Unit 1: The “Old” West and the “New” South
America’s Manifest Destiny
Reconstruction- rebuilding the South in the aftermath of the Civil War.
South attempts to annex Cuba and Nicaragua but fails. Thus, they look to expand to the
The West is the area where the people who live there think they are Western. (ambiguous
Extremes in temperatures and mountains in the West (very hot and very cold, Grand
Canyon, Rocky Mountains).
Ideas of the West originate from Western movies.
William Cody (Buffalo Bill)
o Born in Iowa in 1846
o Worked for the Pacific Railroad Company and as a Scout for the army
o Went hunting for buffalo for Railroad Company and Army
o Started the Western Genre with his Wild West Show
Buffalo Bill’s Wild West Show
Origins of all Western Movies
Demonstrated how to kill Buffalo
Chief Sitting Bull participated
Frederick Jackson Turner
o Famous for “Frontier Thesis”
“The existence of free land…and the advance of American Settlement
westward explain American development.”
“Now, four centuries from the discovery of America, at the end of a
hundred years of life under the Constitution, the frontier has gone, and
with its going has closed the first period of American history.”
Stirred a little debate that America should expand overseas.
Was not good for everyone, a perfect example would be the Yahi.
o Primary way people accumulated wealth
o One of the only ways to become politically active
o America’s greatness stemmed from all of the extra land they could settle on and is
now coming to an end.
o A tribesman of the Yahi (located in Northern California)
Encountered Americans for the first time during the Gold Rush.
Spent time fishing and hunting local wildlife.
Resources were depleted. Disrupted by the 49ers.
European settlers brought diseases and wiped out a good chunk of their
Greatly outnumbered by settlers.
Reduced population by rebelling.
Later fled and hid in California for over 40 years.
o Last remaining Indian of the Yahi.
o Attempted to steal from slaughter house and was later put into jail.
o Group of anthropologists came and visited him.
o Brought to UC Berkley in 1911
o Worked as a “Research Assistant” (Research Subject) at the Berkley Museum of
o Exploited by anthropologists and died after a few years when he was discovered
o Anthropologists performed an autopsy of him and removed his brain.
The West and Native America
The term “Indians” was dubbed by Christopher Columbus when he sailed to America
when he was really trying to travel to the Indies.
Over 329 languages among Native Americans.
350 languages still being spoken in South America.
o Originally there were as many as 1500 native languages in South America.
Native Americans spoke different languages to each other.
o An object or artifact which has been modified by people for a specific social
Every tribe has their origin story on how they got to the continent.
Archeologists believe Native Americans travelled to the West across the Beringia Land
o Land Bridge was opened because of the Ice Age in America.
o 10,000 years ago sea level went down.
o People crossed from Siberia to Alaska.
Evidence for the Beringia Land Bridge theory.
o DNA—Native Americans and Siberian people closely related.
o Mammal remains found in the Bering Strait.
o Oldest arrowheads found in Alaska.
o 40,000 years ago people came across the Bridge.
o They came for prey and food (Mammoths and Mastodons).
o Hunter-gatherers (Non-sedentary). Nomadic
Follow prey where ever it goes
o Become sedentary (complex) culture.
o Began growing corn, tomatoes, squash, beans, potatoes, etc.
Mississipian Mound Builders
o Sustained themselves by corn.
o Began in Louisiana about 5,000 years ago.
o Cahokia (present day Illinois) was capital
Trade occurred around 700 AD
Atlantic Shells, Stone from the Rockies, Copper from Lake Superior
o Mound was symbolic of status
The bigger the better
People were buried and born there.
Monk’s Mound is the largest mound
o Comes from Navajo—meaning “Ancient Enemy”.
o They prefer “Ancient Pueblo Peoples”.
o Master Architects.
Built great buildings
o First appeared around 900 AD in American Southwest
o Created complex societies in the desert.
o Spiritual people
Used Kivas (circular rooms) to make prayers
Seminole Indians (Creek Indians)
o Muscogee Speakers
o Seminole comes from “Cimarron” meaning “runaway” or “wild one” in Spanish
o The Seminoles took runaway slaves into their communities.
o Called Creek because the British noticed they lived by Creeks.
o One of the few tribes to accept enslaved African American people into their
o Chief Osceola
Trail of Tears 1838
o Removal of multiple Indian tribes from their homeland.
o Began on East coast and the people ended up in Oklahoma.
o Only 200 Seminoles in Florida.
o Last Natives people to be left alone by White people.
o 2/3 of all Native Americans lived in the Great Plains.
o Horse was a benefit to the group of people. o Moved from farming to hunting (nomadic) once the Horse became a part of their
o Teepee was a dwelling that can be used when they travelled.
Diversity in the West
1850- U.S. population in the West was 1%
1900- increased to 30%
Population of 300,000
o Boston took 200 years to reach that population
o San Francisco took 20 years to reach that population
Conquistadors and Missionaries (Spanish)
o First major group of people to migrate to the West.
o Came to find the Golden City, but could not find it
o Most Spanish people did not stay in the area
Exception were the Missionaries
Missionaries Christianize Native people
o Brought cows with them (Texas Longhorns)
High Survival rate
5 million cows inhabited the region
o The First Cowboys in the West
o Lasso, Ranch, and Rodeo were the languages spoken.
Mexico in 1821
o Spanish declare independence
o Seen as an opportunity for America to move west
Americans annex Texas in 1845
Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo (1848)
o Indicates that Texas is a part of America.
o Now America can move west without disputing legal matters.
How America Travels West
o Overland by Wagon
Took a very long time but was cheap
o Overland by Train
Only the wealthy could afford to travel by train
o Steam Ships
Reasons for moving West
o To escape persecution
Mormons faced persecution
o Economic Opportunity Gold Rush (1849)
Mormon Migration West
o Church founded by Joseph Smith
Put in jail for trying to close down a newspaper that was anti-Mormon
o Very Successful
o Followers were persecuted for their beliefs
Polygamy (men married to multiple women, but not the other way around)
o Brigham Young
Led followers to a new home at the Great Salt Lake in Utah
Had 27 wives
Arrived with 20,000 followers in 1847
By 1880- Salt Lake City had a population of 150,000
California Gold Rush 1849
o People believed you can pick up Gold Nuggets off of the floor
Gold Fever (people are not thinking straight)
o Surprisingly cosmopolitan th
People are coming from multiple places all over the world (1/4 )
o Very risky