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american west coursework

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Bethan Turner -Why were towns in the West often violent and lawlessness places? As I have shown in question 1 there were many problems with the newly set up towns in the west. One of the main problems with these towns was the violence that took place. In this essay I will suggest the reasons why these towns were such violent places. The west was full of lawlessness due to the fact that it was a huge area. The west was a vast area and transport was very slow it was difficult to enforce law and order, so if somebody had committed a crime it would be almost impossible to catch them this was one of the reasons why criminals went to the west and also the ...read more.


One of the main problems was the social factors this was because when gold was first discovered in the West, in 1848, this encouraged a huge group of people started migrating towards the West in the hunt for gold. This caused a lot of violence in the West as different ethnic groups such as the blacks, Chinese, Europeans, Indians, and Mexicans were forced to live together, this also lead to many racism problems. Fights broke out and many mining towns banned Mexicans and Chinese and many Indians were simply slaughtered. This was a problem because lots of racial attacks would break out and many of the people would be killed or slaughtered. ...read more.


Cavalry on the orders of the President of the United States. This was how bad the economic problems had got. Another of the problems were the vigilantes this was because as miners set up their own courts to deal with crime or disputes. Vigilante groups often lynched people and operated above the law. Sometimes even the sheriffs were criminals, like Henry Plummer of Bannack. The law and order was also a problem because of the gambling, drinking and prostitution were rife. Many were murdered as claims were stolen (claim-jumping). There were no courts or police to prevent crime. I conclude that towns in the west were often violent and lawless places, the main reasons of that is the social factors, the economic factors, the government and the vigilantes. ...read more.

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