Saloons, Shootouts, and Spurs: The Wild West In the 1800's (Daily Life in America in the 1800s)
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Life on the American frontier of the 1800s is the stuff of American myth and legend. It was here in the wide-open spaces of the West that the rugged individualism of the American character was refined: in the strong but silent cowboy, the saloon girl with a heart of gold, and the sod-busting pioneer.
Faced with the incredible challenges of taming a wilderness, wresting the territory from the Native peoples, and dealing with the hardships of pioneer life, Americans were offered one of the richest opportunities in the history of human kind—the agricultural and mineral resources of a new land. The settling of this land is the story of America, a story of violence, wasted resources, and genocide, as well as heroism, freedom, and incredible opportunity.
The Wild West of the 1800s remains for Americans a land of hopes and dreams.
SALOONS, SHOOTOUTS, AND SPURS The Wild West in the 1800s DAILY LIFE IN AMERICA IN THE 1800s Bleeding, Blistering, and Purging: Health and Medicine in the 1800s Buggies, Bicycles, and Iron Horses: Transportation in the 1800s Cornmeal and Cider: Food and Drink in the 1800s America at War: Military Conflicts at Home and Abroad in the 1800s From the Parlor to the Altar: Romance and Marriage in the 1800s Guardians of the Home: Women’s Lives in the 1800s Home Sweet Home: Around the House in the
•History is almost always written from the perspective of the “winning” side. How would you tell the story of the “Wild West” from the perspective of a Navajo tribesperson or a Hispanic vaquero? •What do you think the West would be like today if it had been the Native Americans who ended up the winning side in the battle for dominance? What if it had been Hispanic people? •Despite the “Anglo” defeat of Hispanic and Native powers in the 1800s West, the region today is a rich mix of these three
At the time of sale, the French Foreign minister said, “You have made a noble bargain for yourselves and I suppose you will make the most of it.” The United States would indeed make the most of its bargain. But to do so, the government first needed to learn more about the land they had purchased: few English speakers had ventured into this Western territory, and it was almost completely uncharted. In order to map out the new land and explore its resources, Jefferson appointed Captains Meriwether
Lewis and Clark at a Hidatsa village on the upper Missouri, and from this point they disappear from history. Fur Traders descending the Missouri in 1845. Developers immediately recognized an important source of wealth in this newly purchased land—beaver pelts. Beaver fur has a natural tendency to clump together, or “felt,” and it is waterproof. As a result, it made good hats. In the early 1800s, all men wore hats. Popular styles were the Tricorn (what you might think of as a “pirate’s hat”)
mostly fictional by the time they made it to print! Jim Beckwourth was one of the most famous “Mountain Men.” The fur companies relied on trappers—rugged individuals called “Mountain Men.” These hardy souls survived in the wilderness by means of extraordinary stamina, survival skills, and familiarity with the Natives. They spent most of their time working traps in the mountain streams, traveling by horse and mule, hauling tepees to dwell in, dressing in skins, and eating berries and meat that