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PinkMonkey Study Guide - American History

7. 3 Settlement in the West and the Indians

The expansion and improvement in transportation led to a rapid settlements and migrations in the West. The second reason for settlements was the land policy introduced by the government. The Homstead Act (1862) laid down that any settler in the west could acquire 160 acres of land for a minimal fee. The third factor was the new Indian policy due to which the red Indians could not question or prevent new settlements after 1870. Moreover the frequent mining strikes in the region and the opportunities to develop cattle industry, led to migrations in the west. These new regions, west of the Missouri River, were later admitted to the Union. Nine states were created from this region namely, Colorado, Washington, Utah, Montana, Idaho, North Dakota, South Dakota and Nebraska.

The new miners, ranchers and traders in the west posed a serious threat to the native Indians. These Indians were being driven from their lands and hunting grounds due to the increased migration in the west. They were being deprived of their homes on which generations of Indians had lived peacefully. While most Indians were forced to give in, one tribe i.e. the Apaches continued to put on a brave fight to protest their lives and livelihood. The Apache war raged on for almost 40 years and is considered to be one of the bloodiest Indian wars in American history.

The new settlements left an indelible mark an American life, both in the political and cultural spheres. While the new states born in the west gave it considerable political clout (far beyond the proportion of its population), the late 19th century also saw the growth of American literature out of the experiences of western life. Writers like Mark Twain, Bret Harte and Willa-Cather, made the western frontier prominent through their works.

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Table of Contents

7.0 - Chronology of Major Events
7.1 - The Growth Of Industry
7.2 - Agriculture
7.3 - Settlement In The West And The Indians
7.4 - Rise Of Reform Movements
7.5 - Women's Rights Movement
7.6 - Rise Of The Labour Movement
7.7 - America Becomes A World Power
7.8 - The Spanish-American War
7.9 - Panama Canal
7.10 - Points To Remember

Chapter 8


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