American West

American West – The Cattle Industry

Beginnings   The Europeans who first settled in America at the end of the 15th century had brought longhorn cattle with them. By the early 19th century cattle ranches were common in Mexico. At that time Mexico included what was to become Texas. The longhorn...

American West – Mountain Men

  The life of the mountain man was hard and tough. Living in the wild, he was in constant danger from starvation, dehydration, freezing cold, burning heat, wild animals and Indians. The fashion for wearing fur hats in the early nineteenth century meant that there...

American West – The California Gold Rush

  In the early 1840s, California was a distant outpost that few Americans had seen. John Sutter (left) was a Swiss emigrant who had come to California in 1839 with the idea of building a vast empire. At the end of 1847, Sutter sent a group of men, including James...

American West – White Man’s Opinion of the Plains Indians

As the population of America grew, so people began to move away from the cities and towns onto the Plains. At first the Indians welcomed the settlers; it was their belief that the land should be shared. However, problems soon began.    The whites killed...
American West – Manifest Destiny

American West – Manifest Destiny

“(It is) ..our manifest destiny to over spread and to possess the whole of the continent which Providence has given us for the development of the great experiment of liberty”  In 1845 these words were written by John O’Sullivan, a democrat...

American West – The Great American Desert

The Great American Desert was the name given, in the first half of the nineteenth century, to the area west of the Mississippi river. At the time, the area was only inhabited by tribes of native American Indians. White Americans considered it to be unfit for...

American West – Timeline

Date Summary Event 6th April  1830 Mormons founded Joseph Smith founded the Mormon religion. Smith claimed that, after seeing a vision of an angel called Moroni, he discovered some hidden gold plates bearing inscriptions. The translation of the inscriptions was...