63 terms

Movements West

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Chisholm Trail
A trail that ran from San Antonio, Texas, to Abilene, Kansas, established by Jesse Chisholm in the late 1860s for cattle drives
Pony Express
A system of messengers that carried mail between relay stations on a route 2,000-miles long in 1860 and 1861
Transcontinental Railroad
A railroad system that crossed the continental United States; construction began in 1863. The federal government, therefore, passed the Pacific Railway Acts in 1862 and in 1864. These acts gave railroad companies loans and large land grants that could be sold to pay for construction costs. Congress had granted more than 131 million acres of public land to railroad companies. In exchange, the government asked the railroads to carry U.S. mail and troops at a lower cost. Many railroad companies were inspired to begin laying miles of tracks. Two companies, the Central Pacific and the Union Pacific, led the race to complete the transcontinental railroad. In February 1863, the Central Pacific began building east from Sacramento, California. At the end of the year, the Union Pacific started building west from Omaha, Nebraska. The Union Pacific hired thousands of railroad workers, particularly Irish immigrants. Chinese immigrants made up some 85 percent of the Central Pacific workforce. The railroad's part-owner Leland Stanford praised them, but he paid them less than other laborers. Chinese crews also were given the most dangerous tasks and had to work longer hours than other railroad laborers. They took the job, however, it was more than in China.
Frontier
An undeveloped area in the West
Comstock Lode
Nevada gold and silver mine discovered by Henry Comstock in 1859
Boomtown
A Western community that grew quickly because of the mining boom and often disappeared when the boom ended. Few women or families lived in boomtowns. " Women washed, cooked, made clothes, and chopped wood. They also raised families, established schools, and wrote for newspapers. Their work helped turn some mining camps into successful, permanent towns.
Cattle Kingdom
An area of the Great Plains on which many ranchers raised cattle in the late 1800s; the cattle industry was in high demand.
Cattle Drive
A long journey on which cowboys herded cattle to northern markets or better grazing lands
Longhorn
The most popular breed of cattle was the longhorn. The Longhorn spread quickly throughout western Texas. Because these animals needed very little water and could survive harsh weather, they were well-suited to the dry, desert-like environment of western Texas. But how could Texas ranchers move the longhorns to eastern markets?
In 1867 businessman Joseph McCoy discovered a solution. He built pens for cattle in the small town of Abilene, Kansas.
Challenges in making the Transcontinental Railroad
Workers for Central Pacific struggled to cross the Sierra Nevada mountain range in California. Breaking apart its rock formations required setting carefully controlled explosions using large amounts of blasting powder and the explosive nitroglycerin. And in the winter of 1866, snowdrifts more than 60 feet high trapped and killed dozens of workers. Faced with these obstacles, the Central Pacific took four years to lay the first 115 miles of track.
Meanwhile, Union Pacific workers faced harsh weather on the Great Plains. In addition, the company pressured them to work at a rapid pace—at times laying 250 miles of track in six months.
For both railroad companies, providing food and supplies for workers was vital. This job became more difficult in remote areas. The railroad companies consequently often relied on local resources. Professional hunters, such as William "Buffalo Bill" Cody, shot thousands of buffalo to feed Union Pacific workers.
Golden Pike
What was used to connect the railroad tie joining the Central and Union Pacific tracks together. It was placed at Promontory, Utah, on May 10, 1869.
Stanford
Leader and director of Central Pacific Railway, Republican. Opposed slavery, but still prejudiced.
Charles Crocker
Part of Central Pacific. At first skeptical about Chinese labor, didn't think it would be successful. Alas, it was! Cheap and easy! Soon there were no jobs the Chinese weren't doing!
Problems for both Companies
Central: Battled mountains and forests (Sierra Nevada mountains!!) Had to blast through mountains.
Union: Distance; everything had to be imported. Indians helped though, like what happened on the Oregon Trail.
Indians
They got mad as the Railroads were destroying their land, and white men flooding into their areas and killing buffalos on which the Indians depended for physical and cultural sustenance. They started to attack settlers. Big problem for Union Pacific.
Nitroglycerin
Liquid explosive; far more potent than powder. New though, so some people didn't understand how to use it and died, so it was not used so much. But, in early 1867, Central tried it again, and trained crews how to use it. Sped up mining.
Sierra Nevada
Harsh, terribly cold, hard for Central to build on it.
Chinese Workers
They could get out of contracts by fleeing. Were very important to the Central Pacific. Made black powered. Went on strike for better wages when they realized that mines were giving better pay for them with same conditions, so railroad employers starved them. Strike unsuccessful.
The rush to the end
Towards the end, both companies starting rushing to get more miles and win the race, leading to poorer quality. Central Pacific got down more miles and won the money.
Transcontinental Poem
Bret Harte's. (Will write it in later.)
Treaty of Fort Laramie/ Atkinson
(1851) Laramie was a treaty signed in Wyoming by the United States and northern Plains nations. It was the first major treaty. Several southern Plains nations signed the Treaty of Fort Atkinson in Nebraska, two years later. These treaties allowed the U.S. to travel across Indian homelands, and build forts and roads, while also recognizing Indian claims to most of the Great Plains. Lastly, the U.S. gov. promised to pay for any damages in Indian territory.
Reservations
Federal lands set aside for American Indians
Crazy Horse
(1842?-1877) Native American chief of Oglala Sioux, he took part in the Battle of the Little Bighorn, in which General Custer was surrounded and killed. He was killed after surrendering and resisting imprisonment.
Treaty of Medicine Lodge
(1867) an agreement between the U.S. government and southern Plains Indians in which most of the Indians agreed to move onto reservations. Many Indians didn't want to give up there land though, so fighting broke out between the Comanche and the Texans. As the U.S. Army was unable to defeat them, they cut off their access to food and water. Finally in 1875, the leaders of the Comanche surrendered.
Buffalo Soldiers
African American soldiers who served in the cavalry during the wars for the west
Sitting Bull
(c.1831-1890) American Indian leader who became the head chief of the entire Sioux nation, he encouraged other Sioux leaders to resist government demands to buy lands on the Black Hills reservations.
George Armstrong Custer
(1839-1876) American army officer in the Civil War, he became a Native American fighter in the West and was killed with his troops in the Battle of the Little Bighorn.
Battle of the Little Big horn
(June 25, 1876) "Custer's Last Stand"; battle between U.S. soldiers, led by George Armstrong Custer, and Sioux warriors, led by Crazy Horse and Sitting Bull, that resulted in the worst defeat for the U.S. Army in the West, also the Sioux's last major victory.
Massacre at Wounded Knee
(1890) the U.S. Army's killing of approximately 150 Sioux at Wounded Knee Creek in South Dakota; ended U.S-Indian wars on the Plains.
Long Walk
(1864) a 300-mile march made by Navajo captives to a reservation in Bosque Redondo, New Mexico, that led to the deaths of hundreds of Navajo. Happened because the Navajo refused to settle on a reservation, and in response, U.S. troops maid raids on the Navajo's fields, homes, and livestock, causing the Navajo to have to surrender.
Geronimo
(1829-1909) Chiricahua Apache leader, he evaded capture for years and led an extraordinary opposition struggle against white settlements in the American Southwest until his eventual surrender in September 1866.
Ghost Dance
Began by a Paiute Indian named Wovoka, a religious movement among Native Americans that spread across the Plains in the 1880s. It predicted the arrival of paradise for Native Americans. In this paradise, the buffalo herds would return and the settlers would disappear.
U.S. officials did not understand the meaning of the Ghost Dance. They feared it would lead to rebellion, so they tried to end the movement, which had spread to other groups, including the Sioux. After the massacre in 1890 at Wounded Knee, the Ghost Dance movement gradually died out.
Sarah Winnemucca
(1844-1891) Paiute Indian reformer, she was an activist for Indian rights and lectured specifically about the problems of the reservation system.
Dawes General Allotment Act
(1887) Tried to lessen traditional influences on Indian society by making land ownership private rather than shared. The act also promised—but failed to deliver—U.S. citizenship to Native Americans. After breaking up reservation land, the government sold the acreage remaining. The Act took about two-thirds of Indian land.
Buffalos and Horses
Cheyenne, and the Arapaho were Plains Indians. They depended on the horse and the buffalo.The Spanish brought horses to America in the 1500s. Plains Indians learned to ride horses, and hunters used them to follow buffalo herds year-round. While on horseback, most Plains Indian hunters used a short bow and arrows to shoot buffalo from close range.
Plains Indians used buffalo for food, shelter, clothing, utensils, and tools. Women dried buffalo meat to make jerky. They made tepees and clothing from buffalo hides, and cups and tools from buffalo horns.
Treaties in general
Did not keep peace for long.In 1858 the discovery of gold in what is now Colorado brought thousands of miners to the West. They soon clashed with the Cheyenne and the Arapaho. In 1861 the U.S. government negotiated new treaties with Plains Indians. These treaties created reservations, areas of federal land set aside for Native Americans. The government expected Indians to stay on the reservations, which made hunting buffalo almost impossible.
After Bighorn
In 1881, Sitting Bull and a few followers returned from Canada where they had moved. They had run out of food during the hard winter. They joined the Sioux on Standing Rock Reservation in Dakota Territory.
Homestead Act
(1862) a law passed by Congress to encourage settlement in the West by giving government-owned land to small farmers. Gave to single women as well, gave them the ability to acquire property under their own name; getting more rights. They had to live on their claims for five years, but those who actually did, were a minority; life out there was hard. Their were several things one could do to escape the Homestead Act. They could lie about other things on the property, like a fake home, and ect. With this new Homestead Act, one could own a quarter section under it, and another quarter under the Preemption Act because it remained in force.
Morrill Act
(1862) A federal law passed by Congress that granted more than 17 million acres of federal land to the states, but required each state to sell this land and use the money to build colleges to teach agriculture and engineering.
Exodusters
Mass exodus (departure) of African Americans from the South to western lands in the late 1800s. Many Norwegian, Swedish, Danish, German, and Czech immigrants also formed small communities on the Great Plains; all of these groups mainly came because of the promise of land and a life free of discrimination.
Sodbusters
The name given to Plains farmers who worked hard to break up the region's tough sod. Many made their homes out of sod because of few trees.
Dry farming
A method of farming used by Plains farmers in the 1890s that shifted focus from water-dependent crops, such as corn, to more hardy crops, like red wheat. Mechanical faming was also becoming common; by using machinery farmers could work much quicker on fields with fewer workers.
Annie Bidwell
(1839-1918) American pioneer activist, she worked for social and moral causes and for women's suffrage.
William Jennings Bryan
(1860-1925) Nebraskan lawyer and Populist politician, he favored free silver coinage, an economic policy expected to help farmers. He was a Democratic nominee for president in 1896 and was defeated by William McKinley.
Populist Party
A political party formed in 1892 that supported free coinage of silver, work reforms, immigration restrictions, and government ownership of railroads and telegraph and telephone systems,
Preemption Act of 1841
The most important of the pre-Homestead acts; it allowed small landowners (owning less than 320 altogether) to purchase a quarter section (160 acres) from the public domain at a very reasonable price. They just had to use the land, not immediately sell it.
Timber Culture Act
(1873) Allowed a settler to claim ANOTHER quarter section, IF 40 acres of it were planted with trees.
Homesteaders
Homestead farmers started plowing immediately. But many of them were 'town boys,' like Howard Ruede, who say their land claim more as an investment/ speculation, than a commitment to the farmer's life. They'd complete the requirements, then sell to a true farmer.
Living on the plains
Houses weren't beautiful, but kept them safe and happy. For once, they felt like they were in control of their life. It was not unusual for three single men to share quarters. Men greatly outnumbered women among the homesteaders, but still brave women headed out to make their own life. Often in families, men came first to start them off, because it life was hard out there, and then the wife and children followed. Shoes, socks, underwear, coffee, clocks, and other simple things taken for granted in the East, became luxuries on the Plains. Despite many hardships, people were healthy due to fresh air, and good, hearty food.
Praire dangers/ hardships
1. Extreme seasons; people could be lost in terrible blizzards only several feet from their house. Dust Storms and Blizzards ruined property, crops, and people.
2. Rattlesnakes in Tall Grasses.
3. Indian Attacks.
4. Locus Swarms.
5. Bed bugs and flees.
6. Distance: led to depression, lack of supplies, and when someone was sick, having a baby, or needed another service, they did not have doctors or other people who performed those services.
John Wesley Powell
U.A. soldier, geologist, and explorer of the American West. Top of his agenda was disabusing the the American people of the notion that settlement habits and patterns developed in the East might be readily translated into the West. Thought about how climate affected things. Warned that agriculture would be risky, mostly because of frequent droughts; wanted to help innocents from ruining themselves.
Powell's West
Divided into three parts:
1. The irrigable land. ( A small potion of the West, located on or near dammable streams. This would be to focus the rainfall and snowfall melt of an entire desert watershed upon a few fields, which could thereby thrive.)
2. The timber lands. ( The wooded mountain slopes and mesas. These were not to be farmed, but reserved for the production of lumber and firewood.)
3. The pasture land ( Largest part of the West. Covered with native grass, these tracts couldn't sustain cultivation, but could support livestock if carefully managed.
Breadbasket
What became the nickname of the Great Plains, because of all the wheat it produced.
Increased Women's rights
Because of being an important force in the settling of the frontier, many states granted them more rights. In Wyoming women were granted the vote in the new states's constitution.
Tenant farms
Overproduction led to lower prices for crops, leading to a lower income for farmers. Homeless farmers became tenant farmers who worked land owned by others. By 1800, one-fourth of all farms were rented by tenants, and number continued to grow.
National Grange
Many farmers blamed businesspeople—wholesalers, brokers, grain buyers, and especially railroad owners—for making money at their expense. As economic conditions worsened, farmers began to follow the example of other workers. They formed associations to protect and help their interests. One such organization was founded by Oliver Hudson Kelley, who toured the South in 1866 for the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Kelley saw firsthand how the country's farmers suffered. Afterward, Kelley and several government clerks formed the National Grange of the Patrons of Husbandry in 1867. The National Grange was a social and educational organization for farmers. (Grange is an old word for granary.) Local chapters were quickly founded, and membership grew rapidly.
The Grange campaigned for political candidates who supported farmers' goals. The organization also called for laws that regulated rates charged by railroads.
Supreme Court rulings having to do with regulations
The U.S. Supreme Court ruled in 1877 that the government could regulate railroads because they affected the public interest. In 1886, the Court said that the federal government could only regulate companies doing business across state lines. Rate regulation for railroad lines within states fell to the state governments.
In February 1887 Congress passed the Interstate Commerce Act, providing national regulations over trade between states and creating the Interstate Commerce Commission to ensure fair railroad rates. However, the commission lacked power to enforce its regulations.
Free Silver Movememt
Since 1873 the United States had been on the gold standard, meaning that all paper money had to be backed by gold in the treasury. As a result, the money supply grow more slowly than the nation's population and led to deflation. One solution was to allow the unlimited coining of silver and to back paper currency with silver. This was the position of those in the Free Silver movement.
Sherman Silver Purchase Act
(1888) The act increased the amount of silver purchased for coinage. However, this did not help farmers as much as they had hoped.
Panic of 1893
During the Panic of 1893, the U.S. economy experienced a crisis that some critics blamed on the shortage of gold. The failure of several major railroad companies also contributed to the economic problems.
The Panic of 1893 led more people to back the Populist call for economic reform. In 1896 the Republicans nominated William McKinley for president. McKinley was firmly against free coinage of silver. The Democrats nominated William Jennings Bryan, who favored free coinage.
Election of 1896
The Populists had to decide between running their own candidate, and thus splitting the silver vote, or supporting Bryan. They decided to support Bryan. The Republicans had a well-financed campaign, and they won the election. McKinley's victory in 1896 marked the end of both the Populist Party and the Farmers' Alliances.
Mckinley Views
1. Woman's equal rights
2. Less immigrants
3. Panama canal
Panic
When investors, over a course of a week, when realizing stocks will go down, so they are selling, selling, selling, then panic.