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What were trappers?

Mountain men


How did the trappers benefit the US?

- Brought profits for the fur companies (Astor's American Fur Company and Rocky Mountain Fur Company)
- Aquired knowledge of the West
- Brought back exciting stories of their adventures encouraging others
- Opened up trails from the Appalachians to the Rockies


What did the trappers do when the fur trade declined in the 1840's?

Acted as pioneers and used their knowledge to guide wagon trains through the west


What mineral discoveries brought people west?

- Initially California Gold Rush 1848-49 300,000 people moved to Cali (joined Union faster)
- Gold in Colorado in 1858-59
- Silver ore in Comestock Lode in Nevada (brought many)
- Copper in Arizona and Montana 1860's
- Gold in Black Hills of Dakota 1870's


How did mining impact movement west in the short-term and long-term?

Short term = led to large settlement however many vanished quickly once surface minerals dissapeared.

Long term = establishment of large-scale corporate mining in the west to get deeper in the period after 1880


What developments in farming helped encourage people west?

- John Deere's steel plough (1837) helped people cope with soil conditions
- McCormicks mechanical reaper (1831) allowed large areas to be harvested efficiently
- second half of the period deep-drilled wells and windmills pumped water up from underground providing water for crops and cattle
- development of dry farming


How did farming effect population in the west?

Kansas, Nebraska, Dakota, Iowa and Minnesota population went from 1 million in 1860 to over 7 million by 1900


How many cattle were there in Texas by 1865?
Why was it beneficial to move them East?

Estimated 5 million roaming free
In the west they were only worth around $3-$4 per head but in the East they could go for $30-$40


What were the pros and cons of treking the cattle East across the country?

- Created the need for the Cowboy
- higher profit from Eastern market (eg. Chicago)
- Cattle lost weight or died along the way
- The farmers didn't want large numbers of cattle crossing their crops (trampling and disease)


What was the railhead town called developed by Joseph McCoy?
How did this change cattle transportation

Albilene in Kansas
- No longer needed Cowboys so many became farmhands
- Also was a lot quicker
- Between 1866 and 1888, 6 million cattle were driven East this way


How did the severe winters in 1885 and 1887 affect cattle?

Killed 90% of cattle
Led to the collapse of the open range system - growth in smaller fenced-in ranches


Who were cowboys?

- Ex-confederate soldiers
- Mexican, Black, White, Asian etc.
- Teens/early 20's


How did communication developments help encourage settlers west?

- Could transport produce back to markets in the East
- Could recieve industrial goods from East
- Maintain contact with friends across the country
- In 1840 it took 2 weeks to get from NY to Chicago; by 1860 it took 2 days


How did people initially move West?

Wagons, horseback, canoes, small boats or on foot
Small groups
Poor quality tracks were a barrier to large scale movement


What were the pros and cons of the 'Cumberland Pike' or 'National Road' in 1808?

- Linked Atlantic with Ohio and was extended further west reaching Illinois by 1830
- Made movement easier and encouraged settlement

- The jounrey along the road was slow
- Settlers were susceptible to attack which was a concern for families


When was the Erie canal constructed?

Erie canal = 1825


What was the benefit of the Erie canal?

- Provided a direct water route from NYC to Midwest triggering large-scale commercial and agricultural development + immigration to sparsely populated frontiers
- Reduced freight costs from 19 cents per ton/mile to just 2 cents by 1830
- paid for itself within 9 years


When and where was the first commercial steamboat launched?
Why was this a good thing?

Hudson River in 1807
Reduced both cost and time of moving goods, thus increasing profitability


What were the benefits of the mail services in 1857?

- Largest employer in US (30,000 employees by 1860)
- Allowed faster communications between E and W


What was the Pony Express?

Horses crossed the Central Plains in 10 days


When was the Transcontinental Telegraph line completed?

Transcontinental Telegraph line = 1861


When did the railway development play a role in the expansion of America?

In the latter part of the period, after the civil war of 1861-1865


What did the Pacific Railroad Act do?

In July 1862 it chartered the Union Pacific Company to build west from Omaha, Nebraska while the Central Pacific Company would build east from Sacramento, California
The main building only began in 1865 after the civil war though


What 4 other Transcontinental lines were completed by the 1890's?

- The Great Northern (from Minnesota to Washington)
- The North Pacific (from Minnesota to Oregon)
- The Southern Pacific (from Louisiana to California)
- The Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe line (from Kansas to California)


By 1900 how many km of track were there west of the Mississippi river?

139,000 km


What was the effect of the railway on Native Americans?

Played a large role in the destruction of the Buffalo herds which the NA relied upon on the Central Plains