Wesern Expansion And Its Impact On The American Character Flashcards Preview

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Flashcards in Wesern Expansion And Its Impact On The American Character Deck (19)
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Homestead act

Bill that did much to encourage settlers to move west
160 acres of land were given to any western settler who was 1.) a citizen or applied for citizenship 2.) was committed to building a house and farming for 6mo/1yr 3.) 21 yrs old and the head of a family 4.) And could pay 10$ registration fee for land
*2/3 homestead farmers failed


Massacre at Wounded Knee

Battle that was the last large scale attempt by native Americans to resist american settlement in the Great Plains region.
Federal soldiers opened fire killing 200 Native Americans (Sioux)


Dawes Act

-Act designed to break up Native Americans tribes by offering individual Native American land to used for either farming or grazing
- response to buffalo shortages
- most sold "their" land


Farmers' Alliance

Organization that united farmers at the statewide and regional level
Policy goals of this organization included more readily available farm credits and federal regulation of railroads
Putting more money into circulation
Est. state department of ag. in every state


Populist party

Formed in 1890s
By members of the Farmers' Alliance
Designed to appeal to workers in all parts of the country
Favored a larger role of government in American society, progressive income tax, more direct methods of democracy


Turner Thesis

Thesis by historian Fredrick Jackson Turner
Suggested that innovations practiced by western settlers gradually became ingrained into the fabric of American society
Said democracy and self-improvement were central ideas of western expansion
Contradicted the western stereotype of ruggedness and lawlessness
Failed to recognize that not all settlers were white and that attack native Americans was against democracy


Morrill Land-Grant Act

Encouraged establishment of land grant colleges in the west (ex. Texas A&M)
Gave thousands of acres of government land to states that could be sold to settlers and land speculators to fund the colleges


American character due to westward expansion

Based on agriculture (Jeffersonian idealism)
American ruggedness because of the harsh climate of the plains
Dependency on


Bonanza farmers

Take over of individual farmers that grew 1-2 crops in the west
Sold in New England
Run as large businesses
Depended on machinery (decreased the number of workers)
* created an over abundance of produce and price rapidly dropped= foreclosures = more organization/Ag unions
*decreased diversity



Southern blacks who traveled west to farm and achieve more freedom


Timber and Stone Act

Offered land in the NW that was UNSUITABLE for farming to "settlers" at cheap prices so they could transfer ownership to eastern companies


Tribe that most fiercely resist resisted westward settlement

The Sioux
Relocated to reserve in Black Hills, SD
Leader: Sitting Bull
Led to Battle of Little Bighorn (Custer's defeat) and Massacre at Wounded Knee


Nez Perce

Native American tribe that initially resisted
Made Ghost Dances: supposed to return their lives to the way they were before westward settlement


Gold standard

Used for the first time during the Civil War
All dollars were backed by a similar amount in gold
Limited the amount of money in circulation to prevent inflation
Farmers didn't believe gold depreciated there land values and ordered for more mining which was opposed by most of the presidents of the the time



An organization est. by western farmers
Allowed farmers to buy land in large amounts at lower prices
Encouraged railroad regulation because hey believed high rail rates were disadvantageous


Greenback party

Supported getting more money in circulation
Supported by some farmers but little elsewhere


Ocala Platform

Sponsored by t he Farmers' Alliance
Stated that principles that motivated most political activity by farmers for the remainder of the 1800s
Needs partially met by government with: Interstate Commerce Act (regulated railroads) and Sherman Antitrust Act


Populist Party

Est. by the Farmers' Alliance
Appealed to workers
Desired a greater government role in society
1. increased circulation of money
2. a progressive income tax
3. government ownership of communication/transportation systems
4. more direct methods of democracy
5. 8hr work day
Nominated J. Weaver (civil war vet)
* only popular in the west


McKinley vs. Byan

McKinley: Republican, Cleveland's successor, pro gold standard and WINNER
Bryan: Democrat, supported by Populists, wanted to expand currency with silver, could only get support in south and west
*realization of a shift from an agriculturally based economy to an industrial one thanks to the railroad