Teacher resources and professional development across the curriculum

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America's History in the Making

Taming the American West

A Visit from the Old Mistress. 1876. dup of 2131

After Reconstruction, America experienced an "era of incorporation" with mass social movements, tremendous economic change, and national consolidation. Settlers migrated West and encountered landscapes of spectacular beauty, but faced daunting challenges in farming the arid land. Bitter conflicts also arose with Native Americans and Mexicans, who had occupied the land for centuries, over land ownership. After years of hardship, citizens became disgruntled with Republican policies and many turned to the Populist Party, whose ideas anticipated the development of the twentieth-century state.Start Here

Themes

The Freedmen's Bureau

The decades after Reconstruction brought bitter conflicts over land, resources, and labor—some of the most dramatic of which happened in the West. More

Arrival of Negro family in the lines

Landscapes in the arid West challenged newcomers' assumptions about an endless, bountiful frontier. More

A golden spike was driven at Promontory Point, Utah

The unintended consequence of Reconstruction policies was a call for a fairer and more humane economy, foreshadowing twentieth-century government reforms. More

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