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Positive/Negative Experiences on the Development of the West

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As the development of the west was put into progress, there were plenty of the positive and negative aspects that were come across just like any sort of development would have. The Native Americans played the biggest role in the experiences of western development, with both being positive and negative. The Native Americans caused many unwanted battles as well as much stress and resistance with the whites. On the other hand, they opened the eyes to the whites with some of their beliefs as well as how to survive. The farmers also played an important role in the development. As they provided food and some livestock for some sorts of people, they also had much more demand for land as conditions grew worse and the population rose. Also with land, the miners caused much more of the issues with the whites besides the Native Americans.

They caused death with unsuspected problems in the mines as well as diseases and being intoxicated with fumes. However, they were the men who had brought the majority of gold and other wanted minerals to any who could afford them. As everyone from different backgrounds came together with one goal, they soon found that just settling to find gold would not be even as close to what they had hoped it could be with uncooperative Native Americans, demanding farmers, and the deaths and injuries of miners. The Native Americans were originally from all over the North American continent. The Native Americans of the west, mainly the Sioux, were a very loyal and traditional people. As the new settlers kept moving in consecutively, the Natives began to have more issues with them. At first, they were supportive of their want to discover more gold and they agreed to help them if their land was respected. However, the settlers had gone too far with the Native’s land and demanded they took it and made it into new towns for the miners (Bushong).

The Native American’s were fed up with being forced off of their land and they brutally fought back with the settlers. The chiefs from different tribes came together with their people and fought nearly constantly with the settlers and people of both sides were killed. In the end, most of the Natives were forced onto a reservation where they learned to be like the whites or they escaped to lands such as in Canada (Flavin). Along with the land, the farmers played a big part in the development. The farms they were building started as semi-successful farms where there was enough for the farmer and his family along with just a few others. As the population began to grow, so didn’t the farms (only by a small percentage compared to the new incoming population). The land given to the farmers was partly taken from the Native Americans and the rest from land that was “free land,” meaning it wasn’t specifically owned by a people. As more settlers filed in the area, the demand for farmed foods was increasing.

The main problem with this is that as the farmers wanted the more land, more farmers were coming in to try and make their own livings (Western Frontier Life). As one of the more main reasons that the new settlers were coming to the west, the miners played the second biggest experience to the development. With the reason for settling, to find gold and new land, miners were the ones who would more likely ‘strike it rich’ because they had the better of the locations to mine the gold. Besides getting the gold and minerals wanted by the settlers, the miners also had one of the worst ends after being settled. Being a miner meant that the men risked their lives every day to be exposed to deadly fumes and situations just to try and find just a small amount of gold; most times the amount of gold each miner found wasn’t even close to what they needed to find to break even with their spending.

As more miners were moving in and the mines they were in had been searched to the better of their abilities at the time, they began blowing dynamite into the sides of hills everywhere to try and get better luck. The miners had absolutely no patience with the Native Americans while they were trying to find their gold (Westward Expansion). Even though the Westward Expansion became a success over the long run, it was a very long and painful process to go through. Just like the wars during the final settlement of the East and Colonies, the wars in the West were just and bad and possibly even more brutal for the fact that the Native Americans were extreme fighters and weren’t fighting their own sons, brothers, or fathers. As the most wanted resources, mainly land, was becoming less available as the massive amounts of people kept arriving and were trying to start at the same points as those who had been there a while had.

Works Cited

Flavin, Francis. University of Texas at Dallas, n.d. Web.
Bushong, Mary. “The Native Americans and European Settlers.” Angelfire.com.
N.p., n.d. Web.
11 Dec. 2012.
“Western Frontier Life.” – People, Native, Americans, and Farmers. N.p., n.d. Web. 11 Dec.
“Westward Expansion.” Westward Expansion. American Antiquarian Society, n.d. Web. 11 Dec.

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