Episode 11 - The Wild West


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Welcome back to The Emancipation Podcast Station - the place to hear about history researched and retold through the eyes of Middle school and HS students.

Last time on the show…

Today we discuss The American West. Let’s dive in.

How was Hayes different than other presidents?

Rutherford B Hayes - Presidential Podcast

    Gabe - Ruther B Hayes actually was the first president to celebrate easter thing he also promised only to go one term which he did and his wish was to restore faith that he says was lost since Lincoln was shot. Today historians refer to him as an average president. Skylar -Hayes won the electoral vote but Tilden won the popular vote, causing the Compromise of 1877, that we talked about in the previous episode. Rutherford B. Hayes was the 19th president of the United States. He served from 1877 to 1881. He was born in Delaware, Ohio on October 4th, 1822. He was part of the Republican Party. Before becoming president he was a lawyer, like former president Abe Lincoln. He was an abolitionist and mostly helped defend runaway slaves.

3.- Blake - Rutherford B. Hayes was the 19th president of the U.S. Hayes was the governor of Ohio before becoming the president. The election of 1876 was a disputed one as Hayes’ opponent Samuel J. Tilden had won the popular vote but Hayes had won the most electoral votes.

    - Ethan - His Vice President was William A. Wheeler. He took office at the end of the Reconstruction Era which was the literal reconstruction of the U.S. after the Civil War. Like Gabe said he tried to take over where Lincoln left off. Hayes was probably one of Lincoln’s greatest supporters. Ben- Unlike many iconic presidents, Rutherford was not self-taught, he graduated from Harvard and studied law. His first few cases were about runaway slaves.

6.Ricky-Rutherford B Hayes was an extrovert and love to be around people. He was part of the Republican Party and like everyone has already said, he won the popular vote.

    Hunter- Rutherford B. Hayes’ presidency was from 1877-1881 he was pretty popular as an extrovert like Ricky has said he won the popular vote and like Skylar has said he also won the electoral vote.` Elijah- Rutherford B. Hayes’ was a abolitionist. He fought in the civil war as part of the union army and fought against slavery. He served as capacity of judge advocate on the field headquarters for his time in the civil war.

The Gold Rush

    Gabe - The Gold was found by John Sumter in 1848 who found flakes in a river well that got out and everyone was coming for some gold in 1849 they were called forty niners

It even says that people were coming from asia australia europe and latin america for the gold well 1850 california became a state, established a government and joined the union. Most the prospectors made nothing some were successful most were not though there was no law enforcement sanitation crime rates were extremely high in goldfields and one camp even exploded. Most of the time the shopkeepers would make more than the actually prospectors because they charged so high for equipment and the shopkeepers became the rich ones.

    Skylar - The Gold Rush was a very big deal. Like gabe said people came from different countries like Asia and Europe. Over 300,000 people came from the surrounding states and countries. The new sources of transportation like steamboats and railroads were making it easier than ever to get to the gold, before it was welcomed into the Union as the 31st state on september 9th, 1850. - Blake - A lot of people know what the Gold Rush is but not many people know the true violence behind the money. As soon as gold was found in California people from all over migrated to hopefully strike rich and have a profitable life, unfortunately this was not the case for all miners. Because of this discovery of gold it led to immigration and these immigrants were treated terribly as Nativism had become a very common thing. - Ethan - Small amounts of people became rich. But people kept saying “oh we’re about to hit gold, we don’t need food”. Those people either got lucky or died trying. People kept getting robbed because of the area and there were few good places to stay because it was only recently discovered. Vigilante`s were the only way to keep people from getting robbed. Too bad Batman’s only a comic...or was he? (Ricky- like John Marston? :) are you using this?)

5.Ben- A popular event in history changed the state of California and its population, literally, they kill off most of California’s native population. After the gold rush many forty-niners moved to alaska or australia because gold was found in both places.

    Ricky-The California Gold Rush was a period in between 1848 and 1855 in Sutter's Mill.

7.Hunter- lamborghinis are pretty expensive Gabe nowadays cars like that can go up to nearly 600,000 dollars. Or at least the one i was looking at it was a convertible with a nice chrome black finish but enough about that. The cali gold rush was a really big one and it started a lot of robberies it went on for seven whole years. I know lol i've looked up prices lololol - gabe

    Elijah- The California Gold Rush was not just a gold mine literally but also a entrepreneur gold mine. The many ways people made money off of the miners and just the region is amazing. Levi jeans were made at the time for miners so the jeans could be worn more and go though more wear and tear. Women were working inns for the miners and made money that way. The whole gold rush was a big way for people to make money and live the american dream of manifest destiny.

Do you think he was a good or bad president?

Grover Cleveland - Presidential Podcast

    Gabe - Grover Cleveland was a democrat American politician and lawyer he was the only president in history to serve two non consecutive terms as 22nd president and the 24th president. He won the popular vote for three presidential elections 1884 1888 1892 He and woodrow wilson were the only two democrats to be elected during the era of republican. - Blake - The 22nd and 24th president of the United States was Grover Cleveland he was the only president to serve 2 non consecutive terms in history. Cleveland was a big guy around 300 pounds at the beginning of his first term he was the second largest president behind William Taft. Skylar - Grover Cleveland was born March 18th, 1837 in Caldwell, New Jersey. Cleveland didn’t get along with the media well because they wrote negative things about him. He didn’t get started in politics until he was 44, but he was a successful lawyer beforehand, just like Lincoln, like gabe said. He was part of the democratic party, and was a lawyer like Lincoln as well, just like Gabe said. He was elected as the mayor of Buffalo in 1881, Governor of New York in 1882, and then became president in 1883.

4.- Ethan - His full name was Stephen Grover Cleveland. He was the leader of the Bourbon Democrats. They opposed things like Free Silver. Free Silver was kind of the opposition against using silver in our coins, trying to maintain the gold standard. Other things they didn’t like were high tariffs, inflation, and imperialism. Imperialism was basically extending the country’s power through brute force and or diplomacy.

5.Ricky-Grover Cleveland was a big man as Blake has said, but he was comical and funny in his social interventions but, he was really really serious in his political convention.

    Ben- A big part of his life was cancer, he found out he had a tumor in the roof of his mouth in the June of 1893. But, the thing was, he didnt want the press to know, because cancer was so scary and deadly at the time. Luckily, he survived and got the tumor cut off on a boat. The cover up was that he got a dental procedure that removed two teeth, which was true, but it was because of the tumor removing process. He also died on June 24, 1908, and his famous last words were, “I have tried so hard to do right.”


    Elijah- Stephen Grover Cleveland, part of the democratic party. In his first term he vetoed 414 congressional bills. When he first started politics he was a sheriff in New York. After finishing his two terms he went into law and then ran for mayor. He became the mayor of Buffalo in 1882. After that he ran for governor and won. He kept moving forward as he went to president.

Who were the exodusters?

The Homestead Act and the exodusters

    Gabe - The Homestead Act was when the government gave away huge amounts of land to certain citizens you could not apply for a homestead if you beared arms against America which meant no confederate soldiers could apply and you had to be over 21. later they even allowed immigrants to apply you would get around 160 acres of land which is a lot i have seen 80 acres 160 is twice that its massive you got this land if you kept your promise which meant you would farm the land for 5 years. Even African Americans

Could apply for a Homestead Act.

    - Blake - The Exodusters were a group of people mostly former slaves who were subject to racial violence and repression when in reality all they wanted was a plot of land to start a family and live prosperously. Skylar - The Homestead Act was was put into place in 1862. It stated that anyone who wanted to become a citizen could have around 160 acres of land, if they would farm it. The big debate was between slave owners who thought only slave owners should get the new land in the west to farm on. There were only to things you had to promise other than promising to farm the land was to borne arms against the United States Government and to never give aid and comfort to it’s enemies.

4.- Ethan - The Exodus of 1879 was a mass migration of African Americans leaving the South. Thus, that group of people became known as the exodusters. Inspiration for the name came from the book of the Bible, Exodus. These people settled in modern day Colorado, Kansas, and Oklahoma.

5.Ricky-Exodusters were former slaves in the South who then moved into the West in two places like Oklahoma Kansas Colorado. The Homestead Act helped this. Because of the Homestead Act granting millions of acres of land Exodusters could build settlements. This was stuff like the Oklahoma land run.

    Ben- Almost a century after they started, the government gave over one and a half million homesteads away, which was 10% of all American land. Hunter- The homestead act was just three years before the gilded age so 1862. all U.S. citizens who did not bear arms against the U.S. were able to apply for a homestead wich like Gabe and multiple others have said they gave 160 whole acres to women, immigrants, freed slaves, and after a while ex-confederate soldiers. Elijah-The homestead act was signed May, 20th 1862 by President Lincoln. This granted 160 acres of land in the West as homestead to anyone who is the head of the family or someone who is 21 and is a citizen of the USA. This became a way for ex-confederate soldiers were able to apply for homestead as much as freed slaves.

The reservation system

    Gabe - The Appropriation Act of 1851 Made it where we could put indians in a reserve In oklahoma so they wouldn't come on land americans wanted to settle. Which also sparked the reservation system for reserves in other states for indians so the americans could settle and the indians could be in there own LITTLE spot. Skylar - The Indian Reservation System started in 1851 to keep the indians off the land these new “americans” wanted to settle on. The reservations were made so indians would have a small piece of land to live on. Even though they had been living there hundreds of years before the Europeans took over and pretended it was their land. I think it was really dumb to do this because it wasn’t really their land. They were basically treating them like slaves saying, that this is where you are going to live because these new settlers want to live there.

3.- Ethan - A lot of Native Americans didn’t like the system so thus started the Indian Wars. With a lot of bloodshed done, Americans stand victorious in relocating the Indians. Ulysses S. Grant tried bringing Indians into mainstream American society.

    - Blake - Oh boy well as a lot of people know five Native American tribes came together to form the Five Civilized Tribes which consisted of the Cherokee (represent), Creek, Chickasaw. Seminole and Choctaw. This was the main group of Native Americans that were relocated to modern day Oklahoma

5.Ricky-as everyone already said in 1851 the reservation of Indians was basically just the US saying you can stay on this land but we're taking this land. The Dawes Act in 1887 of dismantled reservation giving each tribe plots of land.

    Ben- After the Indian Removal Act it was a strange time for the Native Americans. The white people thought since they took whatever they wanted before, they could do it again. It was a dark time for American morals.They could govern their tribes but that didn’t protect them from poverty and other terrible things. Hunter- The reservation system was a system in which native americans were not allowed to

step foot in European-American settlements. During this time in American history the whites thought like Ben has said take what they want when they want it.

    Elijah- The Indian reservation system was put in place to keep land for whites that were moving westward with their philosophy as manifest destiny. The movement westward was always the american dream at the time and this was a way to do it. This caused a lot of hostility from the indians towards the expansionists. This is what helped cause the Indian wars.

Do you think this was good or bad for the Indians and why?

The Dawes Act

    Gabe - The Dawes act Passed by Grover Cleveland allowed Him to destroy the reservations and make indians come into american society which i think was better i mean did you hear what was happening in those reserves pretty bad stuff.

Then they would give land to certain indians and they became US citizens the rest i believe were classified as immigrants or something of that sort. This applied to all except the 5 civilised tribes but they didn't accept some free allotments of land so we passed the curtis act that allowed the Dawes act to apply to the 5 tribes and they also took the 5 tribes land and let white men settle there.

    Skylar - The Dawes Act was passed in 1887. Cleveland put this act into place to make indians come back into the American Society because like gabe said stuff was getting pretty bad. Instead of reservations they gave plots to certain tribes instead of having all different tribes in one small piece of land. I think this was a good idea because some tribes don’t get along with each other hence why they weren’t all one huge tribe, but rather many smaller groups of people that got along.

3.- Ethan - The Dawes Act was also known as Dawes Severalty Act or the General Allotment Act. It was signed on January 8th, 1887. It allowed president Grover Cleveland to take tribal lands from the Native Americans to make them American citizens. Cleveland basically was saying that the only way that they could earn citizenship was by giving up traditions.

    - Blake - More about my tribe yay. Originally the Dawes Act did not apply to the Five Civilized Tribes because they had already been cooperative with the government.

Ricky-the Dawes Act just basically made some Indian tribes U.S citizenship.

    Ben- The white people thought that to stop the conflict they must break up the land, because that is what most indians fought about at the time, I think. This made the native americans spread out, and eventually make them become normalized in today’s society.


    Elijah-The dawes acts basically helped native americans become US citizens but

at the same time stripped the native americans from their tribal land. This divided the european settlers and the native americans even more.

Why were so many immigrants flooding into America?

Chinese immigrants and Mexican Americans in the age of westward expansion

    Gabe - Mexicans and Chinese became colliding with americans in there westward expansion. Most of the Mexicans and Chinese had to make enclaves in places to get jobs without losing them because of racist people Skylar - There wasn’t many immigrants in 1820, but with the gold rush, new jobs, new choices, by 1880 there were over 800,000 people who came to the US who were just chinese. New mexicans were also coming into the country and both of these new races needed jobs, but a lot of shop owners would give them jobs because they were mexican or chinese.

3.- Ethan - In the 1820s the Chinese started slowly entering America. By 1849 there were only about 650 Chinese immigrants in America. But then the Gold Rush came into play and by 1852 25,000 Chinese immigrants were in America. In 1880, the Chinese immigrant population increased to 3,000

    - Blake - With westward expansion came conflict as Americans began fulfilling the manifest destiny and mining the California Gold Rush. The conflict was not only with the Natives but with Mexicans and Chinese.

Ricky-With westward expansion came the fight for land and rights. Las Gorass Blancas was a group of Mexican rebels that fought against United States westward expansion and Manifest Destiny principles. They burned down houses, crops, and killed people.

    Ben- The rural booms pulled in immigrants from far and wide, but once they sailed across the ocean, they found couldn’t get enough resources to go back to their own country or continent. This caused many of them to have to work very menial jobs since no other employers would hire them like Skylar said.


8.Elijah-During the 1890s the immigration of mexicans and chinese people were moving to america and becoming americans. But on both sides there was also a lot of resistance. As the Gold Rush ended americans populated california and were looking for outward expansion. This was to Mexico and China. Mexico had hostel movement towards(with the Mexican american war) americans and so did China (with the boxer rebellion)

Why did the Indians start the war?

The Indian Wars and the Battle of the Little Bighorn

    Gabe - The indian wars were wars fought because the indians did like being moved or have there land destroyed by americans so they fought massive battles in the end America won because they rock and nothing can destroy them and the indians were moved and lots of them died some which accepted land allotments became US citizens though so that's good. The last Indian war battle was at little bighorn where general custer made his great fail and got defeated by the indians which for some reason marked the ending of the indian wars Skylar - the Indian Wars were basically the whites against indians. They fought over land and natural resources. Of course the indians wanted it because it was their whole country before these new europeans came and settled there. The whites wanted it to build houses, new jobs, and farming, but the indians wanted it so they could live on it. They didn’t plan to make more jobs available to the new US citizens. - Ethan - The Battle of Little Bighorn(little contradiction) was also known as Custer’s Last Stand. That was the last battle of the Indian Wars. The Sioux(pronounced sue) Wars lasted from 1854 to 1890. In 1875, gold was discovered in Black Hills South Dakota. This brought miners into Indian territory. The Black Hills were hunting grounds for the Sioux, so the miners pleaded the US Army for protection. The Army responded with war, The Great Sioux Wars to be precise. It lasted from 1876-1877. - Blake - Oooo where do I start with you white people. The Indian Wars were a result of White People attempting to fulfill the manifest destiny by expanding westward and moving the Native Americans out.

5.Ricky- The battle of Little Bighorn was basically

6.ben- You can really tell how hard the Indians fought for their land, they had the power to keep up against the US military forces that attacked them, I think it’s because they just knew the land.


    Elijah-The Indian Wars was a revolt of the Indians against the white people with there manifest destiny. This was a war for land and resources. The whites were trying to move more westward and the indians resisted and that is where there war started.

What happened at the battle of wounded knee?

The Ghost Dance and Wounded Knee

    Gabe - The Ghost Dance was a way for the indians to remember there tribal ways after the americans came and destroyed everything and the battle of wounded knee was were americans 7th cavalry slaughtered indiscriminately hundreds of sioux men women and children. Skylar - when there was a solar eclipse on january 1st, 1889 a shaman who was apart of the Paiute tribe said God showed him love peace through a dance called the Ghost Dance. Like gabe said it was a way for the indians to remember the dead and they could actually see their family who had passed away.

3.- Ethan - On December 29th, 1890, the US 7th Cavalry Regiment ambushed a Sioux Indian camp nearby Wounded Knee Creek. The Regiment tried to disarm the Sioux, but while doing so a shot was fired and that sent the Sioux into chaos, while the US Army massacred many men, women, and even children. These soldiers were exonerated and 20 soldiers were given medals of honor.( People can call me crazy, but I support almost whatever the US Army, Air Force, and Navy do. They were just doing their jobs, and they did them well.)

    - Blake - I’ll be talking about the aftermath of this and how you white people still couldn’t keep us down. After the wounded knee massacre the unit that had caused the scuffle had been pardoned and some had even been given a Medal Of Honor the most prestigious of military awards. But even after everything there are still over 2.9 million Natives in the U.S. Ben- You can cut down a tree but it’s even harder to get the roots out. The ghost dance spread a little bit of hope throughout the Indian culture, causing a pulse of resistance, the wars were starting to end, and the indians weren’t gonna give up.



    Elijah- The ghost dance was a vision of love and peace that was from God. This was a movement that was very spiritual. This was all about reuniting the indian tribes and coming together. The goal was banishment of all evil in the world.

That’s all we have time for today. Thanks for joining us in this emancipation from the box, that is learning.

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