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Westward Expansionduring the Gilded Age
Intro: The Gilded Age Era: a period of intense industrialization and urbanization in U. S. cities, and westward expansion onto the Great Plains.
I. Immigration & migration are attributed to push/p factors: A. Push factors were the negative factors that ma a person relocate. B. Pull factors were the positive reasons that mad people move to a particular area. **What would be considered push factors? **What would be considered pull factors?
C. Two important pull factors that helped the U. expand onto the western plains were: 1. Homestead Act of 1862: “free” land to anyone willing to live for five years out on the Great Plains. FYI: This is just the first of a myriad of land grant incentives offered by the U. S.
2. Transcontinental Railroad: provided faster transportation between the East and West Coast and parts in between. a. distance was no longer a deterrent.
FYI: For whatever reasons they were drawn to the Grea Plains, a diverse group of Irish, Germans, African Americans Exodusters Chinese, Jews and Lutherans ( ), headed out west for a piece of the “American Dream”.
II. The Plains Indians A. The collective names of all the different India nations out on the Great Plains. Q & A: What has shaped our image of the Native American? Is their portrayal + or -? Explain
B. The U. S. began to strip the Plains Indians of their land: 1. Broken treaties: the U. S. signed and broke 400+ treaties with various Indian Nations, which chipped aw at their land. FYI: In 1851 the Treaty of Ft. Laramie was signed whichcreated the first Indian reservation the U. S. By 1865 this in reservation system became the norm. But eventually the reservations won’t be safe from Gov. encroachment, which w cause numerous altercations between the Native Americans homesteaders and the U. S. Gov.
a. The army enforced Indian relocation and policed th GP. The most well known were the “Buffalo Soldiers” an all Black cavalry regiment. FYI: It is believed that they got their name from the Plains Indi due to their skill, skin color and hair texture. Buffalo Soldier regiments will go on to fight in every U. S. war up to the Korean War.
2. Buffalo were the main source of food, clothing and shelter of most Plains Indians. Their decimation, encouraged by the army, altered Indian way of life:
a. Buffalo were killed to feed railroad workers. b. Buffalo were killed for sport. c. Fencing disrupted migration paths.
C. Their were countless standoffs and massacres out on the GP. 1. Sand Creek Massacre/ hivington. Massacre C 1864: a Cheyenne village was attacked on the orders of General. Chivington Between 150. 450 women, children and elderly were killed. Black Kettle (Chief) Chivington
2. Little Big Horn (Custer’s Last Stand) 1876: A showdown between the U. S. Army and Plains Indians, under the leadership of Sitting Bull, who were tired of living on reservations, and being polic a. Using bad info, Custer goes up against 4000+/- Sioux with only 230+ men. The battle was brief, with Custer and his men losing their lives. Custer Sitting Bull
FYI: While this was a huge victory for Native American it would prove to be their downfall. When word of Custer’s death reached Washington, D. C. , the U. S. government made it a priority to destroy all Indian Resistance. It will take years before the Gov. finally recognized that Custer was responsible for a lot of the tension and chaos on the GP.
3. Chief Joseph was the leader of the Nez Perce, whose leadership skills allowed him and his 800 tribesmen to evade the U. S. Army for months (1877). “Hear me, my chiefs. I am tired. My heart is sick and sad. From where the sun now stands, I will fight no more forever. ”
4. In 1886 Geronimo, the poster child for Indian resistance, surrendered after 25 years of fighting th U. S. and Mexican governments for encroaching on Apache land. Geronimo
5. In 1889, a religious revival was resurrected, called the Ghost Dance, with the hopes that: a. all whites would be driven off Indian lands. b. the buffalo would return. c. the spirits of great Indian leaders would rise again to lead them. FYI: Why would the U. S. gov. see a need to stop the Ghost Dance?
6. Massacre at Wounded Knee 1890: Several hundred defectors (they left the reservations) and Ghost Dance followers were foraging for food and shelter when the army caught up with them. a. While rounding them up, a shot rang out, and the military unloaded into the band of Indians, killing most of them. b. The massacre is recognized as the end of all major resistance on the GP.
D. Indian Policy Reforms: 1. The U. S. began a policy of assimilation. a. Indian children were sent to government run boarding schools to “reprogram” them. FYI: What does assimilate mean?
2. Dawes Severalty Act of 1887: took Indian Reservations and divided them up into 160 acre plots for each family to farm. Surplus land was homesteaded. FYI: Why was this a setup from the word go?
FYI: In 1871 the government even ceased dealing with tribes as independent nations. No more treaties were made. Now the Indians were considered to be “wards” the state, and they would be dealt with by acts of Congress and Indians were not granted universal citizenship until 1924.
3. Oklahoma Land Rush: over 2 million acres of land was up for grabs, and the U. S. opened it up for settlers in a literal land race. FYI: This event lent its name to what Oklahoma university football team? Why?
III. The Significance of the Mining Frontier/Cattle Ranchers on the Settlement of the West A. Most of the early settlers on the Great Plains were men: 1. cowboys (emulated the vaquero) 2. miners traveling to the west; 3. soldiers
B. The mines created the need for the railroads. C. By invading the Indian lands, the miners brought th Indian problem to a head much more quickly. D. In many areas failed miners helped open up the farming frontier. E. Western mining produced more than $2 billion in go and silver between 1860 and 1900.
F. Open Range: government land that they allowed ranchers to use for grazing their animals, etc.
G. Towns will be built specifically for the shipping and receiving of cattle, with the first being Abilene, Kans
H. The "open range" cattle ranching ended in the mid 1880's primarily because of: 1. two years of year around bad weather.
2. the advent of barbed wire, invented by Joseph Glidden. FYI: barbed wire has already been mentioned, so…how did it impact the GP?
IV. Farming on the Great Plains A. Due to lack of trees, homesteaders had to build their homes out of cut up top soil, or sod.
B. The initial tools to tame the land proved inefficient but over the years technology improved to make the jo little easier. 1. Windmills were used to pump water to the surface and allowed homesteaders to move deeper into the interior to settle.
C. Barbed wire helped farmers keep animals out of the crops.
D. Dry farming was introduced to the often drought ridden GP. 1. Soil was turned over to keep it moist and absorbent. 2. Drought resistant crops were planted (wheat, barley, oats, etc. )
E. Plows improved over the years, and eventually the steel plow will allow farmers to cut through the soil lik “butter”.
F. a “twine binder” was an invention that made it possible to gather bundles of wheat and then to bind them with twine. G. By the 1890’s, the Great Plains had become the greatest wheat-producing region in the world.
H. Major Problems Confronted By Settlers on the Great Plains: 1. constant threat of Indian attack 2. lack of wood both for fuel and building 3. harsh winters, hot summers and relentless wind 4. the emotional problems of living in virtual isolation from the outside world 5. problems with swarms of insects 6. …………. . .
IV. Discontented Farmers “Revolt” FYI: Picture look familiar. . what’s name? its
A. Tariffs were wreaking havoc on the farmers bottom line! B. The government kept messing with the money supp even pulling silver out of circulation. FYI: What is a tariff? What factors create inflation and deflation?
C. Farmers felt that government policy was benefiting big business, and creating hardships for them and small businesses in the process. So they began work towards a solution: Farmers formed Granges, in which they voiced their grievances Granges became more organized, and became the Farmers Alliance (basically a union), and began to seek Gov. regulation. FYI: When you hear the term, “populist movement”, it means th “ordinary” people are fed up, and pushing for change and progre
1. One result of their demands was the creation of the Interstate Commerce Commission in 1887, which w be the first regulatory agency in U. S. history. a. They will regulate, but not set, railroad rates, and make sure everyone is charged the same rates. FYI: Why is it important for rules and policy to be fair and equa
2. From the Farmers Alliance evolved the Populist Part in 1891. They offered a third party candidate in the 1892 and 1896 elections. Populist Goals/Platform included: a. They wanted to expand the powers of the Federal Government (regulate RRs) in an effort to protect consumers. b. Proposed an eight hour workday.
c. Encouraged the withholding of nonperishable crops off the market while prices were low. d. Wanted the money supply increased (they favored inflation). e. Supported a graduated income tax. f. Supported a direct election of US Senators.
3. Williams Jennings Bryan gave a speech arguing for free silver titled, The Cross of Gold, and as a result was nominated by the Democratic and Populist Party FYI: He didn’t win, and the Populist Party eventually faded away. But their ideas don’t die out, and will be embraced by the Progressive Movement at the turn of the century.
• • • Tariffs are taxes on imports, which are foreign goods coming into the country. 1. Low tariffs encouraged competition and was favored by consumers. 2. High tariffs discouraged foreign competition and was favored by American businesses. 3. With high tariffs, U. S. businesses were able to hike up the cost of railroad rates, farm equipment, seed, etc. 4. Foreign countries hiked up their tariffs, shutting out U. S. farmers. This was equally bad because as more farmers cultivated crops west of the Mississippi, it caused overproduction, and with limited foreign markets to sell to, crops were sold for less and farmers were losing money.
B. As if the tariff situation wasn’t enough, farmers then had to contend with the ups and downs of the U. S. money supply. 1. The money supply is the amount of money in circulation.
2. Farmers favored an increased money supply because it created inflation which is when the dollar loses value. The , result is that the cost of goods that farmers was selling increased to make up the difference in lost monetary value, and the money they paid back on their loans was worth less than the money they borrowed.
3. A reduced money supply creates deflation which is a drop , in the price of goods, because the dollar is worth more. Deflation is favored by Lenders because the money being paid back is worth more than the money borrowed. So what was the problem? In 1873 the U. S. government removed silver from circulation, so that only left gold to back up the dollar. The result, obviously, was a reduction in the money supply. Farmers “screamed” for the coining of free silver, and in 1878 the Congress passed the Bland. Allison Actover President Hayes veto:
a. The Treasury Department would be required to buy and mint silver (they bought the bare minimum). b. They would then have to put it in circulation (they didn’t).
In 1890 Congress passed the Sherman Silver Purchase Act which increased the amount of silver the Treasure Department had to buy. To pay for the silver, the Treasury Department sold special Treasure notes, which could then be used to redeem the equal amount in gold or silver. Most people redeemed it for gold, which nearly depleted the gold reserve. This made foreign investors remove their gold and help contribute to the Panic of 1893. The act was repealed the same year.