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History Notes, The American West

The West and its Climate

Central America is dominated by the Great Planes
The Plains are mostly an expanse of grassland
-The high Plains have short grass whereas the low Plains have long grass
The Great Plains become drier the further south you go.

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The Whites tried to impose their culture on the Indians, they saw teaching the Indians English
and how to wear a shirt and tie as a great kindness.
European culture had generated massive economic growth, this led to the need for new land
and resources- the American west accommodated this…

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Criminals were also attracted to the Gold Rush. These included con-men, violent thieves and
claim jumpers.
Many mining towns had their own "miner's courts". These courts had no permanent prisons,
so death sentences were often carried out.

The Mormons

The faith of Mormonism was started by Joseph Smith, who claimed…

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Utah wasn't allowed to become a state while it still practised polygamy. Utah finally
abandoned the practise in 1890, and in 1896 Utah became a state.

Treaties with the Indians

Major Indian Treaties and Government Bills
1838 Cherokee Treaty
1851 1st Fort Laramie Treaty
1854 Mormon Cow incident ends Fort…

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Dried buffalo dung and cow-pats were used as fuel
A small number of Indians also took up homesteading. In 1869 some Santee Sioux
established the Flandreau Sioux colony in South Dakota
Government acts encouraged homesteaders
The Homestead Act of 1862 gave each settler 160 acres of free land
The Timber…

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Large numbers of cowboys were Mexican or African Americans. Some were ex-soldiers from
the Civil War, some were outlaws. Most were young and single; they had little time for a
family life.
The cowboys life was a demanding job
Boredom and discomfort were a part of the job
Great stamina,…

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The US Army used Indian Scouts, this helped them learn invaluable information about the
The Civil War meant that the regular soldiers were sent to fight and the remaining
volunteers were often poorly trained
The US Army used new strategies like Total War and winter campaingns


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