have infl uenced John Wesley Powell’s recommendations concerning communalfarming. Railroads reached the area in the 1870s, bringing with them easternmining companies and commercial ranchers and farmers. Because courts only186091_16_592-636_r1_sd.indd 60805/08/13 9:04 PM
Ch. 16: AMERICA’S GILDED AGETHE TRANSFORMATION OF THE WESTrecognized Mexican-era land titles to individual plots of land, communallandholdings were increasingly made available for sale to newcomers. By 1880,three-quarters of New Mexico’s sheep belonged to just twenty families. Unableto continue as sheep raisers, more and more Hispanic residents went to work forthe new mines and railroads.CONFLICT ON THE MORMON FRONTIERThe Mormons had moved to the Great Salt Lake Valley in the 1840s, hoping topractice their religion free of the persecution that they had encountered in theEast. They envisioned their community in Utah as the foundation of a greatempire they called Deseret. Given the widespread unpopularity of Mormonpolygamy and the close connection of church and state in Mormon theology,confl ict with the both the federal government and the growing numbers of non-Mormons moving west became inevitable. In 1857, after receiving reports thatthe work of federal judges in Utah was being obstructed by the territorialgovernor, the Mormon leader Brigham Young, President James Buchananremoved Young and appointed a non-Mormon to replace him. Young refused tocomply, and federal troops entered the Salt Lake Valley, where they remaineduntil the beginning of the Civil War. During this time of tension, a group ofMormons attacked a wagon train of non-Mormon settlers 186091_16_592-636_r1_sd.indd 60905/08/13 9:04 PM
186091_16_592-636_r1_sd.indd 61005/08/13 9:04 PM From Ira Steward, “A Second Declaration of Independence” (1879)At a Fourth of July celebration in Chicago in 1879, Ira Steward, the most prominent labor leader associated with the movement for the eight-hour day, invoked the legacy of the Declaration of Independence and the abolition of slavery during the Civil War to discuss labor’s grievances.Resolved, That the practical question for an American Fourth of July is not between freedom and slavery, but between wealth and poverty. For if it is true that laborers ought to have as little as possible of the wealth they produce, South Carolina slave-holders were right and the Massachusetts abolitionists were wrong. Because, when the working classes are denied everything but the barest necessities of life, they have no decent use for liberty. . . .Slavery is . . . the child of poverty, instead of poverty the child of slavery: and freedom is the child of wealth, instead of wealth the child of freedom. The only road, therefore, to universal freedom is the road that leads to universal wealth.
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