The American West End of Unit Test What were the main geographical features of the Plains?



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The American West – End of Unit Test
1. What were the main geographical features of the Plains?
Lowlands, rivers, Mississipi, Missouri, high plains, Rocky mountains, prairie grass. 1 mark for each feature

3 marks


2. Why were the Indians nomadic?

They followed the buffalo


1 mark

3. Explain how the tepee was perfectly suited to Indian life

made from buffalo, could be easily taken down and put up,

3 marks


4. Who founded the Mormon church?

Joseph Smith


1 mark

5 Who took over the Mormon church when their founder died?


Brigham Young


1 mark

6. Explain why the Mormons moved West and the main features of their journey?

To escape persecution and find a place to live in peace, winter camp, highly organised, salt lake

5 marks


7. What were cow towns?

Towns set up for cowboys to drive cattle to and sell them


2 marks

8. What were the main dangers of the long drive?

Stampede, weather, Indians, rustlers, settlers

2 marks


9. Label the diagram below with the following words – chaps, bandana, lasso, Stetson, saddle, boots – then explain briefly what each was used for.

Page 55 am west heinneman book


12 marks


10. Why did people move to California in 1849 and Colorado and Nevada in the 1860s?

gold rush

1 mark

11. Explain the concept of Manifest Destiny.


Belief that whites were destined to settle and own the north American continent


1 mark

12. Explain Push and Pull factors and give 3 examples of each.


Push people away from somewhere, attract people to somewhere

Escape persecution, overcrowding in east, homes destroyed in civil war

Homestead Act, new life, gold in Wes

8 marks


13. What did the Homestead Act do to help homesteaders?

Offered free land, 160 acres, provided a home was built and lived on for 5 years


2 marks

14. Describe two problems that faced the homesteaders. What solutions did they find?

Water – wind mill and pump, building materials – sod houses, weather – dry farming, protecting crops – barbed wire.

4 marks


15. Where did homesteaders and cowboys come into conflict in the 1890s?

Johnson County


1 mark

16. What was claim jumping?


Registering a claim for a gold find that had been found by someone else


1 mark

17. Briefly describe the activities of one outlaw.

5 marks
18. Give three reasons why there was lawlessness on the Plains.

Communications, lack of sherrifs and deputies, gun culture, conflicts between groups on the plains

3 marks

19. What was agreed at Fort Laramie in 1851?



Defined Indian homelands, promised they would be free of settlers, gave food clothing and equipment for 10 years.

2 marks


20. Why did the Indians go on the warpath in the1860s?

crops failed facing starvation, Fort Laramie treaty broken

3 marks

21. Explain what battle this picture shows and who painted it. Why was this battle important?



Battle of Little Bighorn, Kicking Bear, important coz Indians won but then whites wanted revenge which led to eventual downfall of the Indians.
4 marks

22. What was the Ghost Dance?

Indian dance to bring Great Spirit to drive away the whites and reclaim the Indian lands.

2 marks


23. What happened at Wounded Knee?

Indians massacred and finally defeated.



2 marks


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