Artists, writers, and scientists soon built their reputations on what they saw and imagined. Landscape painters, particularly the group that became known as the Rocky Mountain School piqued the public’s interest in western society. Several of the paintings of the Western society and the West served as a persuasion for people in the east to want to settle in the West. By the end of the century, many Americans imagined the West as a land of promise and opportunity and, mostly, of excitement and adventure. Many influential people such as President Theodore Roosevelt helped promote the view of the West being the land of promise, and opportunity. “The Significance of the Frontier in American History” made a compelling argument that the continuous westward movement of settlement allowed Americans to develop new standards for democracy.The aspects of the western myth was that cowboys and cattle round-ups in virgin territory, and gunslingers, gamblers, and loose women plying their trade in wild saloons. Other aspects of the myth was that impoverished homesteaders and individual prospectors were making fortunes, and the Old West was a place of hearty individualism, where people existed free of the corporate and political tangles of the East. Another myth was that the Native Americans in that area was violent and full of bloodlust.
- Fall '17
- Cliff Tyndall
- History, Homestead Act, Native Americans in the United States, American Old West, Cowboy