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
1890 Wounded Knee Massacre— Last battle in the American Indian Wars. 1893 1893 Great Oklahoma land rush begins. 1898 1898 The Spanish-American War—The United States gains control of Cuba, Puerto Rico, and the Philippines. Part I People of the First Nations and New Spain Beginning in the 1830s, Americans referred to the lands beyond the Mississippi River as “the Wild West.” This enormous region was “wild” in the sense that it was an unmapped wilderness—and untraveled Easterners imagined
that the people living out West—Indians, fur trappers, and Spaniards— must be “wild” or uncivilized. (Ignorance often breeds prejudice!) When Anglo-Americans moved west, they actually encountered many well-developed societies that had been there for thousands of years. The Blackfoot (who called themselves the Niitsitapi) were another Native tribe that lived in the American west, in what is now the state of Montana. A Hogan, the traditional Navajo home. More than 100,000 natives lived in
them from their lands into an internment camp, but later the Navajos managed to return and regain much of their ancestral territory. The Pueblo tribes held onto their cities through a careful balance of trade, treaty, and armed resistance. Some Native leaders, such as Geronimo, Crazy Horse, and Chief Joseph, became legends. Today, the First Nations of the West continue to practice their unique languages, arts, and spiritual ways. The spiritual faith of the Native people of North America gave
broke with a huge, crackling roar. That one thundering moment of horseflesh by the mile quivering in its first leap forward was a gift of the gods, and its like will never come again. The next instant we were in a crash of vehicles whizzing past us like a calamity. It might sound romantic living in a log cabin, but the average pioneer home was smaller and cruder than you might imagine. An entire family—on average, two parents plus four children—lived in a single room the size of an average