History of the American West!http://cdm15330.contentdm.oclc.org/cdm/search/searchterm/X-21803 It is theforgottenAmerican history…
We all have these imagesingrained in us of John Wayneand the Indians that Hollywoodhas put in our heads …BUT ? ? ?What was it really like??
It started from the moment of Christopher Columbus… Then went into a time period when the Spanish moved throughout Mexico up into what we know as California, New Mexico, Arizona and some evidence of evenfurther.
What we commonly think as the big moment of Westward expansion is the purchase of the lands west of the Mississippi… What we forget is that from almost the beginning of European influence in the colonies people were moving west looking for more land and riches.
This is where we start to encounter a darker part of the American history . . .The issues between the white settlers and their aggressive movements into lands possessed by the Native Americans This conflict would continue from colonial times all the way through till today..
The expedition of Lewis and Clark… Sent by Thomas Jefferson, Washington D.C., June 20, 1803 To Meriwether Lewis Esquire, Captain of the first regiment of Infantry of the United States of America.The Object of your mission is to explore the Missouri river & such principal stream of it as by its course and communication with the waters of the Pacific ocean, whether the Columbia, Oregon, Colorado or any other river may offer the most direct & practicable water communication across this continent for the purpose of commerce. http://www.lewis-clark.org/content/content-article.asp?ArticleID=3018Explored the lands from Missouri to the Pacific OceanEmbarked with the Presidents word to explore and document the land and the Indians that occupy that land.
When they returned the men did not gain the praise that we give them today.But…They opened up a whole immense landmass that changed the American Landscape figuratively and literally.
With the opening of the west people that lacked sufficient land and possessions could now have a piece of land to cultivate and live freely.People started to move fast and furious throughout the west settling in areas.Towns popped up BIG and small. Famous and ghostly empty.
All pushing forward with the idea of Manifest Destiny behind their actions. John Gast
The west was involved in monstrous capital endeavorsFrom the goldrush . . .The creation of the transcontinental railroad The forgotten trading offursfrom the earliest of western expansion throughout the whole of the history of the American West.
While all of this was going on the tensions between the settlers and the Native Americans became more and more elevated. The famous men with names like Custer, Sitting Bulland Crazy horse have become synonymous with the times and battles that had endured.
In 1890 the census was taken and what came from this was the end of a clear line of expansion of the west.People who were once scattered throughout this rugged land now were coming together to create the next great American landscape.
What started to develop towards the end of the western expansion were great stories of great men.These tall tales turned into movement where men where idolized and glorified for their adventures in the west, fictional or not
The fiction continued and resurged into Hollywood. Larger than life men were recreated by movies and stories.The west itself became jumping point for many young actors portraying frontier men and cowboys.
Hollywood itself pushed a fair amount of knowledge forward. . . Most of their stories pulled from the fantasy aspects of the West . . .They did create a buzz around the history and keep popular a time in American History that is almost forgotten about as being important.
The west itself is a place that will be changing with theAmerican mindset yet still having it represent this magicalplace of beauty and adventure . . .
What were the lands that Lewis and Clark explored?
West of the Missouri To explore a route via water to the Pacific
When did Westward movement start in the Americas?
Find your answers on reliable sources. Please do not use quotes for the answers but actual articles and summarize. Bring both your summary and the article to class. We will open 5-10 minutes next class to discuss these further questions.