Arizona and Montana- copper. In 1860s and 1870 machines were needed to dig out the remining gold this led to larger business underwriting mining operations which eventually led to the development of greater urban stability and infrastructure. It was now hard for miners, they had to work underground in very dangerous conditions, they worked in shafts were the temp could rise above 100 and poor ventilation might lead to long- term lung disease. Close to 8000 miners died on the frontier during this period. Many mining towns turned into ghost towns. The Cattle Kingdom After civil war, 5 million longhorn steers could be found along the Texas frontier. Many wanted to claim them. Railroad changed the game dramatically. Cattle ranchers and eastern businessmen realized that it was profitable to round up the wild steers and transport them to rail to be sold in the east for as much as $30- $50 per head. Chisholm Trail provided a quick path from Texas to railroad terminals, where cowboys would receive their pay. Abilene was a place that would offer cowboys a convenient place to drive the cattle. In 1873, new technology of barbed wire allowed ranchers to fence off their lands and cattle claims. Cattle industry grew increasing dominated by eastern businessmen. Capital investors from the East expanded rail lines and invested in ranches, ending the reign of the cattle drives. Violence in the Wild West: Myth and Reality Fights occurred as people struggled for scarce resources. Due to barber wire, those seeking only to move cattle to market grew mad at the inability to feed cattle and eventually that turned into violence as some vandalized barbed wire to gain access to grass and water. Fence Cutting War - Cowboys began destroying fences that several ranchers erected along public lands: land they had no right to enclose. Confrontation btw the cowboys and armed guards by the ranchers resulted in 3 deaths. Resulted in a law that outlawed fence cutting but also forced ranchers to remove fences illegally erected along public lands. Comstock Law- ban the spread of “lewd and lascivious literature” through the mail and the subsequent Page of Act of 1875 to prohibit the transportation of women into the US for employments as prostitutes. Conflicts between Americans and Indians was not big but whenever it did happen it was brutal.
Claiming Land, Relocating Landowners The US government was prepared during the era to deal with tribes that settlers viewed as obstacles to expansion. In 1851, the chief of most Great Plain tribes agreed to the First Treaty of Fort Laramie- established distinct tribal borders, essentially codifying the reservation system for $50000 annual payments. Because of corruption some money never reached the tribes.
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