The American West - Edexcel GCSE


Published on

Published in: Education
  • Be the first to comment

No Downloads
Total views
On SlideShare
From Embeds
Number of Embeds
Embeds 0
No embeds

No notes for slide

The American West - Edexcel GCSE

  1. 1. Their Beliefs: • The Great Spirit – almost all Indian tribes believed in a supreme being or God. They believed that it had created everything (people and nature). Animals, plants and people each had their own spirit • Natures Great Circle – Indians saw themselves as apart of nature and believed that the natural world produced them and one day they‟d return to the earth and so they had great respect and love for nature and animals • Land – Indians believed that land couldn‟t be sold, owned or fenced off. The earth belonged to all people, animals and plants. They valued land more than money and believed it shouldn‟t be ploughed because their ancestors were buried there The Plains • Medicine Men – He would interpret the Indian‟s dreams and were called upon to cure the sick. They were also advisors to elders and chiefs • Dances – Rituals were performed to contact spirits. The sun dance was when young braves were tortured to „release the spirit‟. Buffalo and animal dances were also held to attract buffalo to hunt • Animal Power –Indians believed that animals held power, e.g. certain animals were special. Badger blood could tell you when you will die, horned toads helped to find buffalo and horns of bull elks were used to serenade women The Buffalo: The buffalo were incredibly important to the Indians as they provided food, shelter and tools as well as having cultural significance. • Buffalo were a food source; o Flesh eaten raw, boiled, roasted or dried o Tongue • Buffalo was used for shelter; o Buffalo hide was used for making tipis and clothes o Fur used to make blankets and gloves As well as this, the bones were used to make tools and the fat used to make soap. The skull was used in religious ceremonies and buffalo dung was used as a fuel. This meant it was vital and as a result of this the Indians were nomadic in order to be able to hunt buffalo. The Indians also split their tribe into bands Indians to conserve the buffalo because it meant that at any one time large numbers of Indians weren‟t killing buffalo from the same herd. The Indians found buffalo using two methods; sending out young braves to search or doing a buffalo dance. The dance would never fail, because they‟d dance until the buffalo came even if it took weeks. Horses: The horse was a symbol of wealth to the Indians because they made the buffalo hunt easier and so was a prized possession. However some historians believe that in the long run it was disastrous because it meant the Indians gave up farming, and also stopped being so careful with the numbers of buffalo they were killing
  2. 2. Indians and Warfare: Family Life: • Since they believed that no one • If a man wanted to marry a woman he had to present her family could own the land they did not fight with horses and impress her with his hunting abilities. This showed over it. Instead Indians fought over them that he was able to look after her horses or access to hunting • Men could have more than one wife (polygamy) because there grounds, to destroy their enemies were less men than woman and this ensured that all the women and for revenge were looked after • Being publicly shamed was one of • Divorces were rare, but all you had to do was say “I divorce you”. the worst things that could happen There was no time for legal proceedings and this was reflected in their war • Women made the tipi and looked after the home as it meant she fare would always have a home even if her husband died in war. • The bravest act in warfare involved • Old people were left behind to die if they were slowing down the getting close to your enemy and band. It was practical touching him with your hand or stick – • Old people were the source of all history as the Indians could not Counting Coup write or read but their history was important to them • Scalps were seen as trophies. They • A girl‟s first period was a reason to celebrate as it meant she was believed that taking a scalp was also able to bear children and this was vital taking an Indian‟s spirit so he could • Boys learnt how to ride and use bows and arrows as this was to be not go to the after life meaning a their role in the future (hunting) warrior wouldn‟t meet his enemies • Babies were encouraged not to cry as it scared of the buffalo there The Indian Society: • Death is not honorable as they had • A Nation (e.g. Sioux) were split into tribes, which were split into families to care for bands. Each band had a chief and a council of all men The role of Men and Women: Men: Responsible for hunting, looking after • Chiefs: Not elected, Authority based on skills, wisdom and respect, may not remain a chief for life the horses and protecting the band • Councils: Important decisions made by the council, advice of the medicine men, chiefs and elder were listened to but not Women: Responsible for the tipi, preparing necessarily followed, ceremonial pipe, food, fetching water and making clothes • Punishment: Individuals would be shamed/humiliated in public but in extreme cases (e.g. murder) they would be expelled The roles were different but equally important
  3. 3. Mountain Men: - First to travel west (after the Indians) on the Plains - Hunted for and traded fur at annual RENDEVOUS where they would spread news about fertile lands further west - Jed Smith and Jim Bridger were important mountain men who blazed trails for migrants - Wagon Trail Migrants: - People in the east were enticed into moving west because of: o PUSH FACTORS: - Economic Depression - Unemployment - Agricultural Depression - Too Crowded - Land is Expensive - Nothing to lose - o - PULL FACTORS: Fertile Lands Cheap land -> Pre-emption bill Spacious Religion -> Convert people Stories of prosperity Manifest Destiny Good Climate - The Journey west was incredibly dangerous: o Lack of supplies (no shops) o Weather: high wind, temperatures, water shortages, snows o Disease/accidents: no sanitation o Attack from Indians/wild animals o Getting lost The Donner party got lost, lost supplies and were unlucky in that the snow came early. Only half of the travelers survived The migrants were families so when they settled they set up schools and communities 98% were literate because of the journey Manifest Destiny was fulfilled They sent letters home to encourage others west Established the route west The 49ers: - After gold was discovered in California in 1848 prospectors/gold seeker flooded the Plains - Around 90,000 arrived by 1849 leading to make shift mining towns, full of single men desperate to get rich… Racial Violence - Trails were led by mountain men who knew the route. There were also guide books on moving west. No law and order Disease Fights Claim Jumping Vigilante groups Basic Housing Drinking, Gambling and Prostitution
  4. 4. - - - - But after all the surface gold was exhausted big companies moved west and employed men who brought their families with them This led to safer and better living conditions, with proper communities Benefits of the Gold Rush: o Urban Growth o Increase supply of money and encouraged investment in mining o Stimulated growth of San Francisco o Railroad built through California o Gave USA a leading role a leading role in world trade o Stimulated movement to the west Disadvantages of the Gold Rush: o Foreigners targets of racial hatred o Taxes for foreign miners o Native Americans wiped out of California o Problems of Law and order o Gambling and Drunkenness o Vigilante groups The Mormons: Joseph Smith founded the Mormon movement in Palmyra, New York in the 1820s. The movement grew popular but they weren‟t liked by non-Mormons because… o They were successful so others were jealous o Gentiles (non-Jews) were threatened by fast growing community o Joseph Smith suggested practicing polygamy which caused fighting within the Mormon community o Close-knit community, kept themselves to themselves and made their own laws o Rumors of Mormons freeing Indians and slaves After the movement grew, Joseph Smith took his followers to Kirtland, Ohio where they set up a bank and temple. But they are chased out when the bank goes bust and move to Missouri. There they have their own army (Danites), but again rumors of Mormons setting slaves free get them forced out. While some Mormon leader are imprisoned, Brigham young arranges to go to Illinois where a holy city called „Nauvoo‟ is set up with their own laws. But Joseph Smith and his brothers are imprisoned after smashing up a printing press for criticizing polygamy. Non-Mormons break into the prison and shoot Joseph Smith in 1845. With no leader the Mormons begin to split up and some, who think polygamy is wrong, start a new religion. Brigham Young emerges as their leader and realizes that if they can‟t live in the east with non-Mormons they need to move where no one else wants to. He chose Utah because it was a part of Mexico, not USA so they could practice polygamy and also because he had read that the Great Salt Lake was isolated but fertile.
  5. 5. Brigham Young was very practical and organized. He planned the move west very carefully: Before the Journey: o Wagons, oxen and supplies were stockpiled in Nauvoo o Pioneer bands were sent ahead to set up way stations along the route, so that the Mormons would be able to restock along the way o The wagons were divided into separate trains, each made up of 100 vehicles and led by a captain. Each wagon train had 10 lieutenants who each supervised 10 wagons On the Journey: o The first wagon train built rest camps along the route for those following, leaving behind carpenters, blacksmiths and shelter o Winter Quarters were built next to the Missouri River to give the Mormons somewhere safe to spend the coldest months of their journey o Young himself led a carefully selected band of pioneers ahead to the Great Salt Lake to start building the settlement o They were taught by Brigham to form a circle in the evening for protection But the freezing winter and the poor conditions of the winter quarters led to an outbreak of disease which killed 700 people. However the Mormons were more successful in their journey west than many other groups of settlers. Stage One: Settling the Great Salt Lake City Brigham young was a very level-headed man who planned carefully for the success of the Mormons at Salt Lake… - The banned private ownership of land and water, which meant that everybody worked together for the good of the population - Artisans and craftspeople had small plots of the land towards the center of the new city, while the bigger families had larger farms on the edges - Irrigation ditches were dug, which people could access only at the certain times of the day to make sure everybody had enough - They wanted to be self-sufficient so set up industries to make iron and cloth but these failed due to insufficient skilled workers To overcome this Young set up the Perpetual Immigration Fund to help Mormons from Britain, Europe and other parts of the USA to join them in Salt Lake City – which was very successful. Also Young made money for the Mormons during the Gold Rush by setting up stores and workshops for travellers passing Salt Lake, and also charging migrants tolls to cross Mormon territory. He saw the opportunity to increase trade with the outside world when the railroads were built in the 1860‟s he made a deal with the Union Pacific Railroad company so that the lines passed both south and north of Salt Lake City.
  6. 6. Stage Two: Creating a new state In 1848 the USA won the Great Salt Lake area from the Mexico in a war. Young applied to form a new Mormon state called „Deseret‟ although the US government rejected his proposal, they did allow the creation of the US territory of Utah, with Young as the first governor. The Mormons now had the protection of the US government. But the Mormons didn‟t like this and ignored the judges and obeyed Brigham Young instead. The Danites attacked those who went against Brigham Young and that included US government officials. The government planned to send in troops. To make things worse a wagon train was massacred and the Mormons were blamed in 1857 (Mountain Meadows Massacre). To calm the situation down the US governments and Young made a deal: Brigham Young would no longer be governor but the USA would let the Mormons lead their own way of life. When Brigham Young died in 1877, Utah was a prosperous territory and the power of the church was firmly established, but the Americans still regarded the Mormons with suspicion and hostility. In 1890 the Mormons abandoned polygamy and Utah was admitted as a state of the the USA in 1896. “The Mormons Success was due to Brigham Young” – How far do you agree with this statement? Brigham Young Success: - Moving to Salt Lake - Settling in Salt Lake - Perpetual Emigration Fund - Railroad and Stock Brigham Young Failure: - Some died on the journey to Salt Lake - Iron and Cloth Industries Failed - Not made a state under him Success due to other factors: - Without the hard work of the Mormons nothing would have been possible Why did the government want a railroad? • Many people had migrated to the West, and Law and Order needed to be taken there to create National Unity • The government wanted to benefit from the Gold Rush and to trade with other countries • The rail road would help to fulfill „Manifest Destiny‟
  7. 7. Transport Before the Railroad: Steamboat: - 1840‟s onwards - 1,190 Steamboats along major rivers (e.g. Mississippi) - Adv. -> Could carry a lot of heavy freight - Disadv. -> Needed a lot of coal, Very slow, Only reach areas near rivers Stage-Coaches: - By 1850 - From Independence (Missouri) to Salt Lake City (Utah) - Adv. -> Quite fast, covered a long distance - Disadv. -> Indian attacks, very cold (no glass in windows), very crowded Freight (cargo) wagons: - 1851 onwards - 3,500 wagons and 40,000 oxen - Adv. -> could carry military supplies to West, covered long distances (up to 8000km) - Disadv. -> Roads weren‟t good, took 3 weeks for mail coaches to cross USA Pony Express: - 1860 – 1861 - 200 riders and 500 ponies; St. Joseph, Missouri to Sacramento, California - Adv. -> Carried mail across continent, very fast (relay service), only 10 days to cross USA - Disadv. -> Rough countryside, harsh climate, hostile Indians, Hungry wolves, not needed when telegraph was invented How was it build? o The Central Pacific Railroad from the West was built by 4 shop keepers in Sacramento because it would mean they‟d earn millions in government contracts o Construction at the start was a problem because supplies had to come from the east by sea and as the civil war was on, these ships were attacked o The first big problem once construction started were the Sierra Nevada but this was solved when the best engineer was employed, and he dug tunnels through them. o Lots of men were needed but they gave up because discipline was too tough and gold tempted them o To solve this problem the shopkeepers bought in 1000s of Chinese workers who worked harder and faster for less pay o It took the Central Pacific 2 years to build 40 miles meanwhile another company, the Union Pacific, started to build east to west. o The 2nd company had problems with their workers a s railroad camps were crime ridden and many got killed o Also Indians attacked so workers carried guns and the army was brought in o The railroad from west to east faced avalanches and deep valleys which trestle bridges 100 feet high overcame It was built between 1863 - 1869
  8. 8. The Impact of the Railways: Economic Impact: • The rail-way building boom coincided with the USA‟s industrial revolution, helped make the USA the world‟s leading industrial power by 1890 • The foreign trade of the USA was helped by the railways and this helped to increase the wealth of the country • Agriculture produce could be carried more cheaply to distant markets • Essential supplies such as seeds, machinery, timber, f ood, raw materials and manufactured goods could be carried to the new settlements from the East • The days of the stagecoach, freight wagon and overland mail were almost ended by railways Positive Impact Negative Impact Social Impact: • The railways encouraged the growth of cities in West, such as Denver, Dallas and Los Angeles • Some farmers were unhappy because they believed that the railway builders were only interested in making profits, rather that providing a good service • People could now travel more easily across the continent: government officials, law enforcement officers and judges as well as the relatives of those who had already migrated west • The railways made a huge difference to the lives of Indians. Not only did they bring large numbers of settlers but also disturbed the buffalo • The railway provided the opportunity for thousands of new settlers to travel to Impact on the Indians: • The Indian‟s freedom to roam the Plains hunting the herds of buffalo was cut down by the railroads on the Plains • The homesteaders and ranchers fenced off land for farms and ranches. This meant that it was harder to roam the open prairies following buffalo • The Indians believed that they had invaded their homeland and stolen land that they believed no one could own The railroads that brought goods and merchandise enabled enterprises to grow and develop The Indians relied on the buffalo and it was harder to hunt • • • It became a new pastime to shoot the buffalo through the window of the moving train which decreased buffalo population