Settlement West

Topics: Cowboy, Homestead Act, American Old West Pages: 2 (613 words) Published: August 21, 2013
Running head: SETTLEMENT WEST 1

Settling West
Richard Sheppard
Grantham University

Settlement West
There were many dangers associated with living in the 1800’s, more so when you were a settler attempting to live the dream of migrating west. You had to avoid disease, animal attacks, Native Americans attacking you while you cross their territories, or you could be injured in your day to day activities moving west, with no proper medical care. On top of that, if your wagon was damaged or if you had a broken axle, you were effectively stranded, and you already had to walk everywhere sixteen hours a day to make the trek across the country. Although there were numerous hazards associated with making the six month or longer journey, millions of Americans between 1800 and 1890 made the attempt, due in part to the multitude of opportunities the west could provide.

One of the primary and first opportunities that began the great migrations to the west was mining. Mining was a multiple opportunity bonanza that allowed people who wanted to “strike it rich” to do so with gold and silver mining. But the mining itself wasn’t the only way to hit paydirt at that time. Almost half the emigrants were support to the miners. Vendors, such as clothing, tools, food, and building materials, as well as prostitutes made a very good living providing goods and services to the miners looking for precious metals. Railroad companies made tracks and trips throughout the gold rush areas and reaped generous profit from the transport of goods and people.

One of the other opportunities that brought about emigration to the west was cattle ranching. Herding cattle on the plains was the birthplace of the “cowboy” as the term was coined. SETTLEMENT WEST 3

Though cattle ranching was performed earlier than 1867, it wasn’t until post-Civil War America needed beef did it become massively profitable. Once...
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