1. What national issues emerged in the process of closing the western frontier?
2. Why does the West hold such an important place in the American imagination?
3. In what ways is the West romanticized in American culture?
Native Americans Buffalo Hunters, Railroads, U.S. Government Cattlemen Sheepherders
Ethnic Minorities Nativists
Conservationists Big Business Interests [mining, timber], Local Govt. Officials, Farmers, Buffalo Hunters Lawlessness of the Frontier “Civilizing” Forces, Women, professionals [The “Romance” of the West]
The Railroad Builders
Railroad Construction: trains had places to be on time; the creation of time zones “The Big Four” Railroad Magnates: Charles Croker, Collis Huntington, Mark Hopkins, & Leland Stanford; these men took a gamble (would they ever be rich?); Union Pacific railroad;
The Bronc Buster by Frederick Remington
Colt .45 Revolver: “God didn’t make men equal. Colonel Colt did!” Legendary Gunslingers & Train Robbers: Jesse James, Billy the Kid Dodge City Peace Commission, 1890
Mining Boomtowns--Now Ghost Towns: Calico, CA
The Cattlemen & the Sheepherders
The Cattle Trails
New Agricultural Technology: “Prairie Fan” Water Pump & Steel Plow [“Sodbuster”] Barbed Wire: Joseph Glidden
The Range Wars – Sheepherders vs. Cattle Ranchers
Minority groups in the West
The Plains Indians
The Myth & Legend of the West
What were the long-term effects of the westwards experience?
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