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Westward Expansion

Important vocabulary for Westward Expansion unit.

TermDefinition
agriculture raising plants and animals for food
Battle of Little Big Horn Native American victory over United States soldiers, led to the United States becoming tougher on Native Americans aka Custer's Last Stand
boomtowns towns in the U.S. in the late 1800s that grew up "overnight" when gold was discovered there
buffalo large shaggy-haired brown bison of North American plains
cattle drive A way cowboys moved large herds of cattle from ranches in Texas north to towns along the railroads in the late 1800s.
climate weather over time
coolie name for a Chinese immigrant working on the Transcontinental Railroad
environment the external surroundings in which a plant, animal, or human lives, which tend to influence its development and behavior
exodusters African-American pioneers who fled the South to farm on the Great Plains.
Dawes Act A federal law intended to turn Native Americans into farmers and landowners by providing cooperating families with 160 acres of reservation land for farming or 320 acres for grazing.
frontier an unexplored area
Gold Rush sudden movement of many people to an area where gold has been found
immigrant a person who comes to a country to live permanently
policy an officially accepted set of rules or ideas about what should be done
Pony Express Service begun in 1860 that used a relay of riders on horses to deliver mail from Missouri to California in ten days.
ranch A large farm, especially in the western United States, on which large herds of cattle, sheep, or horses are raised.
range wars fights between farmers and ranchers over land
reservations Land set aside by the government for Native Americans - they were forced to move there.
Russian Wheat wheat brought by Russian immigrants that thrived in the harsh climate of the Great Plains.
sodbusters nickname for Great Plains farmers because they had to cut through sod to reach the fertile ground underneath.
soddy house made out of sod on the Great Plains because their was a scarcity of lumber and stone
subsidy money that is usually paid by a government to keep the price of a product or service low or to help a business or organization to continue to function
scarcity when the amount of something is not enough to meet the demand
surplus the amount that remains when need is satisfied (having more than you need)
technology use of new ideas to make tools that improve people's lives
Transcontinental Railroad a railroad built to connect the East Coast to the West Coast
Wounded Knee Last major conflict between Native Americans and the United States army - accidental discharge of a weapon led to a panic and the Army opened fire, massacring nearly all the Native Americans there
Homestead Act Law offering free land to people willing to start new farms on the Great Plains signed in 1862 (160 acres)
cowboy person who worked with cattle on ranches in the West
miners people who dig for gold or other precious metals or minerals
pioneer an early settler of a region
Created by: mrsgannon
 

 



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