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New Frontiers

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University of Toronto St. George
Dr.Liamvan Beek

HIS271Y New Frontiers January 19 2011 Nature, Technology, and Empire Today: how people responded to the changes discussed last lecture In particular, were going to look at nature, technology, and empire Late 1800s was a period of crisis: urban crisis, economic crisis, immigration crisis How would identity be forged in this new world? By imagining new frontiers. The Old Frontier: The Growth and Expansion of the West Since Jefferson, there was a deep connection between identity and the land For people like Jefferson, expansion was the plan Since then, people had linked national growth with expansion By the late 1860s, most of the western territories had been conquered Waves of settlers continued to head there, so that the expansion of people into these lands following the Civil War was enormous, making it one of the largest migrations in human history For example, Oregon in 1850: 12,093 in 1900: 413,536 Encouraging Settlement: Practical Reasons Immigration Many settled in the cities, but many pushed west as well In particular, Mexican and Chinese immigrants tended to settle in the south west Internal migrations Period of enormous movement in America Urbanization made the prospect of a more pastoral life more attractive www.notesolution.comHIS271Y New Frontiers January 19 2011 Nature, Technology, and Empire Suburbanization begins in this period, more people moving outside the cities Thus, a nostalgia for a more pastoral life Transcontinental railroad easier for people to travel back and forth The government granted the railroad companies enormous tracts of land, thus they encouraged settlement The federal government Homestead Act: 160 acres to anyone willing to pay the $10 registration fee Speculators took advantage of this situation, however 1863-1904, 720,000 homestead farms were established The Mythic West Romantic imagery Idea of manifest destiny Escaping urbanization Adventure Popular culture People like Buffalo Bill Cody, would become one of the quintessential frontiersmen and Indian fighters of the West Became the subject of dime novel fame 1880s, organized the Wild West show These helped iconize the idea of the Wild West Conquering the Virgin Land Created an image of a west that could be conquered and tamed, not always the case
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