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- Chapter 17 Notes - Transformation

Originally written by Thomas Heissenberger.

Please edit this as you see fit. I can not guarantee 100% accuracy. Please use these for study purposes only, not to complete homework. Remember, reading and writing (in other words; processing the information), is the best way to learn and understand the subject. Reading notes will help you understand the general picture but reading details within the book will also help you find small details that might be on the multiple choice questions. However, all posted notes will have greater detail than average homework notes.

The Plains IndiansEdit

  • Indian tribes and sub regions spread over the plains
    • Indians acquired guns via spanish by horse trade.
    • Tribes followed bison migrations
  • Plain Indians followed strict self code, e.g. no physical punishment but tortured themselves.
  • 30 million bison's average.
    • Bison were hunted down.
    • Will "Buffalo Bill" Cody famous indian fighter and bison hunter. They slaughtered bison to ween Indians off.

The Assault on Nomadic Indian LifeEdit

  • Indian promises went unfulfilled.
  • Indians attacked settlers, government retaliates by fighting back.
  • Some massacring happened. eg Chivington.
  • Peace commission sent by gov't
    • Hope to convert Indians to Christianity and have them farm. Treaty of Fort Laramie Treaty
    • Appeared to work but dissatisfaction, they go defiant. Killed whites
      • Army retaliates, Custer's men kill 100+ warriors and shot 800 horses.
  • Attempt to form Indian board to improve for indians
    • Doesn't go as planned, inexperienced guy in control.
  • Constant manipulation of Indian treaties, more raids.

Custer's Last StandEdit

  • Sioux have powerful chief Sitting bull, smartly harassed whites.
  • Sherman sends Cnl. Custer to South Dakota and was supposed to get concessions from the Indians.
  • Mobolizes assault with 600 troops by gov't, he recklessly fought. Wiped out by Indians.
  • Defeat angers army -> motivated. More fighting and massacres etc.

"Saving" the IndiansEdit

  • Some whiter people outraged @ treaty corruption. = Activists
  • Helen Hunt Jackson, write who rallied opinions.
  • Some gov't wanted to reform indians into civilized.
  • Reforming often backfired, indians felt lost identity.
  • Dawes Severalty Act passed in 1887 was made to turn indians into landowners / farmers. Given 160 - 320 acres of land for farming.
    • Act benefited speculators which caused boom, Indian acreage was further slashed by 65%.

The Ghost Dance and the end of Indian ResistanceEdit

  • Living conditions worsened for Indians
    • 1/3 of their cattle die from disease.
  • All this chaos caused new ritual, the Ghost Dance which was done with special clothing.
    • Ghost Dance movement spread, Army alarmed.
      • Army arrests Sitting Bull since he was seen as responsible for the crazy behavior.
  • Worst Indian battle, Wounded Knee takes place with 340 Indians dieing from starvation and freezing. Army takes fire, retaliates and kills 300. Mass killing.
  • Some tribes had better luck with assimilation than others.

The First Transcontinental RailroadEdit

  • Railroad boom, across the nation, labor was supplied by Chinese to build tracks.
    • Union pacific first railroad. Railroads became very important, accelerated expansion and dev'lpment.

Settlers + RailroadEdit

  • Congress gives 170 mil acres to railroads = 1 bill dollars today,
  • Settlers become adopted to the railroad e.g. Irish and Women who build railroads on land. Helped agriculture

Homesteading on the Great PlainsEdit

  • Homestead act gives 160 acres to any individual who would pay a 10 dollar reg fee and live on the land they paid for 5 years and cultivate it.
  • Act didn't work as congress wanted., false land claims, corruption. 1/9 of the land given was given correctly.
  • Land in some areas bad, what now?
    • Congress responds by giving another 160 acres if they plant trees on 40 acres.
    • More acts e.g. Desert land act = 640 acres
    • all the acts kept the heat in eagerness for western expansion. mixed feelings

New Farms, New MarketsEdit

  • Advanced farming tech, boost production.
    • Barb wire made, obvious reasons important to keep animals out.
  • People think of a boom in farming but the farmers had also greater expenses = heavy loans or mortgages.
  • Rainfall was unpredictable for the farmers.
  • Windmills used to help farm + irrigation.

Building a Society and Achieving StatehoodEdit

  • People needed to be active to be in US. Must petition territory to get recognized = elections delegates etc.
  • Kansas , Nevada , Nebraska and other states joined like this.
  • New states often supported women suffrage. But by 1910 only 4 states let women vote, Idaho, Wyoming, Utah and Colorado.

Spread of MormonismEdit

  • Persecuted people who moved to Salt Lake valley.
  • Faith emphasized self sufficiency and family commitment. 100,000+ members.
  • Beliefs conflicted with gov't, Mormons wanted to be on their own.
    • Tension with supreme court and Mormons over bigamy.
  • Edmunds-Tucker Act dissolved church corporations, limited their assets to $50,000 and removed women voting rights.
    • Church complies.

The Mining FrontierEdit

  • Mining booms across America, big boom in business
    • $81 million worth of gold in Nevada.
  • Comstock Lode in Nevada, discovery, huge boom,.
  • 1 bil+ dollars worth of gold mined from California.
  • Everyone came to find gold, including foreign people.
  • Boom 'n Bust cycle comes with towns getting big over gold or resources and then dieing off.
  • All the goldrush speculation caused consequences for Alaska -> Klondike region. Alaska recogn. in 1912 by us gov't.
  • Chemicals used for mining, severly handicapped enviroment with bad lasting effects by using mercury + cyanide.

Cowboys and CattleEdit

  • Cattle transportation = boom -> McCoy was smart cattle dealer.
  • Great Cattle Drivers, cowboys got least of money while dealers got most.
    • Gangs rise, billy the kid and murders because west was still unorganized.]
    • Nat Love rancher who was partytastic, became popular.
    • Texas fever + drought kills off 90% of cattle.

Cattle towns and Prostitutes Edit

  • Towns needed good law to keep authority.
  • Prostitutes came from all over , China, Ireland, Germany, Mexico, etc.
    • Risked disease, abuse and drugs.

Bonanza FarmsEdit

  • bank failure cause railroad bond fall, panic of 1873.
  • This causes land speculation and land drops mad cheap. Establish huge farms
  • Publicity = tremendous boost for investors, somewhat recovers,
  • Wheat boom collapses, excessive food?

Oklahoma Land RushEdit

  • Failure in other territory made settlers look at the Indian Land.
  • Congress takes 2 mil acres not given to Indians in the Indian territory and opens it to settlers. = Literally a christmas shopping stampede.
  • Curtis act dissolves Indian territory + Indian gov't.

The American Adam and Dime Novel HeroEdit

  • Biographies of out in the West.
  • Writers themed their book to interests (duh?)
  • Popu. rise in Expansion and cowboy bad-assery = frontiersmen = cowboy
  • Wild West show = mock battles with Indians showing what happened. Was pretty popular.

Revitalizing the Frontier LegendEdit

  • Theodore Roosevelt spent time in the west, affected by the influence of it. Theory of the west?
  • Owen Wister wrote popular novel The Virginian, tales of the great plains and the difficulty.
  • Tales of the West seen as mythical, unreal, but were adored.

Beginning of the National Park MovementEdit

  • Public support created huge motivation for creating national parks to preserve nature.
  • John Wesley Powell, veteran of civil war was deeply influenced by Colorado river.
  • Creation of Yellowstone National Park to protect nature beauty.
  • George Marsh an architect argued against the idea that nature was to be tamed and conquered.
  • John Muir Scottish immigrant who fell in love with nature deeply influenced. Was the most popular for nature preservation avocation.

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