america west revision notes

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The American West-1865-95
The Plains:
-Lack of Water and Trees
-Extreme Weather
-Crucial to survival of the Indians
-Made of Buffalo Skin and held together with pegs
-Owned by the women in the tribe (even after divorce)
-Took 10 minutes to take down
-Had flaps which open up to let wind in and smoke out
-In winter a fire was in the centre and the floor was covered with buffalo fur
-Conical shape for resistance to strong winds
-Decorated with tribal paintings of wars, hunts, acts of bravery
-Scalps of defeated enemies hung at the top
Family Life:
-Most Indians lived within bands of 10 (50 families)
-Polygamy existed (having more than 1 wife) because of a lot of men dying in war, all women
needed to be cared for
Role of Men:
-Look after horses
-Protect women and children
-Young men would impress women with hunting skills, bravery, stealing horses to show love and
ability to provide for family
Role of Women:
-Expected to have skills in craft and making good home
-Make food and collect water
-Highly respected as child bearers
-Highly valued as future of tribe
-Learnt essential survival skills (using weapons, making tipi)
-White people thought Indian children were wild
Old People:
-Respected for wisdom and advice
-Educated children
-When too old and slow to travel they would opt to stay behind so tribe can travel on without
them without hold ups, they chose to die for the good of the tribe
-Crucial for survival of Plains Indians
-Strong sense of custom and tradition, Indians who did something wrong would be humiliated and
punished in front of the band
-Chiefs became chiefs because of their wisdom, power, spiritual and warrior skill. They were not

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Important decisions were made in council meetings, the men smoked to inform spirits of their
-Warrior Societies organised hunts, travelling and protection for bands
The Buffalo:
-Crucial for Indians survival
-Indians performed The Buffalo Dance before hunting Buffalo, they believed this would make the
buffalo come closer
-Indians dressed in wolf skin to sneak up to buffalo before shooting them with arrows
-Some Sioux would drive the buffalo off a cliff edge to kill more of them
-Were main source of food
-Rawhide (leather…read more

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Dances and ceremonies used to contact spirits and to pray
-The Sun Dance was used to determine is a man was warrior material
The Medicine Man:
-Used the power of the spirits to cure the sick
-Used herbal remedies too
-Made charms
-Were a part of every tribal decision
-Plains Indians were usually fit because of active lifestyle
Settlement of Plains:
-The settlers believed in ownership of land and came to the Plains for wealth
-The settlers though Indians were savages
-White Americans believed in…read more

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Barb wire protected crops
-Advanced machinery allowed more land to be ploughed
-Sod Busters could plough through dense grass roots
Female Homesteaders:
-Had many responsibilities
-Planted crops
-Collected cattle chips
-Taught and brought up children
-Protected crops from cattle
-Made soap, candles and clothes
-Killed snakes
The Cattle Industry:
-Cattle were brought to America by Europeans
-Best Breed = Texas Longhorns
-Beef became very popular
-Cattle were usually drove to markets in the East by cowboys
-Charles Goodnight came up with the idea of…read more

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The Railroads could carry cattle (refrigerated rail cars)
-Experimental breeding made Texas Longhorn better meat
Open Range Ranching:
-Was problematic because of cattle theft and it was hard to find out who owned which cattle
-Ended in the winter of 1886-87 because the winter was severe and killed thousands of cattle,
demand for beef fell plus there was pressure on grass stock due to lots of cattle and droughts
-As a result cowboy life was destroys and smaller fenced off ranches were created
-A cowboys…read more

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Ex-soldiers turned to robbery after the American
Bank Robbery
Civil War.
Young Cattle were often stolen before branding
and brands could also be altered. Sometimes
Cattle Rustling
cowboys would steal cattle and start their own
Cattle Barons would fence off large amounts of
Fence Cutting land so homesteaders and ranchers had to cut
through them to access water and land.
Horses were essential to survival in the Plains so
Horse Stealing stealing them was a serious crime with hanging
as a punishment.…read more

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Indians completely)
-The Sioux fount with the Americans often because the US Government would break the peace
treaties and homesteaders would move in on Indian land, so naturally the Indians fought them
which resulted in the Army being brought in, bloodshed and the Indians reservations being cut
even shorter.
Red Clouds War (1865-68)
1.Gold Miners broker treaty and moved into Rocky Mountains of Montana and also built new
towns there like Virginia City
2.…read more

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He wanted the glory of beating Crazy Horse and the
Indians himself.
9.Upon entering the village Custer split the 7th Cavalry into 3 smaller units. He kept a unit of 215 to
10. The word of Custers attack spread quickly throughout the Indian village. Sitting Bull (now too
old to fight) sent ahead his warriors and oversaw the protections of the women and children. The
younger Crazy Horse prepared for battle.
11.…read more

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Christian missionaries took over.
-Indians children were forced into English education further destroying
their loyalties and roots to the Indian culture.
The Ghost Dance Movement (1889)
1.Indians suffered a great misery on the reservations.
2.Holy man Wovoka saw a vision than an Indian Messiah would come get rid of the whites and the
Indian life would be restored.
3.As the Sioux continued to receive failed crops and inadequate rations the movement gained
popularity as their last hope.
4.…read more


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