1850-1900

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Chapter 17-The West: Exploiting an Empire
Time Period: 1850-1900
1. Beyond the Frontier
-line of white settlement at MO timber country by 1840s
What’s in the West? What land?
-“The Great Plains”/Prairie Plains: rich soil and good rainfall (Wisconsin down to Texas)
-High Plains: rough, semiarid (Montana down to NMex.)
-Rockies: formidable barrier (Alaska to NMex.)
-Western Basin: home to many NA, desert, held in by the Cascades and Sierra Nevada, MOST travelers here (Idaho and Utah)
-Pacific Coast: Washington, CA, OR
-Early explorers like Pike thought the country beyond the MI was uninhabitable; Mapmakers agreed, calling it the “Great American Desert”; even John Noble, a painter, agreed -Plains: few rivers, low rainfall, hot winds in the summer and blizzards in the winter; lots of wildlife -East of MI: land, water, and timber; West: land (Walter Prescott Webb) 2. Crushing the Native Americans

-at the end of the Civil War, NA inhabited ½ of the US, but by 1890 they were almost gone -1865, you have ¼ million NA in the West
-Winnebago, Menominee, Cherokee, and Chippewa (forced out)
-Pueblo groups (native to the region, SW)
-Hopi, Zuni, and Rio Grande Pueblos (western NM and eastern Arizona)
-cultivated corn, communal adobe brick houses
-more nomadic ones: Camp Dwellers, the Jicarilla Apache and Navajo (eastern NW and western TX) -lived in tepees or huts, hunted and planted
-Klamath, Chinook, Yurok, and Shasta (Pacific NW)
-plank houses and canoes, good with wood, rich civilization, both social and political
-resisted the invasion of whites
-By 1870, most had been destroyed/beaten into submission
-powerful Ute crushed in 1855, ceded UT
-Navajo and Apache fought, but in vain
-NA in CA succumbed to dangerous diseases brought by Gold Rush
By 1880 < 20,000 NA
a. Life of the Plains Indians
-in the mid 1900’s 2/3 NA lived on the Great Plains
-nomadic and warlike, depended on buffalo and horse (brought by Spanish in 1500’s, changed entire culture by 1700’s)
-gave up farming, hunted buffalo
-wooden bows 3 feet or less
-migratory culture, tribes of several thousand, lived in bands of 300-500 -Comanche: 7000 total, 13 bands, each governed by a chief and council of elders, could transfer w/I the tribe, bands acted indp. (difficult to defeat) -warfare generally brief raids/skirmishes between tribes

-most involved warrior stealing horses or “counting coup” (touching an enemy)
-tribes developed trained warrior classes
-could communicate through sign language
-tasks divided by gender
-men hunted, traded, supervised ceremonial activities and cleared ground for planting
-women performed camp work, grew vegetables, prepared buffalo meat and ides, and gathered berries and roots -in general, women played an important role in political, economic, and religious activities

-in Sioux tribes there was no difference in status
b. “As Long as Waters Run”: Searching for and Indian Policy -Before Civil War, the West was viewed as a big reservation
-1834 passes NA intercourse Act prohibiting whites from NA territory w/o a license -1850’s wagon trains and prospectors went West
-1857 govt. abandoned “big reservation,” assigned individual boundaries
-lasted for only a few years, NA refused to stay in assigned areas b/c they needed to hunt buffalo
-whites settlers claimed lands
-NA pushed out of KS, NB even as whites tried to keep these territories for free blacks -1859 gold miners moved near Pikes Peak, touched off a war w/ Cheyenne and Arapaho
-1864, tribes asked for peace
-Chief Black Kettle led his followers to camp on Sand Creek in S. Colorado
-Col. John Chivington w/ Colorado militia attacked the sleeping group -Chivington massacre, Congress condemns but tribes were still forced to surrender Sand Creek reservation for other lands -Kiowa and Comanche were ousted out of “forever” lands

c. Final Battles on the Plains
-reservation system destroyed way of life and kept them...