US HIST II 147
Chapter 11, Pages 392-423
Civilizing a Wilderness
Thousands upon thousands travelled the same route. For different reasons, some for the California Gold Rush of 1849 or simply to avoid the Civil war.
Frederick Turner’s “The Significance of the Frontier in American History,” stated that with some many bodies moving west and settling so successfully that they couldn’t call it a frontier anymore. He used the 1890 census report to assess the frontier and its people. Turner said the West turned people into democratic, nationalistic, adaptive and etc. Also saying that the frontier life made them violent, dumb, and wasteful. Even as his article stated that, Frederick Weyerhaeuser, James J. Hill, and Gustavus Swift had taken huge steps to preserve their surroundings. Where Turner saw a chaotic West, it was probably less violent than the modern society that we live in today.
A necessary violence came with the territory you had to fend of wild animals, thieving people, and others with strong opinions. The west definitely wasn’t a Marxist modern of class struggle, for every one fight about “class interest,” fifty started over trivial things. Not everyone was against each other, when it was necessary the Westerners would united for a come cause. It would start with trying to keep the cattlemen out, and then they would change their minds and keep the sheep men out. The agricultural people of the frontier tried to keep heavy industry out. We are still fighting the same fights in modern times. Now the heavy industry is trying to avoid computers and electronics from taking over. They left a great example that still affects Americans today.
Wagon Trains, Stagecoachers, and Steamboats
With new weapons arising like the Kentucky long rifles, Sharps, Winchester, and Remington rifles, everyone was armored. People would carry pistols, knives, tomahawks, or other weapons in case of feral animals or Indian attacks.
The Iron Horse Races West
Most people are familiar with the transcontinental railroads that were supported with federal aid; millions of acres of federal land were used. The other side of it was that were hundreds of privately funded local train lines and two other transcontinental; the Great Northern and Milwaukee Railroad. Private transcontinentals provided benefits to many westerners and provided the “metropolitan corridors.” They made it more convenient to visit family, take vacations, and conduct business.
Railroads provided the center of community life. The telegraph office would provide election results, international news, scores of games. The railroads were the reason National Parks arose. They wanted to show case the beauty of the United States.
The Natural Resources Frontier
Overharvesting was becoming a prevalent problem. The American Fur Company and Hudson’s Bay Company were cashing in on the revolutionary invention of canning. Fishermen were over fishing salmon so efficiently they were disturbing the cycles of the fish. The American legal system had yet to pass laws that privatized property rights for that those responsible for using the resources bore the full cost.
The rush to mine gold and silver wasn’t very successful until people started to Collaborate together. Instead of single panning, they were now using crude sluice boxes, which lead to hydraulic mining.
The Hudson’s Bay Company had a major logging and saw milling operation in 1827. They followed water routes, floating their timber down big rivers. Lumber was still used like it was an infinite amount. In 1900 Weyerhauser found forest not to be as rich as before. That discovery led to reforestation, preventing soil erosion, and fire prevention. Big name Paper Companies are now planting five times more than what they consumed.
Following the rise and fall of the Cattle Kingdom. There was a special breed of cattle, the Texas Longhorn, was an ideal cattle. Though the longhorn was resistant to ticks, other cattle around it weren’t. This…