Lastly, what laws and rules were set in place for these early settlers to follow to keep order here? In cattle towns such as Abilene, Ellsworth, Wichita, Dodge City, and Caldwell the homicide rates were extremely low. From the years 1870-1885 the murders were recorded. In this 15 year span, only 45 homicides were recorded. That averages out to about 3 murders in the whole region. (Document 2) Also the homicides were recorded per 100,000 people. Although the homicide rate may seem high in mining towns such as Bodie, California and Leadville, Colorado, you must consider that in these small towns the average population is only about 3000. Document 3) The Old West also known as the “Great American Desert” extended from southern Canada to Northern Mexico. (Document 1) The Kansas-Nebraska Act of 1854 was proposed by Stephen A. Douglas of Illinois. It created the territories of Kansas and Nebraska and allowed the settlers of those territories to decide weather it would be a slave or free territory through popular sovereignty. The problems that lie in this were that Native Americans were already there and were becoming more and more agitated by the encroaching settlers. So in response they fought for their land and what was rightfully theirs.
One example of them fighting back for their land was the Battle of Beecher’s Island, where General Sheridan and Lieutenant Beecher were sent to stop Natives from killing settlers and kidnapping their wives and children. (Document 6) From 1860 to 1890 the U. S. government had thousands of conflicts and small altercations with the natives. Among these people were the Apache, Sioux, and the Cheyenne. . Rumors of arable land and gold drew droves of white settlers into the Dakotas. One major battle recorded here in 1876 was the battle of Little Bighorn.
From the very beginning of American history, settlers have poorly treated the Native Americans. As some people know, “poorly” is an understatement. The treatment of the indigenous people was horrible during the 1800s from being forced to move west, having laws made against them by the government, and mass murder, even though that isn’t what our history books like to tell us today. In 1804, fur ...
Leaders such as Sitting Bull and Crazy Horse formed alliances to fend off Custer’s Calvary and successfully annihilated them in this battle where only 72 Natives were killed and 265 cavalry-men were killed. (Document 8) Unfortunately, such enormous victories like this were rare amongst the Native Americans. Many times, the most violent part of the Old West was not between the settlers, but the settlers and the U. S. Calvary against the Native Americans. The Department of Veteran Affairs has only counted a total of 1000 soldiers dying in relation to Indian wars. (Document 7) In many cases the U. S. rmy was responsible for countless massacres of the Indian people. One such massacre was the Sand creek massacre where members of the Colorado Militia attacked a peaceful village of Cheyenne, killing at least 160 men, women, and children. Another major massacre committed against the Indians was in December of 1890 at Wounded Knee, South Dakota where members of the U. S. 7th Calvary attacked and killed between 130 to 250 Sioux men, women, and children. Although there were always reports of Indian attacks, most of these were rumors and actually only the settlers’ anxiety of being attacked. (Document 9)
According to old western movies and television series the Old West had no or a very weak form of government. In such depictions of the Old West there would be constant bank robberies, shootouts, and showdowns between two disagreeing parties. With such an untamed mass of people certainly this lax form of law would easily allow for murder, assault, and other forms of villainy. This was not the case at all. One great example of this was in Green River City, which was in the Dakota Territory, a city ordinance was passed in 1868 that was far from the impression of being a weak or non-existent government form.
This ordinance expressed clearly that guns of any kind concealed was unlawfully and that the shooting or discharging of guns was unlawful in this city. Amongst this city’s other strict ordinances, it also stated that gambling, prostitution, public intoxication, and riding horses faster than six miles per hour was unlawful. (Document 5) With these strict laws set in place, there was no way for such outlandish presumptions of the Old West to be even thought of. . Rumors of arable land and gold drew droves of white settlers into the Dakotas. Overall, the Old West was not a violent place to live.
The grim years that followed the conclusion World War Two began an entire new era of hostility that was to widen the gap between the major powers of East and West. With Germany well and truly defeated, the victorious Allied forces of Britain, the USA and Russia were left to decide on the occupation of Germany. It was decided that Germany was to be divided into three zones, one for each country ...
Based on charts it does not tell an accurate story of the west because of the small population at the time of their counting. Also most of the “violence” that went on in the Old West was actually against the Native Americans already living there who were merely fighting for their home or who were brutally massacred. Also the myth that the Old West had no law is completely untrue because in reality most towns had a strict set of ordinances that each citizen was to adhere to. So this gun-slinging, crime-ridden, violent “wild-west” that Hollywood portrays to us is not at all what really happened.