The American West- whole subject/topic

  • Created by: is_abelle
  • Created on: 02-06-19 15:16

American West – plains Indians

USA today

o  They fill the entire country

o  50 states

o  Acquired by war, money and circumstance

History of North America

o  27 united states

o  California- during 1800s America had travelled to and traded peacefully with each other and by 1840s Americans began to see the good farming land in California

o  Texas- from 1820s people had settled in the Mexican state of Texas usually encouraged by Mexican government the tension eventually led to a rebellion and Texas declared itself a republic in 1836 and the US took over Texas in 1845.

o  Mexican-American war 1846-48—Mexico lost. By the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo the Us gained the Rio Grande as a southern boundary for Texas- all of California and a large area of land was to become future states- Arizona, Colorado, New Mexico, Nevada, Utah and Wyoming

The Great Plains

o  In America, Between the Rocky mountains and The Mississippi River

What were they?

o  The plains Indians lived on them

o  Early travellers in 1840 to the GP saw them as the Great American Desert. They didn’t see any farming potential until years later – outsiders = non-Indians.

o  The outsiders only saw the problems of the plains- harsh weather, lac of trees, wind and absence of water.

o  Indians had a different view, they were hunters not farmers so the plains were perfect for a hunters way of life.

What were the Great Plains like?

o  Landscape- 1840-gently rolling grassland and slow-flowing rivers.

o  Black hills in north- wooded hills surrounded by areas where sort rock had eroded into shapes.

o  Climate- extreme climate, strong winds all year. In the winter the winds brought blizzards and it was freezing cold- in summer, hot winds that dried up lands and rivers

o  Wildlife- variety of animals and birds- adapted to living on the plains

o  Deer, rabbits, buffalo, hawks and eagles

o  Vegetation- in west, near Rockys= short grass. In east the grass grew taller- prairie grass

o  In river valleys and near Mississippi there was woodland

o  Drier land in the south- grass was replaced by semi-desert plants

Plains Indians

o  Term used to cover different nations of native Americans e.g. Sioux and Cheyenne

o  Name given to native Americans by foreign explorers- people would not use this to describe themselves today

o  When Columbus reached America in 1492 he thought it was India but then realised it was America- he called the people Indians anyways

o  Well adapted to live on region

o  Hunted buffalo- followed buffalo as they moved across the plains, the region wasn’t a desert to them

o  Move north in summer away from the heat, camped in foothills of the Rockys where they were sheltered from winds

o  Outsiders thought they were nomads because they didn’t settle in one…


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