Unit 11= Lighting Out for the Territories, 1861-1890



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Unit 11= Lighting Out for the Territories, 1861-1890
I. How did America civilize the wilderness of the west?

A. Evaluate the frontier thesis of Frederick Jackson Turner. Pages 392-93


B. Assess the reasons and motivations for Americans movement west.

1. American mindset and perspective:

* Manifest Destiny

* Uncivilized Indian culture (Savage)

* Missionary work with the Indians

* Legal property rights of Indians questionable

* Territorial conflicts between Indian tribes numerous and violent like Lakota Sioux

* Wasteful and inefficient lifestyle and culture of Indians (Nomadic)

* Indians lack of technology a major weakness

* Too many tribes to deal with and contend with and in different languages.

* Fear of European takeover of Indian land if US not secure it

* Western Plains no longer considered the Great American Desert

* Natural Resources, Markets, Capitalism, and Private Property and Govt. to support it

2. Indian mindset and perspective:

* Land part of sacred world, and tribe owned the land and possessions collectively

* Subordinate personal ambitions to tribe’s needs and merge individual identity with that of the tribal group

* Nomadic lifestyle in pursuit of Buffalo

3. Natural Resources: (Capitalism and Private Property)

* Fur and Fish

* Cheap or Free Land

* Gold and Silver

- John Sutter in Sacramento, Calif.

- Comestock Lode in Carson City, Nevada

- Pike’s Peak in Colorado

- Black Hills in South Dakota

- others in Wyoming, Montana, Idaho, Alaska

* Lumber

* Cattle


4. Technology:

* Fur and Fish = Weaponry and Repeating Rifle

* Land = Steel Plow and Reapers, Windmills, Dry Farming, Irrigation, Hydraulic Engineering

* Gold and Silver = Mining Technology

* Lumber = Logging Technology

* Cattle = Breeding, Drives (Texas to Kansas), and Refrigerated Railroad Cars but barbed wire by Glidden in the 1880’s and Railroads led to the end of the Drives

* Transportation = Steamboats, Railroads, Conestoga Wagons and Stage Coaches on the Mormon Trail and Oregon Trail

* Summary = the markets and demand for lumber, gold and silver, cattle, and fur were dramatically increasing as America grew. Technology brought increased efficiency in obtaining and harvesting these natural resources but at the same time many of the small farmers, loggers, miners, etc. were driven out of the markets because they could not afford the cost of the new technology and therefore could not aptly compete with bigger companies.

5. Government Actions:

* Land


- Fort Laramie 1850 and Fort Atkinson 1853 = forts created to create corridor for settlers to move west without Indian interference as Indians moved onto reservations

- No longer a permanent Indian frontier that was off limits to white settlement

(Indian Territory for example in present day Oklahoma was removed.)

- Homestead Act 1862 = 160 acres of land available on first come basis to promote settlement of west.

- Timber Culture Act 1873 = farmers allowed an additional 160 acres to plant trees and promote development.

- Desert Land Act 1877 = Cattle Companies given land to promote development and settlement of west.

- Timber and Stone Act 1878 = Lumber Companies given land to promote development and settlement of west

- More money and aid given to west from US Govt. than any other region.

- Indian Appropriations Act 1871 = no Indian tribe to be recognized as an independent nation and the US could not make a treaty or a contract with any tribe. The Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) would manage Indian Affairs for the US Government without tribal consent. (Cherokee v Georgia case 1831)

- US Army = round up the Indians and keep them in their place meaning they were the enforcement arm of the BIA.

- eliminate the buffalo to eliminate the Plains Indian

- Sioux Act 1889 = US took ½ of Sioux land for some cash and provided Indians with rations on reservations

- Manifest Destiny = Louisiana Purchase, Mex./Amer. War 1846-48, Oregon Territory and the 49th parallel in 1846, Gadsden Purchase 1853 and etc…….

- Markets, Capitalism, Private Property supported and upheld by Government

* Gold and Silver

- Government demand for gold and silver

- Government protection and acquisition of mining areas from Indians by US Army through wars, treaties, and confiscation

- Government subsidies given to mining companies to promote development of west.

* Transportation

- Government subsidies given to Railroad Companies to promote settlement of

West and reduce risk of companies.

- Government paid RR’s Co.’s by the mile and also gave them land and cheap loans to help ensure their success.

- 1865 approx. 35,000 miles of track and by 1900 approx. 192,000

- The Transcontinental Railroad begun in 1862 and completed in 1869

- Union Pacific = from Omaha, Nebraska to the west receiving

from US Govt. $16,000.00 for every mile put down on prairie region and $48,000.00 for every mile put down in mountainous region. In addition, the UP RR would receive 20 square miles of land for every mile put down. The workers were mainly Irish nicknamed Paddies or Patrick’s. The UP RR was involved in the Credit Mobilier Scandal.

- Central Pacific = from Sacramento, Calif. to the east receiving the same money and land subsidy as the UP RR. The workers were mainly Chinese nicknamed Goolies. The main financial backer of the CP RR was Leland Stanford.

- Completion or Wedding of the Rails at Ogden, Utah in 1869.

- Other RR Co.’s receiving US Govt. subsidies

- Northern Pacific RR

- Southern Pacific RR

- Atchison, Topeka, Sante Fe RR

- Example of a RR Co. receiving no US Govt. subsidy

- The Great Northern RR by James Hill that consistently outperformed those RR’s receiving govt. subsidy.

- Wagon Trails brought settlers and expansion but Railroads multiplied the number of settlers going west & dramatically accelerated western expansion
II. Examine the impact of America’s movement west on Indians.

A. Past US/Indians relations:


B. Patterns US/Indian relations: page 403

C. Reasons and Motivations of Americans to go west:


D. Evaluate the Indian Policy of America. pages 406-08

1. The choices of US policy makers in dealing with Indians:

- Preservationists:

Leave the Indians alone being free to roam the Plains and continue their hunting and gathering lifestyle. Helen Hunt Jackson in Century of Dishonor in 1885 believed such.
- Exterminationists:

Preservation and assimilation were both impossible. Indians had to stand aside for progress as their time was done. Any Indians who resisted reservation confinement would be killed. General Philip Sheridan allegedly stated, “The only good Indians I ever saw were dead.”


- Assimilationists:

Industrialization and progress made the preservationist ideal impossible and any effort to exterminate the natives was not only uncivilized but un-Christian and also unconstitutional. Put Indians on reservations to cure them of their nomadic ways for their own protection.


2. The US Policy that resulted:

- Assimilationists views prevailed but at times all three views were incorporated into US/Indian relations. Most whites and Indians agreed the US policy was confusing and contradictory. A system of mismanagement and abuse resulted and this in many ways reflected the irreconcilable differences of three strategies.


- BIA largely assimilationists and the US Army largely exterminationists were the two US Federal Agencies authorized to deal with the Indians.

- BIA = report to Congress, drafted Indian policy, staffed Indian reserveration bureaucracy, and planned for the feeding, governing, clothing, medicine, and education of the Indians. Much fraud and stealing existed which provoked Indians to aggression.

- US Army = round up the Indians, relocate them to reservations, and keep the Indians their if they tried to leave.
3. The Indian Numbers:

- 1492 approx. 4 million natives in North America and by 1885 approx. 360,000

- Was this decimation planned?

- Was it neglect?

- Was it accidental?

- Was it war?

- A major killer of Indians was disease.
4. The white takeover of Indian land inevitable. ATVOTS
III. Identify, describe, and examine the Plains Indians dependence on and treatment of the Buffalo.

pages 404-06

A. Nomadic:
B. Uses:
C. Numbers:
(Buffalo Bill Cody killed 4000 buffalo in 18 months as he worked for the Kansas Pacific RR)

D. Result:

Most Plains Indians starving and therefore forced onto reservations onto poor land with little food.

IV. Evaluate the US/Indian Wars and the cycle of death that had characterized white-Indian contact for over

250 years.

(Cruelty begot cruelty by both Americans and Indians)

A. 1864-1865 = the Cheyenne and Arapaho warriors fiercely battle US troops in Colorado

1. Cheyenne Chief Black Kettle led raids on miners, farmers, travelers but then surrendered and settled on a reservation on tribal land in Pueblo, Colorado.

2. Sand Creek Massacre = Nov. 1864 Cheyenne men, women, and children massacred by Colorado drunken militia led by Col. Chivington. Chivington stated, “Nits make lice.”

3. Cheyenne resumed fighting until they surrendered again and agreed to go on a permanent reservation.

B. 1862-63 = Lakota Sioux resist white incursions onto their land in Minnesota.

1. Lakota Sioux warriors led by Little Crow raid settlers seeking to remove whites from region. They resisted after provisions on reservations never arrived and facing starvation they attacked.

2. US General John Pope achieved victory and hanged 38 Sioux warriors at same time as punishment ending the resistance in Minnesota.

C. 1866 = Ogala Sioux resist white settlement in Wyoming.

1. Lt. Col. William Fetterman was leading a detachment of 80 men to aid a wood gathering train when a party of Ogala Sioux led by Red Cloud and Crazy Horse annihilated them in 20 minutes.

2. A stunning victory for the Indians and Indians on the vast Plains simultaneously beginning to resist like the Sioux, Cheyenne, and Arapaho in different areas.

D. 1868 = Sioux resist white settlement in Montana.

1. Sioux led by Red Cloud attacked engineers constructing a road to Fort Bozeman.

2. US counterattacks and US promises to stop road construction persuaded Red Cloud to retire

to a reservation.

3. When delays of supplies and food resulted on reservation the Sioux renewed hostilities.

4. From 1868 to 1874 a constant rate of hostilities existed on Plains between US and Indians.

Indians however failed to act together on a large scale allowing US Army superiority.

E. 1875 = Cheyenne and Sioux resist white settlement in South Dakota.

1. US building the Northern Pacific Railroad and a gold rush in the sacred land of the Black Hills spark an Indian uprising.

2. Sioux led by Sitting Bull and Crazy Horse create an Indian alliance and leave the reservations to resume fighting with US Army.

3. General Sheridan’s plan and its unraveling (page 409-410)

4. Col. George Custard’s Last Stand at Battle of Little Big Horn June 25, 1876 (page 410)

5. Indians won the battle but lost the war. Custer embraced as a martyr for the cause of Manifest Destiny and the US sought to avenge his slaying. Within 4 months the Sioux and

Cheyenne surrender once for all and were put back on their reservations ending the Plains Indians Wars.

F. 1877 = Nez Perce resist movement to reservation in Idaho.

1. US shrunk the reservation size by some 90% and Chief Joseph of the Nez Perce refused to go on it. He led his tribe on trek to Canada where the US had no jurisdiction or authority.

2. US General Miles after 3 month and 1700 miles captured the Nez Perce 30 miles from the Canadian border in the Battle of Bear Paw Mountain.

3. Chief Joseph stated, “I will fight no more forever.” He and the other Nez Perce would put onto a reservation in Kansas where 40% of them died soon after.

G. 1880’s = Apache resist white encroachment and movement to reservation in New Mexico & Ariz.

1. Geronimo of the Apaches led numerous raids on American and Mexican settlements.

2. Geronimo surrendered and was put on a reservation only to return to fighting shortly thereafter. He hid in the mountainous region of the southwest and was most difficult to capture. The US finally captured him in 1886 and put him and his remaining warriors and tribe onto a reservation in Florida. They later became successful farmers in Oklahoma.

H. 1890 = Sioux thoroughly demoralized and so they turned to spiritualism.

1. The cult of the Ghost Dance was created and performed in the belief that dancing would banish the white men, return Indian lands, and make Indians invulnerable to bullets and cannons. Their ancestors would return and the buffalo would return as well.

2. The US Government alarmed with the mysticism ordered them to stop and sent in the 7th Calvary to force them to desist. The US Government wanted the Ghost Dance to be eradicated because it was hostile to the US Govt. Sitting Bull supported the Ghost Dance and BIA tried to arrest him but a gun battle broke out and Sitting Bull was killed.

3. On Dec. 29 1890 US troops attempted to disarm the Sioux at Wounded Knee on a Sioux reservation in South Dakota in the freezing cold and shooting broke out. 200 Sioux men, women, and children were killed.

4. Wounded Knee was the last major conflict with the Indians.

5. US Govt. already convinced the Indian reservation policy was not working so a new policy was created in the form of the Dawes Severalty Act 1887
V. Assess the final stage of American assimilation of the Indians.

A. The DAWES SEVERALTY ACT of 1887:

1. Congress and President Cleveland make it law.

2. Indian tribal system removed and tribes dissolved. Indian reservation divided up into 160 acres plots.

3. Each head of household to receive 160 acres of land. They had four years to select their land or it would be chosen for them.

4. Goal to incorporate Indians into the market economy for their long term survival and success.

5. Result = ? ? ? ? ?

6. Congress repealed Dawes Severalty Act in 1930’s and in 1934 under the Indian Reorganization Act the tribes were restored.


B. Educating Indians into American culture:

1. Motto, “Kill the Indian to save the man.”

2. Teach English language and American culture in Government schools like the Carlisle Indian School in Penn. and the Sabre Indian School in Montana.

3. Gradually allow Indian attainment of full citizenship.

C. George Catlin = painter capturing the Indian way of life before it disappeared.
VI. Examine the process by which western territories became states. (pages 413-417)

A. Western Territories becoming states prior to the Civil War under Organic Acts resembling the Northwest and Southwest Ordinances.


B. Oregon Territory and the Washington Territory

- Omnibus Bill 1889

- More states in 1890
C. Mormon Wars and Utah
D. Alaska
E. Hawaii

VII. Assess the “plight” of farmers in the latter half of the 19th Century.

A. There were simply too many farmers in America. ATVOTS.

The free market system dictated such and many agribusiness (big farms) made small farms extremely difficult to maintain and succeed at which is a plausible assessment of the statement above.


B. The agrarian revolution:

1. Huge bonanza farms transforming farming into big business with ties to banking, manufacturing, transportation, and government at all levels.

2. New harvesting inventions like the twine binder, combine, and the refrigerated railroad car, and more.
C. Common problems of farmers:

1. Dependency on one cash crop.

2. Dependency on middle men to sell their product.

3. Dependency on Railroads to transport their product and high and inconsistent rates charged by RR’s to do so.

4. Fluctuation of changing world market prices.

5. Fluctuation of changing value of US $ dollar $.

6. High interest rates on bank loans.

7. Taxes from government at all levels.

8. Tendency to overproduce.

9. Tendency to over farm the soil.

10. Dependency on nature.
D. Actions of farmers:

1. The Grangers movement 1867 (also called the Patrons of Husbandry)

- Farmers protest not with the bullet but with the ballot

- Attempted to do the following:

- control railroad and grain elevator prices

- maintain competition through cooperatives

- delay consolidation of big farms

- The leader was Oliver Kelley

- Success in the Supreme Court case of Munn v. Illinois 1876 where the court created the doctrine that private property in which the public has an interest must submit to public controls. In this case it was allowed that the US Government could regulate and set elevator and railroad prices to what they thought was reasonable. The verdict virtually stated any enterprise or business ever open to the public became the business of the government. This verdict challenged or rendered ineffective the property clause in the US Constitution. YOUR EVALUATION.

The Munn v. Illinois was a victory for the Grange and their Granger Laws to restrict the power of the railroads. Their first attempt to restrict Railroad rates was not upheld by the Supreme Court in the Wabash case. They wanted the federal govt. to regulate railroad rates by artificially setting the rate charges low. The railroad companies of the Union Pacific and the Northern Pacific because of the govt. subsidies would give lower rates to big farmers (agribusiness men).

2. The Greenback Labor Party 1876

- farmers and laborers in factories blamed their problems of US Government policies favoring big business like the gold standard, the tariff, and subsidization of railroads.

- leader James Weavor who received 3% of the vote for the Presidency

- Farmers and laborers joined forces to get politicians voted into office that would create policies to create inflation.

- One strategy involved creating currency in Greenbacks not backed by gold

to create inflation.

- Another strategy involved creating currency in silver to create inflation on a ratio of sixteen ounces of silver to every one ounce of gold (16 to 1 ratio).

Or roughly sixteen silver dollars to a gold dollar. They wanted the US Govt.

to purchase silver at artificially high prices at taxpayer expense to make the ratio work. (Bimetallism)

- Crime of 73 (1873) where the US Govt. refused to monetize silver which caused pro- silverites to explode. They said it was a crime to refuse the dollar of their daddies meaning silver was used by the previous generation so why not this one as well.

- Money policy vacillated back and forth causing unstable currency in the following:

- Specie Resumption Act 1875 and Resumption Day 1879

- Bland Allison Act 1878

- Ohio Idea 1873


3. Farmers Alliance 1879

- Founded after failure of the Grange with Ben “Pitchfork” Tillman as leader.

- They wanted to the US Govt. to do the following:

- Break up the power of the Railroads to help farmers and nationalize all RR’s where the US Govt. would control them.

- Control all warehouses

- Give cheap loans

- Graduated income tax

- Success with politicians such as Mary Lend Lease and Ignatius Donnelly

4. Populists 1890’s (also called the Peoples Party)

- The Ocala Demands and the Populist Platform: Not Laissez Faire Government

- 16 to 1 ratio of silver to gold to create cheap money and inflation

- Graduated income tax

- Cheap government loans

- Government ownership or Railroads, Warehouses, Communication businesses, and other big markets.

- Direct election of Senators by the people

- Referendums, initiatives, recalls

- Restrict immigration

- 8 hour workday to get laborers to support party

- Election 1892 nominate James Weaver for President 22 electoral votes an 1 million popular votes. 12 Populist Congressmen elected and 3 Governors and they begin to infiltrate the Democratic Party.

- Election 1896 nominate William James Bryan along with the Democrats under the slogan of free silver. Bryan gave his cross of gold speech to rally support. Bryan was soundly defeated by Republican William McKinley.

- the elections had proved that political power had moved from the farms to the cities but despite defeat the Populists ideas resurfaced in the PROGRESSIVE MOVEMENT

- labor movement not fully behind farmers in their movements as they were seeking even more radical changes with groups such as the IWW (Industrial Workers of the World) in the form of socialism.



Chapter 11 Study Questions (choose any 30)

1. What did Frederick Jackson Turner conclude in his 1893 essay titled, the significance of the Frontier in American History, and what is your opinion on his conclusion? Explain. 392-93

2. When was the transcontinental railroad completed & how did settlers move west prior to the RR? 394

3. How was mail delivered between stagecoaches and telegraphs? 395

4. The US Government must help complete the Union Pacific Railroad and the Northern Pacific Railroad or they will not get done nor will they work or survive. ATVOTS. In your response reference a railroad that received no government subsidies.395-96

5. What benefits did the transcontinental railroads bring? 396

6. What was the result of the increased efficiency of getting natural resources? 396

7. Who was at fault for the environmental waste created by seeking and acquiring natural resources in your opinion, government or capitalism or both? Explain. 396-97

8. How did technology impact the extracting of natural resources such as fur and fish, gold and silver, and logging? 396-97

9. What is vertical integration? 398

10. Compare the violence in cow towns in the 1800’s to that of violence in cities today. 400-401

11. 2/3 of all homesteaders failed in the west, describe their life and why so many failed. 402

12. How many people went west and why? 402-03

13. What was the significance of barbed wire on the west? 402

14. Farming, milling, lumbering, mining, ranching, and harvesting of natural resources in the American west exhibited strikingly consistent results. ATVOTS 402-03

15. What were the patterns in Indian/white relations since colonial times? 403

16. Summarize the differences in the tribes in the west. 403-04

17. What were the numbers of buffalo in the west? 404

18. Assess Indian practices on hunting the buffalo and assess whether or not Indians were contributing to the declining numbers of buffalo. 404-05

19. How did the nomadic lifestyle of the Indians seeking buffalo actually help them? 405-06

20. What resources did America expend in controlling and defeating the Indians? 406

21. What were the three camps American policy makers on Indians were divided into? Which one would you support and why? 406

22. What was the significance of Helen Hunt Jackson? 406

23. What was the significance of US General Sheridan? 406

24. What was a possible weakness of the assimilation policy? 406-07

25. What was at the root problem of establishing any coherent Indian policy? 407

26. What was the role of the BIA (Bureau of Indian Affairs)? 407

27. What was the role of the US Army and the buffalo soldiers? 407-08

28. Summarize and assess the Sand Creek Massacre. 408-09

29. Summarize the Fetterman Massacre. 408

30. What was the significance of the Black Hills in South Dakota? 409

31. Summarize Custer’s Last Stand. 409-10

32. Summarize the ghost dance and the battle at Wounded Knee. 410-11

33. Summarize and assess the Dawes Severalty Act. 411-12

34. Summarize Cleveland’s position on Indians. 411

35. Summarize how territories of the west became states. 413

36. Summarize the problems on how Utah became a state. 415

37. What were farmer complaints in the latter part of the 19th Century? 417

38. What were the Granger laws? 417

39. What was the Munn v. Illinois case and do you agree with it? Explain. 417

40. Who did farmers blame their problems on? 419

41. What was the Crime of 73? 419



42. Summarize the POPULISTS. 420


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