Transcript Slide 1

Chapter 8

 What do I need to be able to do by the end of this chapter?

• Trace the growth of the mining industry in the west • Describe ways in which technology changed open range ranching • Explain why/how people began settling the Plains • Trace the growth of commercial farming on the Plains • Discuss conflicts between settlers and Plains Indians • Summarize problems caused by attempts to assimilate native-Americans

• Gold, silver, and copper strikes in West attracted people and fed the industries of the East • Placer Mining – prospectors extracted metals using picks, shovels and pans • Quartz Mining – corporations bought out small miners; dug deep into earth to extract metal

• The Comstock Lode  1859 - Henry Comstock     Virginia City, Nevada Boom Town Ghost Town Law enforcement – vigilance committees

• Leadville, Colorado   1879 1,000 newcomers per week  Spurred railroad construction through Rocky Mountains  Denver, supply point for miners, became 2 nd largest city in West

• No future for cattle on Plains due to water, prairie grasses • Texas Longhorn • Open Range – land owned by government; used by ranchers • Many cowboy skills came from Mexican cowboys • Spanish words: lariat, lasso, stampede, rodeo

• Little financial incentive for ranching before Civil War • War caused demand for beef to skyrocket • Railroads allowed for transport of beef east • Cattle Drives - money made by rounding up longhorns and driving them North to railheads • Chisholm Trail

Nat Love

• Cattle drives herded 2,000 - 5,000 head • Many cowboys ex Confederates, blacks, and Hispanics • Some cattle bought by ranchers and moved north into Wyoming and Montana

• Range Wars conflict broke out between ranchers (over water and grasslands), farmers, sheep herders • Range fenced off cheaply with new invention – barbed wire

• End of the cattle drives  Fencing closed off routes  Investors poured money into ranching causing oversupply   Blizzards of 1886 & 1887 killed hundreds of thousands of head Open range ranching ended – European breeds introduced  Cowboys became ranch hands

• Great Plains opened to settlement by railroads on credit • Railroads advertised in Europe due to above-average rainfall • US government Homestead Act of 1862 lived on >5 years – land sold at low prices or • Great Plains – “heaven” supported settlement with • 160 acres of land free if

• Life on the Great Plains  Lack of water (deep wells)   Lack of trees = sod houses Harsh climate – summer & winter   Prairie fires Grasshopper swarms  Wind

• New Innovations in Farming   Dry farming Steel plows   Seed drills Mechanical reapers and threshers   Inventions suited to wheat – became most important crop The Wheat Belt – Dakotas, Nebraska, Kansas

• Bonanza Farms – investors formed corporations which could buy up land, purchase machines, and reap huge profits • Agricultural Decline  Global competition caused glut and drop in prices  Drought of late 1880’s

• Native-Americans on the Great Plains  Nomadic hunter gatherers; some agriculture  Usually lived in bands up to 500 people but could gather into larger groups  Religion based on spirits from the natural world

• Migration of people into Indian lands caused conflict • Broken treaties • Dakota Sioux Uprising    Annuities “Let the eat grass” Uprising put down – Indians exiled

• The Fetterman “Massacre” • 1864 Sand Creek Massacre • 1867 Indian Peace Commission – plans for movement of Indians onto reservations failed due to Indian resistance and US corruption

• Indians lived on buffalo – way of life threatened by near-extermination of the species • Settler intrusion into sacred Indian lands of Black Hills caused war • Custer’s “Last Stand”

• Wounded Knee • Assimilation   1887 Dawes Act – broke up reservations into individual plots for Indians to farm Policy a failure – Indians not farmers  End of the buffalo doomed Indian culture