Das ONE FORTY WEST ist ein Hochhaus, das auf dem Gelände des ehemaligen AfE-Turm der Universität entsteht und Teil des Senckenberg-Quartiers. Die Cyrus Moser Architekten setzen sich intensiv mit den Ansprüchen an städtisches Leben und Wohnen auseinander. Mit ihrem Projekt „One Forty West“ geht. ONE FORTY WEST – At home up high: Frankfurts außergewöhnlichste Adresse mit exklusiven Miet- und Eigentumswohnungen über einem.
As a counter to land speculators, farmers formed "claims clubs" to enable them to buy larger tracts than the acre 0. In , Congress passed three important bills that transformed the land system.
The Homestead Act granted acres 0. The only cost was a modest filing fee. The law was especially important in the settling of the Plains states. Many took free homestead and others purchased their land from railroads at low rates.
The Pacific Railway Acts of provided for the land needed to build the transcontinental railroad. The land given the railroads alternated with government-owned tracts saved for free distribution to homesteaders.
Railroads had up to five years to sell or mortgage their land, after tracks were laid, after which unsold land could be purchased by anyone.
Often railroads sold some of their government acquired land to homesteaders immediately to encourage settlement and the growth of markets the railroads would then be able to serve.
Nebraska railroads in the s were strong boosters of lands along their routes. They sent agents to Germany and Scandinavia with package deals that included cheap transportation for the family as well as its furniture and farm tools, and they offered long-term credit at low rates.
Boosterism succeeded in attracting adventurous American and European families to Nebraska , helping them purchase land grant parcels on good terms.
The selling price depended on such factors as soil quality, water, and distance from the railroad. The Morrill Act of provided land grants to states to begin colleges of agriculture and mechanical arts engineering.
Black colleges became eligible for these land grants in The Act succeeded in its goals to open new universities and make farming more scientific and profitable.
In the s government sponsored surveys to chart the remaining unexplored regions of the West, and to plan possible routes for a transcontinental railroad.
Regionalism animated debates in Congress regarding the choice of a northern, central or southern route.
Engineering requirements for the rail route were an adequate supply of water and wood, and as nearly-level route as possible, given the weak locomotives of the era.
In the s, proposals to build a transcontinental failed because of Congressional disputes over slavery. With the secession of the Confederate states in , the modernizers in the Republican party took over Congress and wanted a line to link to California.
Private companies were to build and operate the line. Construction would be done by unskilled laborers who would live in temporary camps along the way.
Immigrants from China and Ireland did most of the construction work. Theodore Judah , the chief engineer of the Central Pacific surveyed the route from San Francisco east.
The line was completed in May Coast-to-coast passenger travel in 8 days now replaced wagon trains or sea voyages that took 6 to 10 months and cost much more.
The road was built with mortgages from New York, Boston and London, backed by land grants. There were no federal cash subsidies, But there was a loan to the Central Pacific that was eventually repaid at six percent interest.
The federal government offered land-grants in a checkerboard pattern. The railroad sold every-other square, with the government opening its half to homesteaders.
Local and state governments also aided the financing. Most of the manual laborers on the Central Pacific were new arrivals from China. He concludes that senior officials quickly realized the high degree of cleanliness and reliability of the Chinese.
Ong explores whether or not the Chinese Railroad Workers were exploited by the railroad, with whites in the better positions.
He finds the railroad set different wage rates for whites and Chinese and used the latter in the more menial and dangerous jobs, such as the handling and the pouring of nitroglycerin.
Building the railroad required six main activities: The work was highly physical, using horse-drawn plows and scrapers, and manual picks, axes, sledgehammers, and handcarts.
A few steam-driven machines, such as shovels, were used. For blasting, they used black powder. Six transcontinental railroads were built in the Gilded Age plus two in Canada ; they opened up the West to farmers and ranchers.
All but the Great Northern of James J. Hill relied on land grants. The financial stories were often complex. For example, the Northern Pacific received its major land grant in Financier Jay Cooke — was in charge until , when he went bankrupt.
Federal courts, however, kept bankrupt railroads in operation. In Henry Villard — took over and finally completed the line to Seattle.
But the line went bankrupt in the Panic of and Hill took it over. He then merged several lines with financing from J. Morgan , but President Theodore Roosevelt broke them up in In the first year of operation, —70, , passengers made the long trip.
Settlers were encouraged with promotions to come West on free scouting trips to buy railroad land on easy terms spread over several years.
The railroads had "Immigration Bureaus" which advertised package low-cost deals including passage and land on easy terms for farmers in Germany and Scandinavia.
The prairies, they were promised, did not mean backbreaking toil because "settling on the prairie which is ready for the plow is different from plunging into a region covered with timber".
All manufacturers benefited from the lower costs of transportation and the much larger radius of business. White concludes with a mixed verdict.
The transcontinentals did open up the West to settlement, brought in many thousands of high-tech, highly paid workers and managers, created thousands of towns and cities, oriented the nation onto an east—west axis, and proved highly valuable for the nation as a whole.
On the other hand, too many were built, and they were built too far ahead of actual demand. The result was a bubble that left heavy losses to investors, and led to poor management practices.
By contrast, as White notes, the lines in the Midwest and East supported by a very large population base, fostered farming, industry and mining while generating steady profits and receiving few government benefits.
The new railroads provided the opportunity for migrants to go out and take a look, with special family tickets, the cost of which could be applied to land purchases offered by the railroads.
Farming the plains was indeed more difficult than back east. Water management was more critical, lightning fires were more prevalent, the weather was more extreme, rainfall was less predictable.
The fearful stayed home. The actual migrants looked beyond fears of the unknown. Their chief motivation to move west was to find a better economic life than the one they had.
Farmers sought larger, cheaper and more fertile land; merchants and tradesman sought new customers and new leadership opportunities.
Laborers wanted higher paying work and better conditions. As settlers move West, they have to faced challenges along the way, such as the lack of wood for housing, bad weather like blizzards and droughts, and fearsome tornadoes.
One of the greatest plague that hit the homesteaders was the Locust Plague which devastated the Great Plains. A witness wrote, "The horsemen had the best of it from the start.
It was a fine race for a few minutes, but soon the riders began to spread out like a fan, and by the time they reached the horizon they were scattered about as far as the eye could see".
In the same manner, millions of acres of additional land was opened up and settled in the following four years. Fearful of takeover of Alaska then Russian America from the British Army based in British North America and due to lack of economic interests, Russia , which had established a fur trading and missionary presence in Alaska in the midth century, was eager to get rid of the territory.
After the Civil War Secretary of State William Seward was eager to acquire the tremendous landmass of Alaska, an area roughly one-fifth the size of the rest of the United States.
On March 30, , the U. The transfer ceremony was completed in Sitka on October 18, , as Russian soldiers handed over the territory to the United States Army.
Major oil discoveries in the late 20th century made the state rich. Indian wars have occurred throughout the United States though the conflicts are generally separated into two categories; the Indian wars east of the Mississippi River and the Indian wars west of the Mississippi.
Bureau of the Census provided an estimate of deaths:. The Indian wars under the government of the United States have been more than 40 in number.
They have cost the lives of about 19, white men, women and children, including those killed in individual combats, and the lives of about 30, Indians.
The actual number of killed and wounded Indians must be very much higher than the given Fifty percent additional would be a safe estimate Historian Russell Thornton estimates that from to , the Indian population declined from , to as few as , The depopulation was principally caused by disease as well as warfare.
Many tribes in Texas, such as the Karankawan , Akokisa , Bidui and others, were extinguished due to conflicts with settlers.
Government, and the Doolittle Committee was formed to investigate the causes as well as provide recommendations for preserving the population.
The expansion of migration into the Southeastern United States in the s to the s forced the federal government to deal with the "Indian question".
The Indians were under federal control but were independent of state governments. State legislatures and state judges had no authority on their lands, and the states demanded control.
Politically the new Democratic Party of President Andrew Jackson demanded removal of the Indians out of the southeastern states to new lands in the west, while the Whig Party and the Protestant churches were opposed to removal.
The Jacksonian Democracy proved irresistible, as it won the presidential elections of , and By the "Indian Removal policy" began, to implement the act of Congress signed by Andrew Jackson in Many historians have sharply attacked Jackson.
To motivate natives reluctant to move, the federal government also promised rifles, blankets, tobacco, and cash. By the Cherokee, the last Indian nation in the South, had signed the removal treaty and relocated to Oklahoma.
All the tribes were given new land in the " Indian Territory " which later became Oklahoma. Of the approximate 70, Indians removed, about 18, died from disease, starvation, and exposure on the route.
The impact of the removals was severe. The transplanted tribes had considerable difficulty adapting to their new surroundings and sometimes clashed with the tribes native to the area.
The only way for an Indian to remain and avoid removal was to accept the federal offer of acres 2. However, many natives who took the offer were defrauded by "ravenous speculators" who stole their claims and sold their land to whites.
Of the five tribes, the Seminole offered the most resistance, hiding out in the Florida swamps and waging a war which cost the U. Indian warriors in the West, using their traditional style of limited, battle-oriented warfare, confronted the U.
The Indians emphasized bravery in combat while the Army put its emphasis not so much on individual combat as on building networks of forts, developing a logistics system, and using the telegraph and railroads to coordinate and concentrate its forces.
Plains Indian intertribal warfare bore no resemblance to the "modern" warfare practiced by the Americans along European lines, using its vast advantages in population and resources.
Many tribes avoided warfare and others supported the U. The tribes hostile to the government continued to pursue their traditional brand of fighting and, therefore, were unable to have any permanent success against the Army.
Indian wars were fought throughout the western regions, with more conflicts in the states bordering Mexico than in the interior states.
Arizona ranked highest in war deaths, with 4, killed, including soldiers, civilians and Native Americans.
That was more than twice as many as occurred in Texas, the second highest ranking state. Most of the deaths in Arizona were caused by the Apache.
Michno also says that fifty-one percent of the Indian war battles between and took place in Arizona, Texas and New Mexico, as well as thirty-seven percent of the casualties in the county west of the Mississippi River.
Indians included in this group attacked and harassed emigrant parties and miners crossing the Snake River Valley, which resulted in further retaliation of the white settlements and the intervention of the United States army.
The war resulted in a total of 1, men who have been killed, wounded, and captured from both sides. Unlike other Indian Wars, the Snake War was widely forgotten in United States history due to having only limited coverage of the war.
The conflict was fought in — while the American Civil War was still ongoing. Caused by dissolution between the Natives and the white settlers in the region, the war was infamous for the atrocities done between the two parties.
White militias destroyed Native villages and killed Indian women and children such as the bloody Sand Creek massacre , and the Indians also raided ranches, farms and killed white families such as the American Ranch massacre and Raid on Godfrey Ranch.
In —, Carson used a scorched earth policy in the Navajo Campaign , burning Navajo fields and homes, and capturing or killing their livestock.
He was aided by other Indian tribes with long-standing enmity toward the Navajos, chiefly the Utes. The Apaches under his command conducted ambushes on US cavalries and forts, such as their attack on Cibecue Creek , while also raiding upon prominent farms and ranches, such as their infamous attack on the Empire Ranch that killed three cowboys.
The war finally ended with a final confrontation between the Comanches and the U. Cavalry in Palo Duro Canyon.
The last Comanche war chief, Quanah Parker , surrendered in June , which would finally end the wars fought by Texans and Indians. It was the most successful campaign against the U.
By the Treaty of Fort Laramie , the U. With 53 Modoc warriors, Captain Jack held off 1, men of the U. Army for 7 months. Captain Jack killed Edward Canby.
Numbering only warriors, the Nez Perce "battled some 2, American regulars and volunteers of different military units, together with their Indian auxiliaries of many tribes, in a total of eighteen engagements, including four major battles and at least four fiercely contested skirmishes.
The conflict began after repeated violations of the Treaty of Fort Laramie once gold was discovered in the hills. The end of the Indian wars came at the Wounded Knee massacre on December 29, where the 7th Cavalry attempted to disarm a Sioux man and precipitated an engagement in which about Sioux men, women, and children were killed.
Only thirteen days before, Sitting Bull had been killed with his son Crow Foot in a gun battle with a group of Indian police that had been sent by the American government to arrest him.
As the frontier moved westward, the establishment of U. They served as bases for troops at or near strategic areas, particularly for counteracting the Indian presence.
Fort Laramie and Fort Kearny helped protect immigrants crossing the Great Plains and a series of posts in California protected miners.
Forts were constructed to launch attacks against the Sioux. As Indian reservations sprang up, the military set up forts to protect them. Forts also guarded the Union Pacific and other rail lines.
Fort Omaha , Nebraska was home to the Department of the Platte , and was responsible for outfitting most Western posts for more than 20 years after its founding in the late s.
Fort Huachuca in Arizona was also originally a frontier post and is still in use by the United States Army. Settlers on their way overland to Oregon and California became targets of Indian threats.
Munkres read 66 diaries of parties traveling the Oregon Trail between and to estimate the actual dangers they faced from Indian attacks in Nebraska and Wyoming.
The vast majority of diarists reported no armed attacks at all. However many did report harassment by Indians who begged or demanded tolls, and stole horses and cattle.
A second treaty secured safe passage along the Santa Fe Trail for wagon trains. In return, the tribes would receive, for ten years, annual compensation for damages caused by migrants.
In the Far West settlers began to occupy land in Oregon and California before the federal government secured title from the native tribes, causing considerable friction.
In Utah, the Mormons also moved in before federal ownership was obtained. A new policy of establishing reservations came gradually into shape after the boundaries of the "Indian Territory" began to be ignored.
In providing for Indian reservations, Congress and the Office of Indian Affairs hoped to de-tribalize Native Americans and prepare them for integration with the rest of American society, the "ultimate incorporation into the great body of our citizen population".
Influential pioneer towns included Omaha , Nebraska City and St. American attitudes towards Indians during this period ranged from malevolence "the only good Indian is a dead Indian" to misdirected humanitarianism Indians live in "inferior" societies and by assimilation into white society they can be redeemed to somewhat realistic Native Americans and settlers could co-exist in separate but equal societies, dividing up the remaining western land.
Conflicts erupted in the s, resulting in various Indian wars. Such as in the case of Oliver Loving , they would sometimes attack cowboys and their cattle if ever caught crossing in the borders of their land.
However, relationship between cowboys and Native Americans were more mutual than they are portrayed, and the former would occasionally pay a fine of 10 cents per cow for the latter to allow them to travel through their land.
The black units, along with others both cavalry and infantry , collectively became known as the Buffalo Soldiers. According to Robert M.
The frontier army was a conventional military force trying to control, by conventional military methods, a people that did not behave like conventional enemies and, indeed, quite often were not enemies at all.
This is the most difficult of all military assignments, whether in Africa, Asia, or the American West. Westerners were proud of their leadership in the movement for democracy and equality, a major theme for Frederick Jackson Turner.
The new states of Kentucky, Tennessee, Alabama and Ohio were more democratic than the parent states back East in terms of politics and society.
By the West, especially California and Oregon, led the Progressive movement. Scholars have examined the social history of the west in search of the American character.
The history of Kansas , argued historian Carl L. Becker a century ago, reflects American ideals. It is a new grafted product of American individualism, American idealism, American intolerance.
Kansas is America in microcosm. Scholars have compared the emergence of democracy in America with other countries, with reference to the frontier experience.
The American frontiersmen relied on individual effort, in the context of very large quantities of unsettled land with weak external enemies.
Israel by contrast, operated in a very small geographical zone, surrounded by more powerful neighbors. The Jewish pioneer was not building an individual or family enterprise, but was a conscious participant in nation building, with a high priority on collective and cooperative planned settlements.
The Israeli pioneers brought in American experts on irrigation and agriculture to provide technical advice. However they rejected the American frontier model in favor of a European model that supported their political and security concerns.
The cities played an essential role in the development of the frontier, as transportation hubs, financial and communications centers, and providers of merchandise, services, and entertainment.
They then shipped the cattle out and cattle drives became short-distance affairs. However the passenger trains were often the targets of armed gangs.
Denver had always attracted miners, workers, whores and travelers. Saloons and gambling dens sprung up overnight.
The city fathers boasted of its fine theaters, and especially the Tabor Grand Opera House built in Denver gained regional notoriety with its range of bawdy houses, from the sumptuous quarters of renowned madams to the squalid "cribs" located a few blocks away.
Business was good; visitors spent lavishly, then left town. As long as madams conducted their business discreetly, and "crib girls" did not advertise their availability too crudely, authorities took their bribes and looked the other way.
Occasional cleanups and crack downs satisfied the demands for reform. With its giant mountain of copper, Butte, Montana was the largest, richest and rowdiest mining camp on the frontier.
It was an ethnic stronghold, with the Irish Catholics in control of politics and of the best jobs at the leading mining corporation Anaconda Copper.
It was also designed to promote middle-class values and to convince Easterners that Butte was a cultivated city. European immigrants often built communities of similar religious and ethnic backgrounds.
African Americans moved West as soldiers, as well as cowboys, farm hands, saloon workers, cooks, and outlaws. The Buffalo Soldiers were soldiers in the all-black 9th and 10th Cavalry regiments, and 24th and 25th Infantry Regiments of the U.
They had white officers and served in numerous western forts. About 4, blacks came to California in Gold Rush days. In , after the end of Reconstruction in the South, several thousand Freedmen moved from Southern states to Kansas.
Known as the Exodusters , they were lured by the prospect of good, cheap Homestead Law land and better treatment. The all-black town of Nicodemus, Kansas , which was founded in , was an organized settlement that predates the Exodusters but is often associated with them.
Chinese migrants, many of whom were impoverished peasants, provided the major part of the workforce for the building of Central Pacific portion of the transcontinental railroad.
Most of them went home by when the railroad was finished. The Chinese were generally forced into self-sufficient "Chinatowns" in cities such as San Francisco, Portland, and Seattle.
By the s, however, Chinatowns had become clean, safe and attractive tourist destinations. In the — era, thousands of Japanese permanently migrated to Hawaii, Alaska, and California as farm workers.
Immigrants born in Asia were generally ineligible for U. However, their children born in the U. The great majority of Hispanics who had been living in the former territories of New Spain remained and became American citizens in The 10, or so Californios lived in southern California and after were overshadowed by the hundreds of thousands of arrivals from the east.
Those in New Mexico dominated towns and villages that changed little until well into the 20th century. New arrivals from Mexico arrived, especially after the Revolution of terrorized thousands of villages all across Mexico.
Most refugees went to Texas or California, and soon poor barrios appeared in many border towns. Early on there was a criminal element as well.
The California "Robin Hood", Joaquin Murieta , led a gang in the s which burned houses, killed miners, and robbed stagecoaches. On the Great Plains very few single men attempted to operate a farm or ranch; farmers clearly understood the need for a hard-working wife, and numerous children, to handle the many chores, including child-rearing, feeding and clothing the family, managing the housework, and feeding the hired hands.
After a generation or so, women increasingly left the fields, thus redefining their roles within the family. New conveniences such as sewing and washing machines encouraged women to turn to domestic roles.
The scientific housekeeping movement, promoted across the land by the media and government extension agents, as well as county fairs which featured achievements in home cookery and canning, advice columns for women in the farm papers, and home economics courses in the schools all contributed to this trend.
Although the eastern image of farm life on the prairies emphasizes the isolation of the lonely farmer and farm life, in reality rural folk created a rich social life for themselves.
They often sponsored activities that combined work, food, and entertainment such as barn raisings , corn huskings, quilting bees,  Grange meetings ,  church activities, and school functions.
The womenfolk organized shared meals and potluck events, as well as extended visits between families. Childhood on the American frontier is contested territory.
Historians Katherine Harris  and Elliott West  write that rural upbringing allowed children to break loose from urban hierarchies of age and gender, promoted family interdependence, and in the end produced children who were more self-reliant, mobile, adaptable, responsible, independent and more in touch with nature than their urban or eastern counterparts.
On the other hand, historians Elizabeth Hampsten  and Lillian Schlissel  offer a grim portrait of loneliness, privation, abuse, and demanding physical labor from an early age.
Riney-Kehrberg takes a middle position. Entrepreneurs set up shops and businesses to cater to the miners. World-famous were the houses of prostitution found in every mining camp worldwide.
Chinese women were frequently sold by their families and taken to the camps as prostitutes; they had to send their earnings back to the family in China.
She nursed victims of an influenza epidemic; this gave her acceptance in the community and the support of the sheriff. The townspeople were shocked when she was murdered in ; they gave her a lavish funeral and speedily tried and hanged her assailant.
It was not uncommon for bordellos in Western towns to operate openly, without the stigma of East Coast cities.
Moore uses court records to show that on the sparsely settled Arkansas frontier lawlessness was common. He distinguished two types of crimes: Bandits, typically in groups of two or three, rarely attacked stagecoaches with a guard carrying a sawed-off, double-barreled shotgun; it proved less risky to rob teamsters, people on foot, and solitary horsemen,  while bank robberies themselves were harder to pull off due to the security of the establishment.
When criminals were convicted, punishment was severe. Law enforcement emphasized maintaining stability more than armed combat, focusing on drunkenness, disarming cowboys who violated gun-control edicts and dealing with flagrant breaches of gambling and prostitution ordinances.
Dykstra argues that the violent image of the cattle towns in film and fiction is largely myth. He states there is a "second Dodge City" that belongs to the popular imagination and thrives as a cultural metaphor for violence, chaos, and depravity.
A contemporary eyewitness of Hays City, Kansas paints a vivid image of this cattle town:. Hays City by lamplight was remarkably lively, but not very moral.
The streets blazed with a reflection from saloons, and a glance within showed floors crowded with dancers, the gaily dressed women striving to hide with ribbons and paint the terrible lines which that grim artist, Dissipation, loves to draw upon such faces To the music of violins and the stamping of feet the dance went on, and we saw in the giddy maze old men who must have been pirouetting on the very edge of their graves.
It has been acknowledged that the popular portrayal of Dodge City in film and fiction carries a note of truth, however, as gun crime was rampant in the city prior to the establishment of a local government.
Similar laws were passed in other frontier towns to reduce the rate of gun crime as well. Carrying of guns within the city limits of a frontier town was generally prohibited.
Laws barring people from carrying weapons were commonplace, from Dodge City to Tombstone. When Dodge City residents first formed their municipal government, one of the very first laws enacted was a ban on concealed carry.
The ban was soon after expanded to open carry, too. The Hollywood image of the gunslinger marching through town with two Colts on his hips is just that — a Hollywood image, created for its dramatic effect.
Tombstone, Arizona was a turbulent mining town that flourished longer than most, from to In the newly arrived Earp brothers bought shares in the Vizina mine, water rights, and gambling concessions, but Virgil , Wyatt , and Morgan Earp obtained positions at different times as federal and local lawmen.
After more than a year of threats and feuding, they killed three outlaws in the Gunfight at the O. Corral , the most famous gunfight of the Old West.
In the aftermath, Virgil Earp was maimed in an ambush and Morgan Earp was assassinated while playing billiards.
Wyatt and others, including his brothers James Earp and Warren Earp , pursued those they believed responsible in an extra-legal vendetta and warrants were issued for their arrest in the murder of Frank Stilwell.
The Cochise County Cowboys were one of the first organized crime syndicates in the United States, and their demise came at the hands of Wyatt Earp.
Western story tellers and film makers featured the gunfight in many Western productions. The major type of banditry was conducted by the infamous outlaws of the West, including Jesse James , Billy the Kid , the Dalton Gang , Black Bart , Butch Cassidy and the Wild Bunch and hundreds of others who preyed on banks, trains, stagecoaches, and in some cases even armed government transports such as the Wham Paymaster Robbery and the Skeleton Canyon Robbery.
Many were misfits and drifters who roamed the West avoiding the law. When outlaw gangs were near, towns would occasionally raise a posse to drive them out or capture them.
Seeing that the need to combat the bandits was a growing business opportunity, Allan Pinkerton ordered his National Detective Agency, founded in , to open branches out West, and they got into the business of pursuing and capturing outlaws.
Banditry was a major issue in California after , as thousands of young men detached from family or community moved into a land with few law enforcement mechanisms.
To combat this, the San Francisco Committee of Vigilance was established to give drumhead trials and death sentences to well-known offenders.
As such, other earlier settlements created their own private agencies to protect communities due to the lack of peace-keeping establishments.
Similar vigilance committees also existed in Texas, and their main objective was to stamp out lawlessness and rid communities of desperadoes and rustlers.
Criminals caught by these vigilance committees were treated cruelly; often hung or shot without any form of trial.
Civilians also took arms to defend themselves in the Old West, sometimes siding with lawmen Coffeyville Bank Robbery , or siding with outlaws Battle of Ingalls.
In the Post-Civil War frontier, over whites, 34 blacks and 75 others were victims of lynching. Pfeifer writes, "Contrary to the popular understanding, early territorial lynching did not flow from an absence or distance of law enforcement but rather from the social instability of early communities and their contest for property, status, and the definition of social order.
The names and exploits of Western gunslingers took a major role in American folklore, fiction and film. Actual gunfights in the Old West were more episodic than being a common thing, but when gunfights did occur, the cause for each varied.
Range wars were infamous armed conflicts that took place in the "open range" of the American frontier. The subject of these conflicts was the control of lands freely used for farming and cattle grazing which gave the conflict its name.
Feuds involving families and bloodlines also occurred much in the frontier. The end of the bison herds opened up millions of acres for cattle ranching.
After the Civil War, Texas ranchers raised large herds of longhorn cattle. So once fattened the ranchers and their cowboys drove the herds north along the Western, Chisholm, and Shawnee trails.
The cattle were shipped to Chicago, St. Louis, and points east for slaughter and consumption in the fast-growing cities.
The Chisholm Trail , laid out by cattleman Joseph McCoy along an old trail marked by Jesse Chisholm, was the major artery of cattle commerce, carrying over 1.
The long drives were treacherous, especially crossing water such as the Brazos and the Red River and when they had to fend off Indians and rustlers looking to make off with their cattle.
By the s and s, cattle ranches expanded further north into new grazing grounds and replaced the bison herds in Wyoming, Montana, Colorado, Nebraska and the Dakota territory, using the rails to ship to both coasts.
Many of the largest ranches were owned by Scottish and English financiers. The single largest cattle ranch in the entire West was owned by American John W.
Iliff, "cattle king of the Plains", operating in Colorado and Wyoming. Though less hardy and more disease-prone, these breeds produced better tasting beef and matured faster.
The funding for the cattle industry came largely from British sources, as the European investors engaged in a speculative extravaganza—a "bubble".
Graham concludes the mania was founded on genuine opportunity, as well as "exaggeration, gullibility, inadequate communications, dishonesty, and incompetence".
A severe winter engulfed the plains toward the end of and well into , locking the prairie grass under ice and crusted snow which starving herds could not penetrate.
The British lost most of their money—as did eastern investors like Theodore Roosevelt , but their investments did create a large industry that continues to cycle through boom and bust periods.
On a much smaller scale sheep grazing was locally popular; sheep were easier to feed and needed less water. However, Americans did not eat mutton.
As farmers moved in open range cattle ranching came to an end and was replaced by barbed wire spreads where water, breeding, feeding, and grazing could be controlled.
This led to "fence wars" which erupted over disputes about water rights. Central to the myth and the reality of the West is the American cowboy.
His real life was a hard one and revolved around two annual roundups, spring and fall, the subsequent drives to market, and the time off in the cattle towns spending his hard earned money on food, clothing, gambling, and prostitution.
During winter, many cowboys hired themselves out to ranches near the cattle towns, where they repaired and maintained equipment and buildings.
Working the cattle was not just a routine job but also a lifestyle that exulted in the freedom of the wide unsettled outdoors on horseback.
Many of the cowboys were veterans of the Civil War; a diverse group, they included Blacks, Hispanics, Native Americans, and immigrants from many lands.
Chaps, the heavy protective leather trousers worn by cowboys, got their name from the Spanish "chaparreras", and the lariat, or rope, was derived from "la reata".
All the distinct clothing of the cowboy—boots, saddles, hats, pants, chaps , slickers, bandannas , gloves, and collar-less shirts—were practical and adaptable, designed for protection and comfort.
The cowboy hat quickly developed the capability, even in the early years, to identify its wearer as someone associated with the West; it came to symbolize the frontier.
The best cattle would be selected, roped, and branded, and most male cattle were castrated. The cattle also needed to be dehorned and examined and treated for infections.
On the long drives, the cowboys had to keep the cattle moving and in line. The cattle had to be watched day and night as they were prone to stampedes and straying.
While camping every night, cowboys would often sing to their herd to keep them calm. It was grueling, dusty work, with just a few minutes of relaxation before and at the end of a long day.
On the trail, drinking, gambling, and brawling were often prohibited and fined, and sometimes cursing as well. It was monotonous and boring work, with food to match: Anchoring the booming cattle industry of the s and s were the cattle towns in Kansas and Missouri.
Like the mining towns in California and Nevada, cattle towns such as Abilene , Dodge City , and Ellsworth experienced a short period of boom and bust lasting about five years.
The cattle towns would spring up as land speculators would rush in ahead of a proposed rail line and build a town and the supporting services attractive to the cattlemen and the cowboys.
If the railroads complied, the new grazing ground and supporting town would secure the cattle trade. However, unlike the mining towns which in many cases became ghost towns and ceased to exist after the ore played out, cattle towns often evolved from cattle to farming and continued on after the grazing lands were exhausted.
Concern with the protection of the environment became a new issue in the late 19th century, pitting different interests. On the one side were the lumber and coal companies who called for maximum exploitation of natural resources to maximize jobs, economic growth, and their own profit.
In the center were the conservationists , led by Theodore Roosevelt and his coalition of outdoorsmen, sportsmen, bird watchers and scientists.
They wanted to reduce waste; emphasized the value of natural beauty for tourism and ample wildlife for hunters; and argued that careful management would not only enhance these goals but also increase the long-term economic benefits to society by planned harvesting and environmental protections.
Roosevelt worked his entire career to put the issue high on the national agenda. He was deeply committed to conserving natural resources.
Roosevelt set aside more Federal land, national parks , and nature preserves than all of his predecessors combined. Conservation means development as much as it does protection.
I recognize the right and duty of this generation to develop and use the natural resources of our land but I do not recognize the right to waste them, or to rob, by wasteful use, the generations that come after us.
The third element, smallest at first but growing rapidly after , were the environmentalists who honored nature for its own sake, and rejected the goal of maximizing human benefits.
Their leader was John Muir — , a widely read author and naturalist and pioneer advocate of preservation of wilderness for its own sake, and founder of the Sierra Club.
Muir, based in California, in started organizing support to preserve the sequoias in the Yosemite Valley; Congress did pass the Yosemite National Park bill In President Grover Cleveland created thirteen protected forests but lumber interests had Congress cancel the move.
Muir, taking the persona of an Old Testament prophet,  crusaded against the lumberman, portraying it as a contest "between landscape righteousness and the devil".
Biographer Donald Worster says, "Saving the American soul from a total surrender to materialism was the cause for which he fought. The rise of the cattle industry and the cowboy is directly tied to the demise of the huge herds of bison—usually called the "buffalo".
Once numbering over 25 million on the Great Plains, the grass-eating herds were a vital resource animal for the Plains Indians, providing food, hides for clothing and shelter, and bones for implements.
Loss of habitat, disease, and over-hunting steadily reduced the herds through the 19th century to the point of near extinction. Conservationists founded the American Bison Society in ; it lobbied Congress to establish public bison herds.
Several national parks in the U. The exploration, settlement, exploitation, and conflicts of the "American Old West" form a unique tapestry of events, which has been celebrated by Americans and foreigners alike—in art, music, dance, novels, magazines, short stories, poetry, theater, video games, movies, radio, television, song, and oral tradition—which continues in the modern era.
Religious themes have inspired many environmentalists as they contemplate the pristine West before the frontiersmen violated its spirituality.
The Frontier Thesis of historian Frederick Jackson Turner , proclaimed in ,  established the main lines of historiography which fashioned scholarship for three or four generations and appeared in the textbooks used by practically all American students.
The mythologizing of the West began with minstrel shows and popular music in the s. During the same period, P. Barnum presented Indian chiefs, dances, and other Wild West exhibits in his museums.
However, large scale awareness really took off when the dime novel appeared in , the first being Malaeska, the Indian Wife of the White Hunter.
Millions of copies and thousands of titles were sold. The novels relied on a series of predictable literary formulas appealing to mass tastes and were often written in as little as a few days.
The most successful of all dime novels was Edward S. Elite Eastern writers and artists of the late 19th century promoted and celebrated western lore.
Russell , and others. Readers bought action-filled stories by writers like Owen Wister , conveying vivid images of the Old West. I knew the wild riders and the vacant land were about to vanish forever I saw the living, breathing end of three American centuries of smoke and dust and sweat.
In the 20th century, both tourists to the West and avid readers enjoyed the visual imagery of the frontier. The Western movies provided the most famous examples, as in the numerous films of John Ford.
He was especially enamored of Monument Valley. Critic Keith Phipps says, "its five square miles [13 square kilometers] have defined what decades of moviegoers think of when they imagine the American West.
The cowboy has for over a century been an iconic American image both in the country and abroad; recognized worldwide and revered by Americans.
Roosevelt conceptualized the herder cowboy as a stage of civilization distinct from the sedentary farmer—a theme well expressed in the Hollywood hit Oklahoma!
Will Rogers, the son of a Cherokee judge in Oklahoma, started with rope tricks and fancy riding, but by discovered his audiences were even more enchanted with his wit in his representation of the wisdom of the common man.
Others who contributed to enhancing the romantic image of the American cowboy include Charles Siringo —  and Andy Adams — Cowboy, Pinkerton detective, and western author, Siringo was the first authentic cowboy autobiographer.
Adams spent the s in the cattle industry in Texas and s mining in the Rockies. His The Log of a Cowboy became a classic novel about the cattle business, especially the cattle drive.
His writings are acclaimed and criticized for realistic fidelity to detail on the one hand and thin literary qualities on the other.
The unique skills of the cowboys are highlighted in the rodeo. It began in organized fashion in the West in the s, when several Western cities followed up on touring Wild West shows and organized celebrations that included rodeo activities.
The establishment of major cowboy competitions in the East in the s led to the growth of rodeo sports. Trail cowboys who were also known as gunfighters like John Wesley Hardin , Luke Short and others, were known for their prowess, speed and skill with their pistols and other firearms.
Their violent escapades and reputations morphed over time into the stereotypical image of violence endured by the "cowboy hero". Such hazardous work in isolated conditions also bred a tradition of self-dependence and individualism, with great value put on personal honesty, exemplified in songs and cowboy poetry.
Following the eleventh U. Census taken in the superintendent announced that there was no longer a clear line of advancing settlement, and hence no longer a frontier in the continental United States.
Historian Frederick Jackson Turner seized upon the statistic to announce the end of the era in which the frontier process shaped the American character.
Fresh farmland was increasingly hard to find after —although the railroads advertised some in eastern Montana. Bicha shows that nearly , American farmers sought cheap land by moving to the Prairie frontier of the Canadian West from to However, about two-thirds of them grew disillusioned and returned to the U.
These contained plenty of unoccupied land, as did the territory of Alaska. Nevertheless, the ethos and storyline of the "American frontier" had passed.
Scores of Turner students became professors in history departments in the western states, and taught courses on the frontier. It avoids the word "frontier" and stresses cultural interaction between white culture and groups such as Indians and Hispanics.
It is easy to tell who the bad guys are — they are almost invariably white, male, and middle-class or better, while the good guys are almost invariably non-white, non-male, or non-middle class However, by , Aron argues, the two sides had "reached an equilibrium in their rhetorical arguments and critiques".
Meanwhile, environmental history has emerged, in large part from the frontier historiography, hence its emphasis on wilderness. The first group emphasizes human agency on the environment; the second looks at the influence of the environment.
It emphasized the vast power of free land to attract and reshape settlers, making a transition from wilderness to civilization.
Since the s an active center is the history department at the University of New Mexico , along with the University of New Mexico Press.
Leading historians there include Gerald D. The department has collaborated with other departments and emphasizes Southwestern regionalism, minorities in the Southwest, and historiography.
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. For other uses, see Wild West disambiguation. For cultural influences and their development, see Western genre.
The cowboy , the quintessential symbol of the American frontier, circa Fur trade in North America. Fur trade in Montana.
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