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American West q1

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There were many reasons why early settlements in the west were difficult to establish and once they were established, caused difficulties for those living there. One of the key points that made living in a newly set up town difficult and dangerous was the lack, or non-existence of law and order. Newly set up towns were normally built quickly and for a specific reason such as the gold rush or for cattle farming. This meant that there was competition for the better positions to build dwellings, or in the case of mining towns the best mining pitches. This also combined with the fact that people didn't just come from all over the country, but from all over the world to settle in the west, so no-one knew anyone and more importantly, no-one trusted anyone. ...read more.


The vastness of the west also meant that groups of criminals were ripe. Men and women who thrived on a crime ridden lifestyle could cause chaos in a town and sometimes control it with fear, or if there was any kind of law and order in said town, they could simply disappear into the countryside, never to be seen again. Some examples of this are shown by source D shows an artist's impersonation of a bank raid in Northfield, Minnesota in 1876. Even though it is an artist's impersonation so it could be exaggerated to make the picture more exciting to the viewer. It does give us some insight into the problems surrounding law and order in the west. ...read more.


It tells us that miners built their own cabins and did their own cooking. Some of the cabins were well kept, however some were not. There was an outbreak of typhoid in the winter and many people fell ill. Houses were cramped together and if there was any dirty or infected water then it could easily pass between the houses and spread quickly. In conclusion I feel that although there were other reasons, the main reason that settling in a new town in the west was the poor or even non-existent law and order. Joseph Williams 11RW Abertillery Comprehensive School Law and Order in the American West Assignment One Question 1: Describe the problems of living in a newly set up town in the west. ...read more.

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