Free Enterprise & Civil War



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Free Enterprise & Civil War

  • Texas business developed under the free enterprise system. Free enterprise is an economic system in which producers and consumers have the right to make choices.

    • Producers make and sell the goods, consumers buy the goods or use the services.

    • Producers choose what they make and consumers choose what they sell.

  • Free enterprise works under the system of supply and demand.

  • Many African Americans I nTexas lived on small farms and large plantations and worked in the fields.

  • There was a HIGH demand for cotton all around the world, which was good for plantation owners who grew the cotton. However this demand created a need for more slaves.

  • By 1850, more than 25% of Texans were slaves.

  • Many Southerners claimed that they could not grow crops or make money to support the economy without slaves. Most people in the northern states were against slavery. They believed that humans should be free.

  • Many northerners believed that states should follow all national laws, but Southerners believed they could nullify national laws that they did not like.

  • Abraham Lincoln was elected in 1860. He was against the spread of slavery. Because the President was against slavery, southerners worried that a national law to end slavery would soon be passed. They talked about separating from the United States.

  • Many states began to secede, or separate, from the US. Texas seceded on March 2, 1861. At that time, 7 cotton-producing states formed a new country called the Confederate States of America, or the Confederacy. In all, 11 states seceded.

  • Jefferson Davis was the President of the Confederacy.

  • The Civil War lasted 4 years.

  • Ulysses S. Grant was the leader of the Union troops and Robert E. Lee led the Confederate troops.

  • Texans who stayed at home during the war kept farms and businesses running. Women made uniforms and cared for wounded soldiers in hospitals.

  • Most Civil War battles in Texas took place near ports. Union ships would blockade (block) ports in the Gulf of Mexico so that goods could not be delivered to Texas.

  • In October 1862, Union ships captured Galveston Harbor, but the commander of the Texas forces recaptured it.

  • On April 9, 1865, the Union won the Civil War when Robert E. Lee surrendered to Ulysses S. Grant.

  • Two years earlier, Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation, which freed all enslaved people in confederate states, but many people did not hear about this until after the war.

  • The period after the war when North and South rebuilt their relationship was known as Reconstruction and it lasted more than 10 years.

  • In 1865, the US government set up the Freedmen’s Bureau, which helped African Americans find jobs and homes, as well as opened about 150 schools in Texas for African American children and adults.

  • Some African Americans became sharecroppers. A sharecropper is a farmer who pays part of the crops he or she grows to a landowner, who provides housing and the right to work the land.

The Indian Wars

  • Ever since settlers began coming to Texas, they had fought with Native Americans over the land. However, during the Civil War, conflicts grew and both sides became more violent.

  • The Plains Indians, including the Comanche, joined with warriors from other groups to raid Texas frontier settlements and destroy their farms and homes.

  • Settlers wrote to the government to ask for protection from these raids and the US army sent troops into Texas. These troops were known by the Indians as “Buffalo Soldiers.”

  • In 1867, the US government met with the Plains Indians and signed a peace treaty. The chiefs at the meeting agreed to move onto reservations on Indian Territory.

    • Many leaders disagreed with these chiefs and because the Indian culture lacked a central government, many Plains Indians groups stayed on the plains.

  • Indians and settlers also disputed over buffalo. There was a major increase in demand for buffalo skin, something Native Americans relied on for trade. Many settlers began killing buffalo and taking the buffalo skins for themselves.

    • Quanah Parker was one chief that was particularly angry about the buffalo slaughter. He led an attack at Adobe Walls. The Battle of Adobe Walls lead to the Red River War of 1874-1875

  • During the Red River War, the US Army sent soldiers to the Red River to chase the Indians into Indian Territory.

  • The Battle of Palo Duro Canyon was the turning point of the war. The US soldiers attacked sleeping Indians at their camp in the canyon. Because they were so blindsided, the Indians could not come together fast enough to fight and were forced out of the camp and onto the reservation in Oklahoma.

  • The result of the Indian Wars was that the Texas plains were now open to cattle ranchers and other settlers.

Cattle & Cowboys (pg. 266-287)

  • The plains of Texas were now full of cattle ranches.

  • Some well-known ranchers included Charles Goodnight, Richard King, and Henrietta King.

  • Before the 1880s, Texas ranchers did not build fences—their cattle roamed the grassy plains, known as the open range.

  • Brands were invented as a way for ranchers to tell their cattle apart on the open range. A brand is a design burned into the hide of a cow. All cattle with the same brand belonged to one rancher.

  • In Texas, cattle was cheap, but in the eastern US, they sold for ten times as much. This idea led to the creation of cattle drives.

  • Cowhands would drive their cattle over long trails to cattle markets in other states.

  • Cattle drives began in Texas towns such as Fort Worth and San Angelo, and ended in railroad towns such as Sedalia, Missouri, and Dodge City, Kansas.

  • Ranchers would sell their cattle in these towns and the buyers would ship the cattle by train to the East.

  • Some famous cattle drivers were Charles Goodnight and Lizzie Johnson.

  • In 1874, Joseph Glidden invented the first commercially successful barbed wire. It is a twisted wire with sharp points put between posts as a fence for cattle.

    • This barbed wire ended ranching on the open range and ended cattle drives across Texas.

  • In the 1850s, railroads changed the way people lived in Texas. Businesses and towns grew and goods could be transported more easily.

  • In the 1870s-1880s, there was a railroad boom in Texas. A boom is a time of rapid growth.

  • These railroads let people travel more easily and also brought new settlers to Texas. During this time, the population of Texas grew by over a million people.

  • Railroads also allowed for new towns to pop up along the lines because people were able to get to unsettled areas.

  • Texans were able to ship their cattle across the country by train, instead of having to drive them north to other railroad stations.


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