1.31 – Native Americans & the West (2nd half)

Readings

National Archives, Homestead Act of 1862

Library of Congress, “The American West: 1865-1900

Smithsonian, Western Indian Wars

Chief Joseph Speaks

Women and the Myth of the West

Rock Springs Massacre (skim)

History.com, Cowboys

Black Cowboys

Use these sources to answer the discussion questions. You are also welcome to conduct additional research.

Discussion questions

1. What were some of the reasons that led white settlers to decide to move to the West? 

2. What was the westward journey like?

3. How did Native Americans respond to the influx of white settlers?

4. What actions did the Federal government take to facilitate settlement of the West by whites?

5. What were the conditions of life for other groups, beyond white men, in the West?

6. Should the West in the 19th century be viewed as a ‘land of opportunity,’ as most Americans believed it to be?

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