The Wild, Wild West

  • Establishment of Bureau of Indian Affairs

    The Bureau of Indian Affairs was established by the United States government to handle the affairs of the Indians that were removed from lands across the frontier. The bureau was established under the Department of War because it was established to ensure there was no retaliation by the Indians after being removed. Little was done to support the Native Americans.
  • California Gold Rush

    In 1849, there was gold discovered in California. This resulted in the movement of many settlers to California in the search of gold. The discovery of gold in California also attracted many foreigners, like the Chinese, who were right across the Pacific Ocean. Despite the dangers of traveling across the West, Americans believed in "getting rich or dying trying".
  • United States Concentration Policy

    With the habitation of Indians in the United States, the United States issued the Concentration Policy. This was the forceful movment of Native Americans to designated areas, or reservations. This was done so that white settlements could be established on the land that was good for agriculture or mining. This was done because the United States believed in the right of Manifest Destiny.
  • Homestead Act of 1862

    This was enacted to encourage western settlement. This was a way for many in the settled United States to start a new life on the frontier. It allowed the buying of land for cheap. It was around one dollar per acre. It also allowed settlers to live on land for five years, and if they were successful in doing so, they "won" the land. This was one of the beginning steps in western settlement.
  • Federal government awards charters to complete Transcontinental Railroad

    The awarding of charters to complete the Transcontinental Railroad would drastically change the United States. During the seven years it would take to complete the railroad, many people died. This major job also brought in Chinese immigrants that were specialized railroad workers. It was a difficult task building the railroad through the rough terrain of the west. The building of the Transcontinental Railroad was a symbol of hardwork, dedication, and the spirit of the frontier.
  • Sand Creek Massacre

    This was a battle in Colorado. The Native Americans were forced here because of the settlement of whites in California for the gold rush. The Native Americans believed they had immunity from the U.S. military, but when they arrived, the Indians were killed to show superiority of the United States government.
  • 20,000 settlers out west

    The government encouraged the settlement of the western frontier. They did so through the Homestead Act. They encouraged the settlement also by giving away free land so settlers could start family farms. Many of the settlers in these areas campaigned for people to come out and live near them so that they could get federal representation by becoming a state of the Union.
  • Sioux War

    When settlers in the west determined the Black Hills to be a hotspot for gold, General Custer was brought in by the government to remove the Sioux Indians from this area. General Custer was attacked by Chief Crazy Horse and killed, along with his men. The SIoux "won" the war, but Sitting Bull, chief of the Sioux, moved the tribe to Canada to prevent themselves from being attacked by U.S. forces.
  • Completion of Transcontinental Railroad

    The completion of Transcontinental Railroad took much effort from thousands of workers. It spread from the east coast to the west coast. It was finally completed at Promontory, Utah. It revolutionized the United States. Travel to the west was made much easier. The transportation of goods or resources was also made much easier. The railroad linked many parts of the nation.
  • Freed slaves make up population of west

    Along with white settlement of the west, many blacks went west to start a new life after being free. This allowed them to buy property, start their own farms, and make a living. After slavery, many freed slaves were unsure what to do. This was the beginning of the blacks in the United States being self-sufficient.
  • Joseph Glidden invents barb wire

    Ranchers would build wooden fences to keep their cattle. These large groups of animals would be able to break through this fencing if startled. So Glidden invents barb wire, which is metal fencing that has sharp protrusions, preventing cattle from escaping and teaching them not to try to run through the tough fencing. This solved many problems for ranchers on the frontier.
  • Texas Farmers' Alliance

    Texas Farmers came together to fight off the high taxes for freight car use. This group later became the Populist party. The Populists called for a gold and silver coin system in the United States so that the money in circulation would increase. They also tried to bring in industrial members to the party so that government wasn't based on political parties based on business.
  • Nez Perce Indians

    Nez Perce Indians were led by Chief Joseph. Chief Joseph wanted to stop the bloodshed and needed Sitting Bull's advice in Canada. On the way there, the Nez Perce Indians were stopped by U.S. troops. They were supposed to return to the Wallowa Valley, but were moved to a reservation in Kansas. This reservation was infected with malaria, and many died. This was just one of the many injustices do the Indians.
  • Munn v. Illinois

    During this time, many people were angry about the price of freight car travel. This court case upheld that states had the right to determine the price of freight car use. The reasoning behind this was that the railroad cars were more important as a public interest than as a private business.
  • Helen Hunt Jackson writes "A Century of Dishonor"

    Jackson wrote this book about all of the wrong things that the United States did to the Native Americans in North America. The goal was to improve Indian conditions. The effect was the furthered effort of assimilation, which was moving the Indians onto reservations and trying to convert them to the American way of life.
  • Dawes Severalty Act

    This was a plan by Senator Dawes that assimilated Native Americans, which was converting them to the United States citizen way of life. The Act allowed the President to be able to divide up the land of the reservations, give it to the head of the family, and give them all U.S. citizenship. This destroyed the Native American way of life.
  • Battle of Wounded Knee

    This was the last resistance by the Native Americans. It began as a massacre, U.S. troops accidentally shooting an Indian over the "Ghost Dance". The chief of the tribe was shot. This led to war, causing the death of many Native Americans and U.S. soldiers. With the end of the battle, the Indians submitted to being forced into the American way of life.
  • Census Bureau ends frontier

    The U.S. Census Bureau declared that the frontier was no longer a frontier in the west. They declared this because much of the land was settled and there was no large amount of land that wasn't settled. This psychologically broke people of the United States. This was the first time that the United States didn't have a frontier to explore. Now that all the land was settled, the United States could focus on growing industrially and techonologically.
  • The Growth of Farming

    Bonanza farms across the west changed the face of the United States. Large farms of crops were well irrigated by advancements in irrigation. Tools were now manufactured and brought over rather than handmade. Railraods made seed and crop transportation much easier. Refrigerated railroad cars made crops fresher during travel. Farming became a large part of the United States because of its growth in the west.
  • Turner writes "The Significance of the Frontier in American History"

    This was one of the most influential essays in American history. It described how the frontier had affected the culture of the United States. It described the importance of the frontier, idealizing the ideas of freedom and opportunity in America. It marked how significant the settlement of the west really was; it wasn't the final settling of the United States, but the end of a significant portion of culture in the nation.