The gold rush boom in gold prospecting of the western Kansas territory, later known as Colorado. It lasted roughly 3 years and produced the creation of the Colorado Territory with the influx of 100,000 gold seekers. This is also is the most known gold rush in America, and the "Fifty-Niners", or the participants in the gold rush, would often have the motto "Pike's Peak or Bust!"
The Homestead Act is one of three federal lawas that gave settlers the title to a homestead, which typically consisted of 160 acres and was located on federal land west of the Mississippi River. It required three steps: 1) file an application, 2) improve the land, and 3) file for deed of title. The occupant could be anyone over 21 who had lived on the land for at least five years and had evidence of showing improvements. This act opened up the entire Wild West for settlement.
Sand Creek Massacre
The Sand Creek Massacre was an event during the Indian Wars in which the Colorado Territory militia attacked and destroyed a village of Cheyenne and Arapaho Native Americans, killing around 160, two-thirds of which consisting of women and children. It was a violation of treaties and negotiations of peace. Despite the friendly scene and the American flag flying above the chief's lodge, American soldiers attacked anyway, massacring and mutilating innocent natives as well as plundering the village
Battle of Little Bighorn
Also known as Custer's Last Stand, the battle between Lakota, Cheyenne, and Arapaho peoples versus the United States Army was the most known for event of the Great Sioux War, and was an overwhelming victory for the natives. Colonel Custer had greatly misjudged the number of natives he would encounter and this led to a massacre of Custer's forces, resulting in the death of Custer himself, as well as two of his borthers, his nephew, and his brother-in-law.
Nez Perce War
This was a series of battles between the Nez Perce nation and the US army, resulting in many casualties and the surrender and relocation of the Nez Perce nation to an Indian reservation. It began when gold was discovered on Nez Perce land and settlers flocked in. Nez Perce chiefs agreed to a treaty that had them moving to reseveration, but this was soon countered and resisted, leading to war.
Dawes Severalty Act
The Dawes Act authorized the President and his forces to divide up Indian land and force them to assimilate into white American culture by having to be forced onto small allotments of land for individuals and not tribes. Lands owned by Indians decreased from 138 million acres to 48 million acres. It was seen by the natives as an attempt to destroy tribes and their governments and to let whites settle Indian lands.
People's Party formed
The People's Party, or Populist party, was centered on the poor, white cotton farmers in the South and the hard-pressed wheat farmers in the plains states. It represented a radical crusade involving the hostility towards banks, railroads, and elites, as well as forming coalitions with labor unions. In 1896 it elected William Jennings Bryan to run for President, and he received a few electoral votes and made a dent, but it wasn't very effective.
Battle of Wounded Knee
Also known as the Wounded Knee Massacre, it began with the US Army attempting to disarm the Lakota tribe because it made them nervous that the natives had weapons. According to an account, a deaf native was very reluctant to give up his rifle, claiming he had paid a lot fo it. A scuffle over this led to a shot being fired and the US Army opened fire, massacring the natives.
Gold Standard Act
This act established gold as the only standard for redeeming paper money, which stopped the allowance of silver in exchange for gold. It was signed by President McKinley. However, it didn't last, and in 1933 the US dropped the standard.
Native Americans granted US citizenship
The first Americans were not granted citizenship until after African Americans and women received the right to vote, thereby proving their rights as citizens. It resulted long after treaties, reservations and legal fights, and the loss of tribal lands. Native Americans were not considered people until 1879, over 10 years after African Americans. Sadly, the great native tribes that once roamed the Americas freely were almost extinct before they received the right to be called Americans at all.