The Westward Movement

The Westward - The Westward Movement a 1840 i By this date many people were moving west ii The population was young were under 30 b Life of

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The Westward Movement a. 1840 i. By this date, many people were moving west ii. The population was young – ½ were under 30 b. Life of Westerners i. Life was grim – 1. Poorly fed 2. Not clothed well 3. Lived in shacks 4. Were victims of disease 5. Depression – loneliness was common (days from neighbors) 6. Premature death ii. Wrestling was popular (bloody) iii. Ill-informed (geography) iv. Individualistic (although would get help to make barns) II. Shaping the Western Landscape a. Kentucky i. Pioneers often exhausted the land in the tobacco regions and pushed on, leaving barren fields behind ii. In Kentucky, cane (the long, hollow stem of plants) was burned off and European bluegrass thrived. It made for ideal pasture for livestock and lured thousands into Kentucky. It was eventually called Kentucky bluegrass b. i. By the 1820s, fur trapping spread to the Rocky Mountains ii. Beavers – 1. Fur trapping was based on the “Rendezvous System.” Every summer, traders went from St. Louis to the Rockies, made camp, and waited for the trappers and Indians to arrive with beaver pelts to swap for manufactured goods from the East 2. By the time beaver hats had gone out of style, the beaver was nearly extinct in the region iii. Buffalo – 1. Popular buffalo robes were traded in the prairies 2. This drove them to near extinction iv. Otter – 1. On the CA coast, traders bought sea-otter pelts 2. This drove them to near extinction c. The American Wilderness Inspires Art i. Some Americans in the period revered nature and admired its beauty. They enjoyed its unspoiled character
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ii. It became a kind of national mystique and inspired literature and painting iii. Eventually it inspired a conservation movement III. The March of the Millions a. Population Growth i. 1850 - the population was doubling every 25 years ii. 1860 – 36 States iii. U.S. – 4 th most populated nation in the world iv. 1860 – 43 cites of 20,000+; in 1790 – 2 cities of 20,000+ (Phil. And NY) b. Urbanization i. Intensified the problems of: 1. Slums 2. Street lighting 3. Inadequate police 4. Impure water 5. Foul sewage 6. Rats 7. Improper garbage disposal
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This note was uploaded on 02/04/2012 for the course HISTORY 104 taught by Professor Reed during the Spring '11 term at Rutgers.

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The Westward - The Westward Movement a 1840 i By this date many people were moving west ii The population was young were under 30 b Life of

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