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14 Cards in this Set

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GHOST DANCES
a religious movement that arose in the late 19th century under the prophet Wavoka, a Pauite Indian. It involved a set of dances and rites that its followers believed would cause white men to disappear and restore lands to the Native Americans. The Ghost Dance religion was outlawed by the U.S. government, and army intervention to stop it led to the Wounded Knee Massacre.
Wounded Knee Massacre
in December 1890, troopers of the Seventh Calvary, under orders to stop the Ghost Dance religion among the Sioux, took Chief Big Foot and his followers to a camp on Wounded Knee Creek in South Dakota. It is uncertain who fired the first shot, but violence ensued and approximately two hundred Native American, men, women and children were killed.
Dawes Severalty Act
Legislation passed by Congress in 1887 that aimed at breaking up traditional Indian life by promoting individual land ownership. It divided tribal lands into small plots that were distributed among members of each tribe. Provisions were made for Indian education and eventual citizenship. The law led to corruption, exploitation, and the weakening of Native American tribal culture.
GOLD RUSH OF 1849
Individual prospectors made the first gold strikes along the Sierra Nevada Mountains in 1849, touching off a mining boom that helped shape the development of the West and set the pattern for subsequent strikes in other regions.
OVERLAND TRAIL
The route taken by thousands of travelers from the Mississippi Valley to the Pacific Coast in the last half of the 19th century. It was extremely difficult, often taking six months or more to complete.
HOMESTEAD ACT OF 1862
Legislation granting 160 acres of land to anyone who paid a $10 fee and pledged to live on and cultivate the land for five years. Although there was a good deal of fraud, the act encouraged a large migration to the West. Between 1862 and 1900, nearly 600,000 families claimed homesteads under its provisions.
NATIONAL RECLOMATIONS ACT (NEWLANDS ACT)
Passed in 1902, this legislation set aside the majority of the proceeds from the sale of public land in 16 Western states to fund irrigation projects in the arid states.
PLACER MINING
A form of mining that required little technology or skill, placer mining techniques included using a shovel and washing pan to separate gold from the ore in streams and riverbeds. An early phase of the mining industry, placer mining could be performed by miners working as individuals or in small groups.
COMSTOCK LODE
Discovered in 1859 near Virginia City, Nevada, this ore deposit was the richest discovery on the history of mining. Named after T.P. Comstock, a drifter who talked his way into partnership in the claim, between 1859 and 1879 the deposit produced silver and gold worth more than $306 million.
EXODUSTERS
A group of about six thousand African Americans who left their homes in Louisiana, Mississippi, and Texas in 1879, seeking freer lives in Kansas, where they worked as farmers or laborers
DRY FARMING
A farming technique developed to allow farming in the more arid parts of the West, where settlers had to deal with far less rainfall than they had east of the Mississippi. Furrows were plowed a foot or so deep and filled with a dust mulch to loosen soil and slow evaporation.
BONANZA FARMS
Huge farms covering thousands of acres on the Great Plains. In relying on large size and new machinery, they represented a development in agriculture similar to that taking place in industry.
NATIONAL GRANGE OF THE PATRONS OF HUSBANDRY
Founded by Oliver H. Kelly in 1867, the Grange sought to relive the drabness of farm life by providing a social educational, and cultural outlet for its members. It also set up grain elevators, cooperative stores, warehouses, insurance companies, and farm machinery factories. Although its constitution banned political involvement, the Grange often supported railroad regulation and other measures.
TURNERS THESIS
Put forth by historian Frederick Jackson Turner in his 1893 paper, "The Significance of the Frontier in American History," this thesis asserted that the existence of a frontier and its settlement had shaped American character; given rise to individualism, independence, and self-confidence; and fostered the American spirit of invention and adaptation. Later historians, especially a group to "new Western historians," modified the thesis by pointing out the environmental and other consequences of frontier settlement, the role of the federal government in peopling the arid West, and the clash of races and cultures that took place on the frontier.