Essay on The Civil War : The Great American Desert

757 Words 4 Pages
When the Civil War was over Americans went west. Whites, Blacks, Asians, Hispanics and Mormons moved out west for cheap land and religious freedom. The Americans formed a new America. These areas that were settled were like colonies. They had their own ideas, laws and currency.
Before the Civil War the whites made their homes in the Great Plains (also known as the Great American Desert). The Great Plains were usually very hot in the summer and icy cold in the winter. This weather made it hard for them to travel. Women had it harder than others because they had to leave families, endure dangerous conditions and do hard physical labor to work the new land.
During the migration west the Americans encountered Indians. The Indians during this time had changed from a purely agricultural way of life to a nomadic way of hunting the buffalo. This changed took place after acquiring Spanish horses. The Plains Indians believed their survival was due to the equality of men and women. One could not live without the other. These Indians lived in tribes of thousands.
The Great Plains was given to the Indians as a reservation. But when gold was found in the West in 1849 the Indians were moved to areas on the reservation. This made the Indians mad. The Americans had to fight for the land. There were hundreds of Indians killed and beaten so that the Americans could take over their lands.
In 1862 the government began the Homestead Act which gave free land to anyone willing to work the land…

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