Archive for the ‘Western settlement’ Category

Important announcements, assignments, and deadlines

Due to our crazy, whacked out schedule the last two weeks, I want to remind you about a few things:

1. Make sure you read the posts on the blog for chapters 24 and 25 (front page and archives), since they help make up for all the classtime we have lost. If it’s there, it’s to help you prepare for your upcoming FOUR CHAPTER TEST. Make sure you note that chapter 26 is due on Tuesday!

2. Next week, your big assignment will be to read Frederick Jackson Turner’s seminal historical essay “The Significance of the Frontier in American History.” You need to read the (excerpted) essay (it’s several pages long) and be ready to discuss it thoroughly (I would prefer a good discussion to assigning you an essay on it, and I bet you would too).There are questions I wish you to answer thoroughly that will be listed on this post and will be used to help you discuss this essay. These questions and this discussion take the place of outline notes or questions for chapter 26. The questions over the essay will be due (and the discussion will take place) Wednesday or Thursday of next week, depending upon your class period.

You can find the essay online first of all in the chapter 26 archive, where I posted it last year. If you want to be more adventurous, you can also find it  here or here , or you can pick up a hard copy from me on Tuesday. I would not wait that long to start this assignment! I will update the essay in the archives to put it on this page on Sunday morning, as well. I just don’t want to push all the other posts on chapter 25 too far down the page just yet.

My true champions can also get the complete essay in a .pdf here, but that would be going above and beyond the call of duty, and is not really necessary (but might interest you…)

I want you to see an example of historical analytical writing, and this is one of the most well-known ones by a progressive American historian. Some of you are still struggling with emphasizing analysis in you writing rather than narrative, so please pay attention to HOW Jackson uses his information as well as WHAT he is saying.

Questions– Turner’s Frontier Thesis
1) In your own words, what is The Frontier Thesis? What role has the frontier has played in American history, according to Turner?
2) What does Turner say about American distinctiveness (or “exceptionalism”) in the essay? What evidence does he provide for his argument?
3) Trace the process which Turner identifies as “Americanization.” How does that process proceed? What are the steps and stages along the way?
4) Turner is often identified as a “Progressive” historian, meaning that he views history as the inevitable process from chaos to improvement, with the underlying assumption that change is for the better. What “Progressive” assessments of history appear in Turner’s thesis? Does he identify any threats to that progress?
5) Think about America in the 1890s. What are the major social changes shaping peoples’ lives during this era? How does Turner’s thesis reflect these changes, try to make sense of them, or sound a warning call for ways in which America might be losing its way as a result of the changes?
6) What makes it possible for Turner to argue that the land on the other side of the “frontier” is “empty,” despite Native American and Spanish settlement in the region? Of what is this area really “empty?” How does this relate to the understanding of Manifest Destiny in the middle of the 19th century?
7) Examine the language used by Turner. What does his use of such terms as “savagery” reveal about his social philosophy? How is he a product of his times?
8) Who is Turner’s “normative” American? (Look it up!) What activities, identities, geographic locations, etc., reveal that American’s normative status? In what ways is Turner’s thesis a statement of American hegemony (Look it up!) at the moment of the 1890s, both with regards to that normative American and American territorial expansion?

EXTRA CREDIT for those who include a summary of criticisms of Turner’s thesis by other historians.

Written assignment for next class

In approximately 300 words, summarize the significance of the frontier in the development of Americans’ sense of identity. There are specific words I will be looking for, so …um, be like, you know, SPECIFIC.

Please write in either black or blue ink or type. Please do not email me this assignment.

The Significance of the Frontier in American History

Make sure you read this entire post. Should I even have to say that?

By the next B/C day (January 20-21) , you need to have carefully read Frederick Jackson Turner’s “Frontier Thesis,” otherwise known as “the Significance of the Frontier in American History.” This essay was originally given as a speech to the World’s Columbian Exposition in Chicago in 1893.

This thesis, mentioned in Chapter 26, is a pretty famous theory (still the subject of debate) upon the effect the frontier as an idea as well as a geographical reality had upon the development of the American character as well as American society. Historians of the American West often still describe themselves as Turnerians or anti-Turnerians in response to this famous thesis.

Make sure you read the speech he gave, NOT NOT NOT the entire book which is at the University of Virginia’s xroads site.

Here are some links for the thesis, so that you can get started right away:

This is the questions website, where you can get the questions you may want to do to help you understand the essay and to pass any quiz I may give you over this information.

The essay can be located here for the Primary Sources in American history version.

Or, if that link doesn’t work, here’s another copy from a Wisconsin authors website.

I would strongly suggest that if you are struggling, you try reading an explanatory essay on Turner and his ideas. This is a commentary on the significance of the speech from the PBS website on The West.

Chapter 26 Outlines

Outlines Chapter 26 APUSH

These are due Monday, January 7.

You will fill in the details using numerals and lower case letters.

I. Explain how Native Americans were eliminated as a threat to westward expansion.
—–A. Plain Indian culture
—–B. Why did warfare intensify between tribes? What role did US settlement policy play?
—–C. Treaties and the start of the Reservation system
—–D. Indian Wars with the US Army
—–E. How was the buffalo used as a means of control?
—–F. What was the Dawes Act and its effects?

** Go onto the internet and research what happened to the money the tribes were supposed to receive for their surrendered lands. Use keywords such as “Indian trust fund Interior Department” Write a summary in your own words for extra credit.

II. White settlers move into the Great Plains and Rockies
—–A. Homestead Act
—–B. Commercialization of farming
—–C. Cattle Industry
—–D. Mining Industry
—–E. Inventions and techniques that make the Plains profitable
—–F. Turner’s Frontier Thesis- what does impact does the frontier have on American culture and development?

III. Economic hardship for farmers
—–A. Deflation- what is it? Why is tt bad?
—–B. Causes of farm debt
—–C. Natural disasters
—–D. Fighting the trusts, especially the Railroads
—–E. The Grange—an attempt to organize farmers
—–F. Greenback Labor Party
—–G. Populism

An overview of Indian Treaty History in the Pcific Northwest

Go to this link and read the article on how centuries-old treaties with Indian nations still have ramifications today. Read paragraphs 1-17.

This assignment is worth extra credit.

Answer the following questions by Tuesday, January 16:
1. What was the original understanding on the part of the government regarding treaties?
2. What did the treaty-makers of the late 19th century expect to happen that would make treaties unnecessary? How did the government attempt to encourage this to happen?
3. How did the oral tradition (make sure you know what that means) in most tribes complicate treaty matters? Use the following quote in your response:
“A treaty, in the minds of our people, is an eternal word.”
4. What did Senator Hemry Dawes– author of the Dawes Act– say was the fundamental flaw in Indian culture which kept them from progressing? What did he mean?
5. What is the “supercitizenship” argument?
6. Explain, in 3-5 sentences including examples, why treaties and Indian-US relations can appear contradictory (see paragraph 17).

Shoshone press claim to parts of Nevada in 2007

Today’s newspaper so very conveniently provided an article which will help with today’s class discussion. The Shoshone Indian tribe claims treaties signed with the government are still in effect.

What’s at stake?

Royalties and final say over water, mineral and property rights for 93,750 square miles in the West.

LAS VEGAS — The way Allen Moss, a member of the Western Shoshone tribe, sees things, vast stretches of the West and all of their wealth belong to the Indians.

And despite being turned back in lawsuit after lawsuit for decades, the Shoshone leader says he won’t rest until the U.S. government honors a 19th-century treaty that, according to the tribe, entitles it to reclaim ancestral lands extending from California through Nevada and Utah to Idaho.

The lands include much of the Las Vegas area. The Shoshones say they are not interested in the city — too many people, too many problems. But they want the rugged desert hills that have yielded tens of billions of dollars worth of gold over decades.

At issue is the 1863 Treaty of Ruby Valley, which the Shoshone say gave the tribe — not the federal government — royalties and final say over water, mineral and property rights for land covering 93,750 square miles.

Moss, a representative to the eight-member tribal council in Nevada, estimates the number of Shoshone at 5,000 to 8,000.

The tribe has taken its case to courts, international tribunals and the public.

It sued to block the nation’s nuclear waste from being stored in Nevada. It succeeded in postponing government plans to explode a large conventional bomb. And it went all the way to Switzerland to ask the United Nations to intervene in the land dispute.

The tribe keeps losing on most fronts but hasn’t stopped appealing.

The Supreme Court ruled against the tribe in a case in 1979, saying the Treaty of Ruby Valley gave the U.S. trusteeship over the tribal lands. And in September, the Court of Claims in Washington accepted the government position that the treaty was “merely one of friendship and that it conveyed no treaty rights.”

Lawyer Bob Hager, who has been handling Western Shoshone cases for free since 1983, maintains the tribe is losing on technicalities. He said the tribal claim finally got traction — and attention — with the U.N. Committee for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination last year in Geneva.

The panel said the U.S. government is trampling on Shoshone rights.

Cynthia Magnuson, a U.S. Justice Department spokeswoman in Washington, said the government would not comment on the dispute because the case is still in court.

The government has offered tribal members money, arguing it is unrealistic to expect the U.S. to give back lands dotted with cities.

What was the real meaning and intention of Indian treaties with the US govenment? Make sure you understand the history of treaty- making from class discussion or research. I have posted a link in the post above which does a fine job explaining how the process has played out in the Northwest.