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The West


Gold Rush. Gold discovered in California in 1848. Most surface gold is gone by the 1850s. ... 340 million dollars of gold and silver mined 1860-1890 ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: The West

The West
  • 1860-1900

Three Frontiers
  • Cattle
  • Farming
  • Mining

The Cattle Frontier
Cattle Industry
  • Longhorn Cattle
  • First brought to Americaby the Spaniards,
    alongwith horses
  • Those that escaped thrived on thesouthern

  • Prior to the Civil War, cattle ranching was
  • Ranchers sold hide and meat to local markets
  • 1849 some ranchers drive cattle to market in
    California to collect 25-125/head
  • 1854 cattle driven to Muncie, Indiana and then
    shipped by rail to NYC. Stampede on 3rd Avenue!
  • Post Civil War demand for beef grows, esp in
  • How to get cattle to market?

  • Joseph McCoy
  • Creates firststockyards in Abilene, KS
  • 1866-1888 4million steerdriven northby
    hiredhands (1/4 black 1/10 Mexican)
  • Beef BaronsSwift, Armourindustrialize
  • meat packing.

  • Demise of the Cattle Drive
  • Population of west grows farmers and ranchers
    dont want herds trampling over their land.
  • Barbed wire Joseph Glidden.
  • Invented in 1874 10,000 lbs sold.
  • By 1878 27 million lbs sold
  • Great Freeze Up of 1887
  • Temps below -68 F
  • Overgrazing and drought
  • Cattle breeding/ranching

The Farming Frontier
Farming Expands West
  • Homestead Act 1862
  • 160 acres per settler free IF
  • A settler can live on and improve land for 5
  • Pays 30
  • Also authorizes the immediate sale of land a low
    cost (1.25/acre)
  • Purpose rapid settlement not is the goal.
  • 500,000 families move west under the HA
  • Railroads
  • Railroad boom 1850-1871
  • Railroads given land grants to pay cost. Land
    then sold to settlers, many are immigrants.
  • Transcontinental RR completed in 1869 Union
    Pacific and Central Pacific.
  • Oklahoma Land Rush 1889
  • 2 million acres given away in 24 hrs.
  • boomers and sooners

  • Factors encouraging settlement
  • Cheap, accessible land
  • Railroads
  • New railroads help bring settlers out and send
    crops to eastern markets
  • RRs given land by govt as payment sell land to
  • Technologies
  • Steel plow
  • Dry farming techniques
  • west of 100th meridian, rainfall drops from
    20-30in/yr to 10-20in/yr
  • Drought resistant crops (Russian wheat, etc) used
  • Windmills pump water up from wells
  • Barbed wire
  • McCormicks Harvester-Thresher
  • Can cut and thresh wheat in one pass
  • 1830 takes 180 minutes to produce a bushel of
    grain by 1900 10 min
  • Seed drill
  • High prices.
  • Wheat and corn prices up due to crop failures in
    Europe in the 1860s and Civil War in America

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  • Life in the West
  • Hardships
  • Lonely existence
  • Difficult conditions heat, wind, dust, insects,
    rattlesnakes, drought, and harsh winters.
  • Locusts
  • Lack of water and trees
  • Adaptations
  • Dugouts and Soddies
  • Locusts used as a food source
  • Buffalo chips (dung) used as fuel

A dugout (above) and a soddy (below)
  • The Cycle of Debt
  • High prices for crops encourage investment.
  • Farmers get loans to purchase machinery to
    produce more.
  • Drops in the prices in the 1870s make it
    difficult for farmers to repay loans.
  • Bonanza Farms
  • High prices encourage massive investment
  • Huge farms run by corporations and investors
  • Some had 10,000 acres in cultivation
  • Many fold because of droughts in the 1880s/90s.
  • Railroads
  • Farmers grow upset at railroad rates that charge
    western farmers more then eastern farmers, and
    sometimes charge more for hauling items short
    distances than they do long distances.

The Farmers Movement
  • In response to hardships, debt, and discontent,
    and anger at railroad monopolies, farm
    organizations emerge.

  • The Grange (1860s-70s)
  • Originally a communal organization
  • Cooperative efforts grain elevators,
    negotiated rates with RRs
  • Political efforts Granger Laws
  • Farmers Alliance (1880s)
  • Political organization (a modern day P.A.C.)
  • Endorses candidates Alliance Yardstick
  • Southern Alliance Colored Farmers Alliance.
  • Populist Party (1892)
  • Significant 3rd party that challenges the Dems
    and Republicans in 1892 1896

A grain elevator.
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Farmers Alliance the Populist Party
Populist Party the Election of 1896
  • Populist successes in 1892 and discontent over
    the Panic of 1893 pave way for a major campaign
    in 1896
  • Central issue bi-metallism
  • Gold bugs vs. silverites
  • Popocrats a fusion ticket
  • Populist Party nominates William Jennings Bryan
    (NE) and VP Tom Watson (GA)
  • Democrats nominate WJB and VP Arthur Sewall (a
    Maine banker)

Election of 1896
  • GOP nominates William McKinley (OH)
  • Protectionist
  • Marcus Hanna (Cleveland) runs the campaign
  • Backed by wealthy industrialists
  • Bryan campaigns vigorously, speaking in 27 states
    and traveling over 18K miles
  • McKinleys campaign targets industrial workers,
    immigrants, and business interests.

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The Mining Frontier
  • Gold Rush
  • Gold discovered in California in 1848
  • Most surface gold is gone by the 1850s.
  • Mining in the West
  • 1858 Gold and silver discovered in Pikes Peak,
  • 1859 The Comstock Lode is discovered
  • 340 million dollars of gold and silver mined
  • Settlers pour into the western states of
    Colorado, Nevada, Utah, Montana, and Idaho.
  • Industry becomes highly mechanized, with large
    businesses dominating.
  • Mining towns boom then bust
  • Helldorados 1 in 3 buildings is a saloon.

  • Map illustrating the location of mining and
    supply towns in the western US in the late 19th
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