Chapter 26 Reading Guide
Big Question: Why has the Plains Indians’ resistance to white encroachment played such a large part in the popular American view of the West? How is that mythical past related to the Indians’ actual history?
1. Describe the warfare that raged between the Indians and the American military during the late 1800s.
2. Identify the Native American leaders of the following tribes: Apache, Nez Perce, Sioux and the major areas they inhabited.
3. What major book chronicled the dismal history of Indian-white relations, and who was the author?
4. Why were the people who wanted to “help” the Indians often as dangerous as their enemies? What were the goals, terms, and results of the Dawes Act?
5. What led to the events at Wounded Knee and what were the results
6. What was the life of the cowboy like and what created the decline in numbers?
7. Describe the terms, impact, benefits, and problems of the Homestead Act.
8. What was the thesis of Frederick Jackson Turner?
9. What was life like for many of the western farmers? What actions did they take to improve their social and political lives? Describe the mechanization of agriculture.
10. What were the major goals of the Populists, who were the major leaders, and where did populists have some political success?
11. Why did the Populists have political difficulties in many areas including the South?
12. Describe the issues, major players, and results of the Presidential election of 1896.
13. Was the Wizard of Oz an allegory for the Populist era? (We will discuss this in class, and you can add in information on this question at that time as it is not in your textbook.)
Key People and Terms
reservation system Battle of the Little Big Horn
Dawes Severalty Act mining industry
Pullman strike Gold Standard Act
For Your Information- Past A.P essay questions on this area of study:
1971 Describe the thesis advanced by Frederick Jackson Turner about the relationship of the frontier to political democracy, and assess the principal arguments that later historians have made to attack or defend the thesis.
1999 How were the lives of the Plains Indians in the second half of the nineteenth century affected by technological developments and governmental actions?
1978 “Ironically, popular belief in the ‘self-sufficient farmer’ and the ‘self-made man’ increased during the nineteenth century as the reality behind these beliefs faded.” Assess the validity of this statement.
1991 “Although the economic development of the Trans-Mississippi West is popularly associated with hardy individualism, it was in fact largely dependent on the federal government.” Assess the validity of this statement with specific reference to western economic activities in the nineteenth century.
1973 “Political movements in the United States often reflect a yearning for the past.” Assess the validity of this generalization by applying it to both the Jacksonians and the Populists.
1989 In what ways were the late nineteenth century populists the heirs of the Jacksonian democrats with respect to overall objectives AND specific proposals for reform.
1995 Analyze the reasons for the emergence of the Populist movement in the late nineteenth century.
1976 “Both the Jacksonian Democrats during 1824-1840 and the Populists during 1890-1896 attacked and sought to root out special privilege in American life. The Jacksonian Democrats attained power and succeeded; the Populists failed.” Assess the validity of this view. Give roughly equal attention to the Jacksonian Democrats and the Populists
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