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American West q3

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With the overwhelming number of problems and difficulties of settling in new towns in the west, people looked to help from any sources they could find it. One of the biggest problems was the lack of law and order and the resultant high level of crime. Criminals could control towns by fear robbing and killing whomsoever they saw fit. The law abiding citizens of the west grew weary of the high rates of crime and took it upon themselves to deal with criminals because the government wouldn't. They formed groups calling themselves Vigilantes. They had a fight fire with fire approach to dealing with criminals, choosing to publicly hang criminals without any real trial, and then display their bodies as a warning to other criminals. Their methods were effective, they drove criminals from their towns and word spread quickly and no new criminal gangs would travel to a town with a strong vigilante group. ...read more.


They were tried and sentenced to death in front of 200 miners; even though they cried for an interpreter they were ignored. So even though they were stopping crime and scaring off criminals, because of their poor methods of conduct, they regularly convicted innocent people and once they've been hung, they cannot be pardoned of their conviction. While modern films may portray women in the west as no more than sleazy prostitutes or bar maids, they are rarely portrayed as leaders, but women did have a large impact on shaping the Western Frontier. Women in Wyoming successfully earned the vote, fifty years before it was achieved in Britain. There were also women criminals; Pearl Hart for example was the west's last stagecoach robber. Once a territory had 60,000 inhabitants it could become a state, so territories were happy to accept newcomers, be they men or women. However, they didn't simply want the clich�d prostitutes and ex-cons; they wanted women who could be a positive part of their community. ...read more.


They took action not only by preaching the evils of drink, but by openly acting those who distributed it. Women would also help during periods of illness. In western mining towns, when the men fell sick, the women would stay at home and look after them, perhaps this is one of the reasons that even though many people fell sick, most of the pulled through and few of them died. In conclusion I feel that vigilantes were generally reckless in their actions and although they did reduce crime, they caused a lot of problems in the process. Despite the generalisation that all women in the west were prostitutes, women were actually a key part of the west and helped to build it into a strong functioning society. Joseph Williams 11RW Abertillery Comprehensive School Law and Order in the American West Assignment One Question 3: Analyse the Part Played By I. Vigilantes and II. Women in Dealing With the Problems of Living in Early Towns in the West ...read more.

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