APUSH Gilded Age notes

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Unit 10: The Gilded Age
Economic & social changes 1865 – 1920

Part one: The Last Frontier
The Final settlement of the Trans-Mississippi West

Historiography
THE FRONTIER THESIS:
Frederick Jackson Turner
The Significance of the Frontier in American History – July 12, 1893 1890 Census – no more defined frontier line; had pockets of settlement spread out Turner Thesis: spirit and success of US is directly tied to westward expansion; a turning point in American Identity American Identity:

created at the juncture between civilization and wilderness
Americans had an identity distinct from Old World
Characteristics: individualism, opportunity, democracy
SIGNIFICANCE: Turner had concluded that the first period of American History had ended (1890 – after the West)

ESSENTIAL QUESTIONS TO ANSWER (potential DBQ’s!):
How would other schools of historiography view the West?
How accurate is Turner’s thesis?
What is your historiographical view of the West’s importance in American History?

Five Important Groups
1. Miners
2. Railroads
3. Ranchers
4. Farmers
5. Native Americans (Plain Indians)
Consider what brought them to the West, what brought about the conflicts and why, and how those conflicts got resolved

1) Miners
California Gold Rush 1849 lead to an influx of miners seeking fortune Placer Mining: wash debris away to get mineral
Problems – erosion, mountain collapse
Quartz Mining: go into the interior of the mountain to extract rocks and minerals Problems – explosions, cave ins, dangerous gases
SIGNIFICANCE:
produced boomtowns (which lasted as long as the gold supply did) some became skiing destinations (use debris trailings to smooth the slopes or create a mountain) others had casinos
but most became ghost towns
brought first whites, Africans, Asians out West
money made by big corporation or people involved in getting supplies to miners (the miners didn’t make much)

2) Railroads
Pull Factor: desire in to expand industry, seek new markets, send and receive resources to miners etc. Push Factor: Government subsidizes the development of a Trans-continental railroad out of fear of the threat of sectional division (East/West) Pacific Railway Act (1862) – Federal government granted land and loaned money to Union Pacific – Omaha Nebraska

Central Pacific - Cali
both sold land to settlers who would benefit from living near such a convenient transportation system Promentary Point, Utah – meeting point between the rails of Union Pacific and Central Pacific Railroads provided for the East a quick way to move West to mining towns (supplies, goods, people for employments of all sorts) SIGNIFICANCE:

Small towns along railroads provide water stations (for steam locomotives), coaling stations, food, lodging, mail delivery, other services Settlers set up farms and homes near railroads (access to resources) Further increase of Western settlement and flow of goods East to West

3) Ranchers
Industry and Immigration:
Because of Civil War, factories in Northeast produced guns – now they’re making railroads and steam engines Need workers, Irish immigrants flock over
More people = More food needed
Longhorn:
Brought by the Conquistadores/Spaniards (for leather)
Could survive long drives
By the end of Civil War (1865), 5 million roamed freely on the open range of Texas Worth a nickel a piece in Texas, $13.50 in Northeast
Cowboys:
Unemployed veterans of Civil War
Former black slaves
Mexicans
Job – drive cattle North
Railroad – Sedalia Trail: drive through Texas, Arkansas to Missouri; but ticks that longhorns were immune to killed the local cattle As the railroad moved further West, other trails opened:
Chisholm Trail: (to Abilene, Kansas) drive ‘em there because cattle is dying up North; cowboys not always welcomed. In 1867-1871, 1.5 million cattle driven up Chisholm Trail. Western Trail: (from Elsworth, KS) went out to middle of nowhere; saloons, hardware, clothing – Dodge City, KS The...