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The American West

The American West. Chapter 13. The Plains Indians. The Plains Indians lived in the area from the Mississippi River to the Rocky Mountains and from Canada to Mexico. Plains Indians. The most important tribes were the Sioux, Blackfoot, Cheyenne, Crow, Kiowa, and Comanche.

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The American West

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  1. The American West Chapter 13

  2. The Plains Indians The Plains Indians lived in the area from the Mississippi River to the Rocky Mountains and from Canada to Mexico.

  3. Plains Indians • The most important tribes were the Sioux, Blackfoot, Cheyenne, Crow, Kiowa, and Comanche. • The plains area was hotter than 100 degrees in the summer, and could drop to 40 degrees below zero with heavy snows in the winter. The region was so dry that when it rained it often flooded. The rolling land was covered with grassland and a few mountains. The Black Hills were high and steep. • Few Indians lived on the Great Plains before white men brought the horse in the 1600’s.

  4. After the 1600s Plains Indians became dependent on horses.

  5. Indian clothing was highly decorative and symbolic

  6. They used buffalos for everything from source of food to building teepees

  7. Teepees • The teepee opening always faced east. The outside of the teepee was decorated with paintings of animals, stars, or other objects. The Plains Indians had little furniture. Their beds were made from buffalo robes, skins with the hair left on.

  8. Comanche BuffaloHunters and Their Tepee Lodges Aug. 1871. National Archives

  9. Government Policy • Changed in the mid-1800s • Before, had forced Indians West • Now, they seized Indian land and forced tribes onto reservations

  10. U.S. army’s policy: destroy the buffalo and the Indians will move • 60 million >100s

  11. http://www.pbs.org/wnet/nature/episodes/american-buffalo-spirit-of-a-nation/introduction/2183/http://www.pbs.org/wnet/nature/episodes/american-buffalo-spirit-of-a-nation/introduction/2183/

  12. Indian Wars • Sand Creek Massacre • Battle of Little Bighorn • Wounded Knee Massacre • Ghost Dance

  13. Resistance Ends in the West • Reservation system: • The government wanted to control the territory • Americanization • The Dawes Act (1887): broke up most reservations and turned Native Americans into individual property owners.

  14. “You are therefore directed to induce your male Indians to cut their hair, and both sexes to stop painting their faces…the wearing of citizens’ clothing, instead of the Indian costume and blanket, should be encouraged.” BIA letter to Greenville Indian School, CA, 1902

  15. Mining & Railroaders When the 1849, California gold rush ended, miners looked for new opportunities

  16. Comstock Lode • A massive body of silver ore discovered under what is now Virginia City, Nevada in 1859. • Between 1859 and 1878 it yielded $400 million in silver and gold. • It is notable not just for the immense fortunes it generated and the large role those fortunes had in the growth of Nevada and San Francisco, but also for the advances in mining technology that it spurred. Miner working in the Comstock Lode

  17. Klondike Gold Rush, 1897 • About 100,000 people came to the Klondike • Many people from other countries • Placer mining, hydraulic mining, hard-rock mining

  18. From Boomtown to Ghost town

  19. Territorial Government

  20. Boom towns marked by lawlessness and disorder • Vigilantes • gunslingers Wild Bill Hickock

  21. Wyatt Earp

  22. Railroaders

  23. 1863, 2 companies raced to build the first railroad from one coast to the other

  24. Laborers • Mostly Chinese • Irish • African Americans • Mexicans

  25. Ranchers

  26. The Homestead Act • The Homestead Act of 1862 has been called one the most important pieces of Legislation in the history of the United States. Signed into law in 1862 by Abraham Lincoln after the secession of southern states, this Act turned over vast amounts of the public domain to private citizens. 270 millions acres, or 10% of the area of the United States was claimed and settled under this act.

  27. The Oklahoma Land Rush of 1889

  28. Sodbusters • Farmers in the plains who built their homes out of sod and worked hard to remove sod from their fields in order to make them usable.

  29. Men plowing sod and a sod house

  30. The Chinese Exclusion Act • The statute of 1882 suspended Chinese immigration for ten years and declared the Chinese as ineligible for naturalization. Chinese workers already in the country challenged the constitutionality of the discriminatory acts, but their efforts failed. The act was renewed in 1892 for another ten years, and in 1902 Chinese immigration was made permanently illegal. The legislation proved very effective, and the Chinese population in the United States sharply declined.

  31. Famous People

  32. Sitting Bull

  33. Ghost Dance of the Oglala Sioux, Frederic Remington, Harper's Weekly, December 1890.

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