However, it also greatly impacted the study of the American West.
Introduction Native Americans long dominated the vastness of the American West.
Linked culturally and geographically by trade, travel, and warfare, various indigenous groups controlled most of the continent west of the Mississippi River deep into the nineteenth century. Spanish, French, British, and later American traders had integrated themselves into many regional economies, and American emigrants pushed ever westward, but no imperial power had yet achieved anything approximating political or military control over the great bulk of the continent.
But then the Civil War came and went and decoupled the West from the question of slavery just as the United States industrialized and laid down rails and pushed its ever-expanding population ever farther west.
Indigenous Americans had lived in North America for over ten millennia and, into the late nineteenth century, perhaps as many asNatives still inhabited the American West. The United States removed Native groups to ever-shrinking reservations, incorporated the West first as American west history essay and then as states, and, for American west history essay first time in its history, controlled the enormity of land between the two oceans.
The history of the late-nineteenth-century West is many-sided. Tragedy for some, triumph for others, the many intertwined histories of the American West marked a pivotal transformation in the history of the United States. No longer simply crossing over the continent for new imagined Edens in California or Oregon, they settled now in the vast heart of the continent.
Many of the first American migrants had come to the West in search of quick profits during the midcentury gold and silver rushes.
As in the California rush of —, droves of prospectors poured in after precious-metal strikes in Colorado inNevada inIdaho inMontana inand the Black Hills in While women often performed housework that allowed mining families to subsist in often difficult conditions, a significant portion of the mining workforce were single men without families dependent on service industries in nearby towns and cities.
There, working-class women worked in shops, saloons, boardinghouses, and brothels. Many of these ancillary operations profited from the mining boom: Millions of animals had roamed the Plains, but their tough leather supplied industrial belting in eastern factories and raw material for the booming clothing industry.
Specialized teams took down and skinned the herds. The infamous American bison slaughter peaked in the early s. The number of American bison plummeted from over ten million at midcentury to only a few hundred by the early s.
The expansion of the railroads allowed ranching to replace the bison with cattle on the American grasslands.
This s photograph illustrates the massive number of bison killed for these and other reasons including sport in the second half of the nineteenth century. Photograph of a pile of American bison skulls waiting to be ground for fertilizer, s.
The nearly seventy thousand members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints more commonly called Mormons who migrated west between and were similar to other Americans traveling west on the overland trails. They faced many of the same problems, but unlike most other American migrants, Mormons were fleeing from religious persecution.
Mormons believed that Americans were exceptional—chosen by God to spread truth across the world and to build utopia, a New Jerusalem in North America. However, many Americans were suspicious of the Latter-Day Saint movement and its unusual rituals, especially the practice of polygamy, and most Mormons found it difficult to practice their faith in the eastern United States.
Thus began a series of migrations in the midnineteenth century, first to Illinois, then Missouri and Nebraska, and finally into Utah Territory. Once in the west, Mormon settlements served as important supply points for other emigrants heading on to California and Oregon.
Brigham Young, the leader of the Church after the death of Joseph Smith, was appointed governor of the Utah Territory by the federal government in He encouraged Mormon residents of the territory to engage in agricultural pursuits and be cautious of the outsiders who arrived as the mining and railroad industries developed in the region.
Family farms were the backbone of the agricultural economy that expanded in the West after the Civil War. Innortherners in Congress passed the Homestead Act, which allowed male citizens or those who declared their intent to become citizens to claim federally owned lands in the West.
Hundreds of thousands of Americans used the Homestead Act to acquire land. The treeless plains that had been considered unfit for settlement became the new agricultural mecca for land-hungry Americans.
Some unmarried women filed claims on their own, but single farmers male or female were hard-pressed to run a farm and they were a small minority. Most farm households adopted traditional divisions of labor: Second or third sons who did not inherit land in Scandinavia, for instance, founded farm communities in Minnesota, Dakota, and other Midwestern territories in the s.
The Plains were transformed. Infor example, Kansas had about 10, farms; in it hadTexas saw enormous population growth. The federal government countedpeople in Texas in1, inand 3, inmaking it the sixth most populous state in the nation. The more sustained and more impactful conflict, meanwhile, was economic and cultural.
The vast and cyclical movement across the Great Plains to hunt buffalo, raid enemies, and trade goods was incompatible with new patterns of American settlement and railroad construction.
Political, economic, and even humanitarian concerns intensified American efforts to isolate Indians on reservations. Although Indian removal had long been a part of federal Indian policy, following the Civil War the U.
If treaties and other forms of persistent coercion would not work, more drastic measures were deemed necessary.Jun 17, · American History Essay.
American History: Slavery. Words | 4 Pages.
What Turner wants to point out here is that the American West is the most important feature of American history, and of the development of its society. He refers several times to a process of “Americanization” and we will see that the definition he . Native American: Native American, member of any of the aboriginal peoples of the Western Hemisphere, although the term often connotes only those groups whose original territories were in present-day Canada and the United States.
Learn more about the history and culture of Native Americans in this article. American Memory is a gateway to rich primary source materials relating to the history and culture of the United States.
The site offers more than 7 million digital items from more than historical collections. Jun 27, · This essay will explore the three dominant paradigms in the history of the American West.
The first paradigm, the Frontier Thesis, was developed by Frederick Jackson Turner and presented by him at the Chicago World’s Columbian Exposition in July and was intended to serve as a model for the development of American . KUMEYAAY INDIAN HISTORY research essay facts about Native American precontact prehistoric historical San Diego County in Southwestewrn Southern California Mexico.
About the Website This site archives thousands of historical events which happened to or affected the indigenous peoples of North America (Click the month names in the Dates section below). It also has Tribal name meanings and alternative names (click Names below), Indian "moon" names (click Moon below), and links to thousands of other sites (click Links below).