basic objective of the Dawes Act, and how did it try to accomplish this goal?The Dawes Act provided for the gradual elimination of tribal ownership of land and the allotment of tracts to individual owners: 160 acres to the head of a family, 80 acres to a single adult or orphan, 40 acres to each dependent child. Adult owners were given United Sates citizenship, but unlike other citizens, they could not gain full title to their property for 25 years. The act applied to most of the western tribes. The pueblo, who continued to occupy lands long ago guaranteed them, were excluded from its provisions. The Bureau of Indian Affairs relentlessly promoted the idea of assimilation that lay behind itDescribe the building of the transcontinental railroad and subsidiary lines. Why can it be said that the western railroads were essentially public projects, despite their private ownership?The building of the transcontinental railroads and subsidiary lines was a dramatic and monumental achievement; thousands of immigrant workers-mostly Irish on the east and Chinese on the west-labored in difficult conditions to get through mountains, cross deserts, protect themselves from Indians, and to finally connect the two lines at Promontory Point in Northern Utah in the spring of the 1869. The western railroads can be said to be public projects because the federal government encouraged railroad development by offering direct financial aid, favorable loans, and more than 50 million acres of land.How did the railroads stimulate settlement of the Great Plains?The railroads stimulated development in the Great Plains because the railroads made access to the Great Plains, the railroad companies promoted settlement in the Great Plains in order to provide themselves with customers and to increase the value of their land, they set low rates so anyone could afford a ticket, they sold their land at very low prices, and provided liberal credit to prospect settlers.What unfamiliar problems did farmers encounter on the Great Plains? What methods and devices helped solve these problems?Some problems that farmers encountered on the Great Plains were fencing which was solved by the invention of barbed wire and lack of water which was solved by wells and irrigation.How were market forces changing the nature of American agriculture? What was the result?Market forces were changing the nature of American agriculture by making farmers try to do in agricultural economy what was done in the manufacturing economy. Commercial farmers were not self-sufficient and made no effort to become so. They specialized in cash crops, which they sold in national or world markets. They did not make their own household supplies or group their own food but bought them instead at town or village stores. This kind of farming, when it was successful, raised the farmers' living standards. But it also made them dependent on bankers and interest rates, railroads and freight rates, national and European markets, world supply and demand. Unlike the capitalists of the industrial order, they could not regulate their production or influence the prices of what they sold.What role did Buffalo Bill and the Wild West Show phenomenon play in shaping and preserving an image of the American West that is at odds with that presented by most modern historians?Buffalo Bill started a show that soon became a phenomenon, gaining large audiences both in the United States and in Europe. Buffalo Bill often starred in his own shows, but featured other starts some of which included the great Sioux leader Sitting Bull, and the famous Chiricahua Apache warrior Geronimo. His shows romanticized the West and presented an image of romance and glamour. Many people enjoyed the shows, including prominent ones such as General William T. Sherman, Mark Twain, P. T. Barnum, Thomas A. Edison, and the widow of General Custer. All of whom applauded the show. Even though the ideas and presentations of the show contrasted heavily to the hardships and reality of the West, the entertainment and thrills helped ensure that the image of the Wild West would be kept alive for later generations.Why do the "new western historians' argue that Anglo-European Americans did not so much settle the West as conquer it?The "new western historians" did not share the views of Turner or other older historians of the West as "free land", but instead as an elaborate and highly developed civilizations having Native American, Hispanic, mixed-blood, and others already existing in the region. Anglo-Americans in the West continue to share the region not only with the Indians and Hispanics who preceded them there, but also with African Americans, Asians, Latin Americans, and others who flowed into the West at the same time they did. Recent scholars have claimed that western history is a process of cultural "convergence," a constant competition and interaction- economic, political, cultural, and linguistic- among diverse peoples. The West in Turner's image was a place of heroism, triumph, and above all, progress, dominated by the feats of brave white men. The new historians description of the West is a less triumphant (and less masculine) place in which bravery and success coexist with oppression, greed, and failure; in which decaying ghost towns, bleak Indian reservations, impoverished barrios, and ecologically vast landscapes are as characteristic of western development as great ranches, rich farms, and prosperous cities; and in which moment are as important as men in shaping the societies that emergedGreat American DesertThis is what kept most Americans from moving into the vast lands west of the Mississippi River. They believed it was a "Great American Desert" unfit for civilization like most early travelers popularized.CooliesChinese indentured servants whose conditions were close to slaves.Washoe District/Comstock Lodegold had been found in Washoe district, but most valuable ore in the great Comstock lode- first discovered in 1858 by Henry Comstock, and other veins was silver."Range Wars"between sheepmen and cattlemen, between ranchers and farmers, erupted out of the tensions between these competing groups. Some of the wars resulted in significant loss of life and extensive property damage.Albert BierstadtU.S. artist, born near Düsseldorf, Germany; gained popularity with panoramic scenes of the American West; among the last generation of painters associated with the Hudson River school; covered vast distances in search of exotic subject matter; freely altered details and colors of landscape to create grandeur; often made dramatic progression from foreground to background, without the softness of a middle distance.Frederic Remingtona painter and sculptor. He chose for his subjects men living close to nature: cowboys, Indians, frontiersmen, and soldiers. His works - especially his sculptures of bucking broncos - are alive with motion and vividly capture the action of the moment.Bureau of Indian Affairsbranch of the department of the interior, the bureau was responsible for distributing land making payments, and supervising the shipment of supplies.Nez Percea small and relatively peaceful tribe, some of whose members had managed to live unmolested in Oregon in the 1870s without ever signing a treaty with the United States.Wounded KneeOn December 29, 1890, the Seventh Cavalry (which was once Custer's regiment) attempted to round up a group of about 350 cold and starving Sioux at Wounded Knee, South Dakota. Fighting broke out and about 40 white soldiers and up to 200 of the Indians, including women and children died. What precipitated the conflict is a matter of dispute. An Indian may have fired the first shot, but the battle soon turned into a one-sided massacre, as the white soldiers turned their new machine guns on the Indians and mowed them down in the snow.Annie OakleyA famous sharpshooter who participated in the Buffalo Bill Cody show by including her own re-enactments of Indian battles and displays of horsemanship and riflery.