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An industrializing west
 

An industrializing west

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    An industrializing west An industrializing west Document Transcript

    • An Industrializing West<br />
      • Go west young man!
      • Land ownership was at the heart of a virtuous citizenry
      • West was a safety valve from industrialization, urbanization and capitalism
      • Free land would prevent wage slavery
      • Preserve American values
      • Homestead Act-men and women could get 160 acres of surveyed land, immigrants also eligible, had to live there for 5 years and build a house or barn, privileged white farmers over AA and Hispanics, cost roughly $1000 to do this, most could not afford this, Chinese denied access , no provision for poor in Eastern cities, drove Indians out of their land, most land fell into the hands of speculators
      • Industrialization transformed the west from agrarian to industrial
      • Railroads-helped to settle the west and create a national market for goods
      • Pacific Railroad Bill-1862-land grants and loans to Union Pacific and Central Pacific to build a transcontinental railroad(Omaha to Sacremento)
      • Govt gave away 131 million acres to build the railroad
      • Backlash against chinese in Chinese Exclusion Act in 1882-to suspend immigration for 10 years due to influx of Chinese to work on railroads
      • Joined in 1869 in Utah with a golden spike, nothing changed the west more than the railroads
      • Mining-men were drawn by the 1849 gold rush but by 1870s were laborers for corporations
      • Changes in processes like hydraulic mining led to massive returns but environmental devastation
      • Railroads made mining of silver, gold and copper more lucrative
      • Miners were overworked and underpaid, most dangerous job in American in 1900, unions struggled to bring change
      • Ranching-majority of cowboys worked for corporations by the 1900s,
      • 1/3 were AA, Hispanic or Indian
      • Cattle drives and the open range-
      • Railroads made cattle market explode, prices soared and the market was established in Texas
      • Used cattle drives until railroad became accessible
      • Linked cattle ranching and Chicago stockyards, later had the refrigerated railcar
      • Open range grazing was used until supply exceeded demand, stopped moving cattle, smaller more specialized herds, barbed wire
      • Industrial cowboys-railroads decreased the need for cowboys to move cattle to markets
      • Mexican Americans-movement into Texas and California of whites forced MA to lose their lands over time and to suffer at the hands of groups like the Texas Rangers(vigilante group)
      • Itinerant laborers-most lower level jobs were seasonal, people moved around and followed the work but industrialization created a precarious situation for the workers
      • Homesteading and Farming
      • 49% could not prove up their claim, others were beaten by the environment