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American West

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1. Describe the problems of living in a newly set up town in the West: The problems of living in a newly set up town in the west, were caused partly because of the speed of which these towns grew up. This caused disruption of systems, which had developed in the east. Systems needed to be quickly set up to prevent law and order problems Living in the west was difficult. People were faced with a different problem each day, which made it difficult to set up home there. People setting up home in the new towns were literally stating from scratch, there was nothing there to start with. The areas that were allocated to build a town upon were totally secluded, other cities and towns were a long distance away. This could be the cause of many problems which will be described For starters the in the west there was public domain, which meant that everybody had the right to settle anywhere this caused competition and confrontations amongst civilians, but looking beyond this when the towns were set up people were faced with more problems. ...read more.


Vigilantism was allowed to grow and outside interference was prevented. By encouraging vigilantism more tension was created which resulted in more crimes. Geographical factors include that the West was a vast area and transport was very slow meaning it was difficult to enforce law and order, and there were no enforced boundaries meaning that there were no specific areas of jurisdiction. As herds of cattle roamed freely on the ranged they were an easy target for rustlers. Most mining camps grew up on isolated mountain regions on the far edge of vast and thinly administered federal territories. Sometimes, therefore, it was a long time before any federal officials or lawman reached the camp. The most well know crime that occurred in mining towns was claim jumping which was when late arrivals to mining sites tried to steal land other's had already claimed. Political factors include that, as there was no money spent there was a shortage of reliable law-enforcement officers. There were many different ethnic groups there were many racial differences, plus no one was willing to forget the events of the civil war. ...read more.


In San Francisco alone it is estimated that there were 10,000 prostitutes in the 1880's. However some women did a lot to help in new towns on the west. They campaigned for curbs on alcohol that was wrecking many families and even managed to persuade Kansas to introduce prohibition in 1860. They also helped to change the value and attitudes of people in the West playing a vital role in educating children and setting up churches and persuading their men to attend. The woman were particularly kind, leaving their own work to care for those who were ill. This shows the role they played in health and care. Also lack of community facilities stepped ordinary settlers, of which women were often leaders. Both vigilantes and women played an important part in the new towns of the West. They both caused problems and solved them but I think that women were more influential in solving problems than vigilantes. All that vigilantes prevented was lawlessness and violence and come loss of money from the state. However women helped prevent lawlessness and violence by introducing new moral codes and they also prevented town ceasing to function as they ran important business while men were working. ?? ?? ?? ?? Katja Rackin GCSE History Coursework ...read more.

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