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The American West

  • By the end of the 19th century, it seemed as if there were 2 nations: one that was industrial and one that was the “frontier” country
  • The 2 are interrelated: the final settlement across the Great Plains & the Far West was a result of the spread of American industrialism movement
  • The building of the railroads that really grew in the Civil War era with the help of federal government subsidies, but after the war, they expanded rapidly, and by 1869 the transcontinental railroad was built.
  • “Indian country” became a bridge to the Pacific and RR’s would help in the process of building that bridge, and about 100,000 Native Americans lived on the Great Plains during the mid-19th century.
  • Euro-Americans began to have their eyes on Oregon & CA so thousands traveled the Oregon Trail
  • Cattle raising became popular but the bison had to go (the herds almost vanished within 10 years). Buffalo hunters were hired to kill off bison.
  • The Gold Rush of 1949 spurred a massive migration to California; mostly men flocked to the gold fields to strike it rich. Many Chinese came to CA as well to work on “gold mountain” but most ended up working on the railroad.

The American West

Lecture Slides are screen-captured images of important points in the lecture. Students can download and print out these lecture slide images to do practice problems as well as take notes while watching the lecture.

  1. Intro
    • Overview
      • The U.S. Frontier and Industrialism
      • The Great Plains and The West
      • Map of the U.S.
        • Native American Tribes and Lands Ceded
          • The Sioux
          • Westward Migration Into “Indian Country”
          • Farming and Railroads in the West
          • Promontory Point, UT
            • Gold Rush in 1849
            • Gold Rush and Cattle Ranching
            • Cowboys and Buffalo Bill's Wild West
            • The Wild West Show
              • Homesteaders and Homestead Act of 1862
              • Farming and the Grange
              • Oliver Kelley, Founder of the Grange
                • Native Americans and the West
                • Reservations
                • Chief Joseph of the Nez Perce
                  • Battle of Little Big Horn
                  • Assimilation Polices
                  • Helen Hunt Jackson and Dawes Severalty Act
                  • The Ghost Dance
                  • Wounded Knee, 1890
                  • Railroad Workers, Miners and Cowboys
                    • The Diverse West and California
                    • Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882
                    • Biased Anti-Chinese Imagery
                      • Golden California
                      • Public Parks Established
                      • Example 1
                        • Example 2
                          • Intro 0:00
                          • Overview 0:05
                          • The U.S. Frontier and Industrialism 2:47
                            • Post Civil War Republican Vision
                            • Laissez-Faire Approach
                            • Spread of American Industrialism Movement
                          • The Great Plains and The West 7:05
                            • Semiarid Great Plains
                            • Arid West
                            • Small Pox and Measles
                          • Map of the U.S. 8:13
                          • Native American Tribes and Lands Ceded 9:26
                          • The Sioux 10:48
                            • Antelope and Buffalo
                            • Pawnees, Mandans and Euro-Americans
                          • Westward Migration Into “Indian Country” 11:42
                            • American Fever
                            • Exodusters and Kansas
                            • Union Pacific and Central Pacific
                            • Telegraph Lines
                          • Farming and Railroads in the West 14:05
                            • Cattle Raising
                            • New Technologies
                            • Settlement of the Great Plains
                            • The Transcontinental Railroad
                          • Promontory Point, UT 17:18
                          • Gold Rush in 1849 17:36
                            • The Increase of Non-Native American Population
                            • Hit the Trails
                            • Chinese
                          • Gold Rush and Cattle Ranching 19:18
                            • Silver Mining and Other Industries
                            • Open-Range Ranching
                            • Long Drive
                          • Cowboys and Buffalo Bill's Wild West 22:57
                            • Buffalo Bill
                            • The Wild West Show
                            • Little Annie Oakley
                          • The Wild West Show 25:59
                          • Homesteaders and Homestead Act of 1862 27:24
                            • Homestead Act of 1862
                            • The U.S. Geological Survey
                            • Department of the Interior
                          • Farming and the Grange 29:23
                            • Meat Packing Industry
                            • National Grange of the Patrons of Husbandry
                            • Oliver H. Kelley
                            • Montgomery Ward
                          • Oliver Kelley, Founder of the Grange 32:13
                          • Native Americans and the West 32:36
                            • A Peace Commission in 1867
                            • Bureau of Indian Affairs
                          • Reservations 34:03
                            • SW Dakota Territory
                            • Apaches, Navajos and Utes
                            • Fort Laramie Treaty
                          • Chief Joseph of the Nez Perce 36:16
                          • Battle of Little Big Horn 37:45
                            • The Nez Perce
                            • George Custer
                            • Little Big Horn
                          • Assimilation Polices 39:49
                            • Education and Religious Indoctrination of American Indians
                            • The Carlisle Boarding School
                            • Helen Hunt Jackson
                            • A Century of Dishonor
                          • Helen Hunt Jackson and Dawes Severalty Act 42:03
                            • Private Property and Severalty
                            • The Dawes Act
                            • Indian Education
                          • The Ghost Dance 44:11
                            • Native American Civilization
                            • Wovoka
                          • Wounded Knee, 1890 45:21
                            • The Long War of Suppression of the Plains Indians
                            • The End of Indian Wars
                          • Railroad Workers, Miners and Cowboys 46:56
                          • The Diverse West and California 47:12
                            • The High Sierras
                            • Asian Migration
                            • The Six Companies
                          • Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882 48:10
                            • Chinese Exclusion Act
                            • Japanese Immigrants
                          • Biased Anti-Chinese Imagery 49:34
                          • Golden California 50:25
                            • Mark Twain and Bret Harte
                            • Southern Pacific Railroad
                            • John Muir
                            • Sierra Club
                          • Public Parks Established 52:03
                            • Rampant Overdevelopment
                            • Yosemite Valley
                            • Yellowstone Valley
                          • Example 1 53:20
                          • Example 2 55:48