Topic 7 - Ranching and the Cattle industry Flashcards Preview

The American West > Topic 7 - Ranching and the Cattle industry > Flashcards

Flashcards in Topic 7 - Ranching and the Cattle industry Deck (14)
Loading flashcards...

How did the Cattle trade begin (1850s - 1860s) in the American West?

There was a huge increase in free-roaming cattle on the plains as many had escaped during conflict such as the Texan rebellon and the Civil War


What encouraged people to try and make their fortunes from the cattle trade?

Demand for beef had grown in the growing northern cities so huge profits were available for raising cattle in the south, and selling them to the north


Give 3 difficulties that were inherent in the long drive north?

- the journey could take between two and four months
- Indian raids occurred on the cattle trains
- Cattle could be hard to control and could stampede


What was the role of John Iliff?

1. Started large-scale cattle ranching
2. Supplied railway construction crews, soldiers and Indians


What did Joseph McCoy do?

Developed the first cattle town, which reduced the journey time of cattle drives


What did Charles Goodnight do?

- Developed an important cattle trail to the north
- bred cattle to make them more suitable to the conditions of the plains (selective breeding)


Name two of the reasons for the development of ranching on the Great Plains?

- eliminated the need for a long drive
- The wide open expanses of the Great Plains were good for raising cattle


What was the significance of the town of Abilene?

- it was the first cattle town
- land had water and was good for grazing
- it was situated on the railroad, which gave easy access to the East


What were two consequences of railways for cattle ranching?

1. They made it easier to deliver cattle to markets so cattle towns near railways grew
2. Cattle ranching on the plains grew due to increased access to growing railways


Name two improvements to ranching?

1. Selective breeding between catte had started to take place
2. As buffalo herds were being wiped out, there were more grass for cattle


What were the 3 main roles of the cowboy before the spread of ranching?

1. Cowboys drove cattle on the long trails to the markets and railroad towns in the north
2. They rode with the cattle and controlled stampedes
3. They sold cattle at the cow towns


How did the spread of ranching affect the work of cowboys?

- cowboys work started to become more focused on individual ranches
- They no longer had to do the long drives


Explain the reason for tension between cattle ranchers and homesteaders?

- they were competing for the use of the same land
- The cattle often trampled on the crops of homesteaders so homesteaders began to fence their properties. They usually fenced bodies of water too, which limited access to these for cattle


Why were larger ranches beginning to take over smaller ranches?

1. Larger ranches found it easier to foot the bill of maintaining the ranch
2. Larger ranchers also formed corporations to work together and occasionally hired gunmen to help them control the area, which smaller ranchers could not afford to do so