Chapter 11 Review Joe Puccio
1. Dawes Act
5. Bonanza farm
People To Identify
Helen Hunt Jackson
William F. Cody
Places To Locate
Reviewing the Facts
Issues over land caused conflict between the white settlers and the Indians on the Great Plains. The fact that the Indians couldn’t keep up with the settlers’ technology, like the telegraph, railroad, and guns, caused them to lose the war. At first Indians knew they had to defend their (even in the eyes of the U.S. government at the time) legal homeland. Then the government changed the land agreements over and aver again. The Settlers also didn’t have any respect for Indian territorial rights.
The Dawes Act was a law abolishing tribal organizations, dividing reservations into tracts to be given to Indian families, and providing that proceeds from the sale of reservation lands would go to Indian education. The Dawes Act failed to meet its goals because some Indians refused to accept the government’s offer and continued to live on the reservations. Eventually, the government recognized the importance of tribal ties to the Indian way of life.
The goal of cattle drives was to move cattle to railroads to ship them off to other places. Bad weather and the lack of food and water for cattle eventually lead to them dying off. Also, Kansas passed a law that didn’t allow cattle to pass through Kansas, except for in winter, in order to prevent the spread of disease. Cattle drives died out because they weren’t economical, the cattle depreciated in value by the time they arrived at their destination because they lost so much weight on the journey.
The United States government encouraged people to settle west by setting up military posts and providing soldiers, the technique of dry farming was taught, and the passing of the Homestead Act (which granted 160 acres of land free to any citizen was a family head and over 21), the Timber Culture Act of 1873, and the Hatch Act of 1887. This led to an explosion in population in the west, allowing many territories to become states.
Several technological advances made Plains farming easier. The Windmill allowed farmers to irrigate their crops by helping to pump water from deep underground wells. Barbed wire helped protect their crops from animals. The greatest help, however, was the lister. It was a double plow that could plow and plant seeds at the same time, and because it was relatively light horses and oxen could pull it.
Mining was more profitable for corporations than prospectors because corporations could afford heavy machinery. Most gold and silver is embedded in quartz rock underneath the surface, and the only way to get to it is by using quartz mining, which requires heavy machinery and many people.
Minerals other than gold and silver were mined in the West. Lead in Idaho and Utah, borax in Death Valley, copper was also mined in the West. All of these were necessities to the expanding American Industries, especially copper for the electric industry. Today, copper is used for most wiring due to its high ductility (the physical property of maintaining toughness even under deformation) and the fact that it is a great conductor of heat and electricity.
After 1880 several advancements in technology aided the lumber boom, these included: the donkey engine which helped move logs, another device used a small train engine to pull logs quickly and easily to sawmills.
According to Fredrick Jackson Turner, some of the qualities of frontier life were the fact that America was moving away from Britain, and that as long as the West remained unsettled, Americans could always begin new lives in new lands. He said it was the true form of raw American ideals; it was a chance at new opportunities.
The National Park Service was largely established for the same reasons as Yellowstone National Park was, to protect natural areas. Officially, the National Park Service’s job was to run the protected National Parks.
Critical Thinking Skills
The Turner thesis is Frederick Jackson Turner’s idea that frontierism is the raw manifestation of purely American ideals rather than European.
The elements of western life that made stories about the west appealing to easterners and Europeans were mainly freedom, new opportunities, and riches. However, stories were often blown out of proportion, and the real West was far different than the perceived west.
Frontier towns were often raucous and violent for one reason: the lack of the rule of law. Without the rule of law being heavily enforced in the West, as in the East, raucous and violent occurrences were inevitable.
I think that Turner both feared and didn’t fear what would happen to the US when the frontier was no longer open. He likely feared the end of true American values in their simplest form, and what came with that. However, he likely looked forward to it at the same time because it symbolized a sort of coming of age for the US.
5a. White settlers have absolutely no place settling on Indian land. In the eyes of the US government this is illegal, and in the eyes of any logical person it is also immoral.
5b. Us white settlers are just trying to settle down and have a nice life. If there are uncivilized people in our way they must either be ignored or dealt with. It’s not like allowing the Natives to become civilized is such a bad thing anyway!