American West

The American West refers to the development of the geographic region by European settlers in the 19th century. A study of the American West looks at the expansion of white settlers into the West. The American West looks at the growth of American farming; the development of new towns; the contribution of technologies and new means of communication. The American West is also the story of a clash between Native American tribes and white settlers. Famous battles were fought, such as the Battle of the Little Bighorn. Leaders and explorers have become famous, infamous of legendary as a result of this period of US History. 

George Custer at the Battle of the Little Bighorn - The American West

Events of the American West

1834 Permanent Indian Frontier set up
1843 First settlers arrive in Oregon encouraged by government legislation
1844 Mormon persecution in Nauvoo
1846 Donner Party head west but meet with disaster and death
1846 Mormons travel to the Great Salt Lake having been driven out of Nauvoo
1848 Gold discovered in California
1850s First homesteaders move to the Plains
1851 Fort Laramie Treaty (1)
1858–59 Gold discovered in the Pikes Peak region of the Rocky Mountains
1859 Gold mines opened in Colorado and Nevada
1861 Start of the American Civil War between North and South America
1862 Homestead Act
1862 Little Crow’s War
1862 Pacific Railway Act passed and work begins on the transcontinental railway
1864 Sand Creek Massacre
1865 End of the American Civil War
1865 Slavery abolished in the US
1866 Group of US army soldiers wiped out at Fetterman’s Trap by Plains Indians
1866 Red Cloud’s War on the US Government in their attempt to build forts in Montana
1866 Goodnight and Loving reach Fort Sumner with 1,700 cattle
1867 Medicine Lodge Creek
1867 Abilene becomes the first cow town
1867 ‘The Beef Bonanza’
1868 ‘The Winter Campaign’
1868 Fort Laramie Treaty (2)
1869 Railroad completed despite opposition from some Americans
1870 Cattle Ranching begins on the Plains which led to the ‘Open Range’
1873 Timber and Culture Act
1874 Barbed wire begins to be mass-produced
1874 Wind-powered water pump introduced
1874 Custer leads expedition to the Black Hills ignoring the Treaty of Fort Laramie
1876 The Great Sioux War begins between the US Army and the Sioux Indians
1876 Battle of the Little Big Horn
1881 Sitting Bull and followers surrender to the American government
1885 All Plains Indians are resettled on to reservations
1885 Northern herd of buffalo is completely destroyed
1886 Severe winter leads to smaller ranches with barbed fences and wind pumps that eventually lead to
the end of the cowboy era
1887 Dawes Act
1890 Battle of Wounded Knee
1890 US government closes frontier in which the Plains Indians had lost their land
1892 Johnson County War