The Civil War and Reconstruction had minimal impact on much of the trans-Mississippi West. In the period after the Civil War, settlement and economic development began to accelerate with the discovery of gold along and advances in technology. Farmers and other settlers moved out across the Great Plains, Chinese laborers traversed the Pacific, miners exploited the region’s resources, and cattle ranchers took advantage of the region’s grasslands. The federal government and state governments aided in fostering this growth, for example by funding Homesteaders like Uriah Oblinger whose letters home you read this week (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site.. By the end of the nineteenth century the West was economically and politically integrated into the United States, but still struggled with conflict between the diverse groups of settlers and Native populations displaced by the settlement.
For your first written assignment, you will pretend you are a historian working for a museum or historic site seeking to educate a contemporary audience on the changes affecting the West in the late 19th century. To do this, you will create a pamphlet, the text of which should be about 3 pages (750 words), to include the following:
- The three biggest changes occurring in the late 19th century West and how those changes affected the rest of the country;
- How the changes in the West altered demographics and social relations between groups
- And how the changes in the West compared with the changes occurring in the country as a whole
You must include at least one outside primary or secondary source beyond the course readings for this week. It can be either a scholarly secondary source from the Excelsior College Library (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site. or a primary source from the Excelsior College Library (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site. or from this list of pre-approved primary source websites in US History. You should NOT use non-scholarly websites such as Wikipedia. If you have questions about finding appropriate sources, please contact your instructor.
All sources should be properly cited in either APA (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site. or Chicago/Turabian (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site. format.
Your pamphlet is due at the end of the module.