Trans-Mississippi DBQ Essay

660 Words3 Pages
Exploitation and economic abuse was not uncommon in the Trans-Mississippi west from 1850-1900, even though the West was promoted as a land of opportunity by the United States Government. To start off, many Native Americans felt they felt were forcibly diminished by the white man. “When you first came we were very many, and you were few; now you are many, and we are getting very few, and we are poor.” Not only that, but the Native American minority was squeezed like a lemon. “We are driven into a very little land, and we want you now, as our dear friends, to help us with the government of the United States. We would like to know why commissioners are sent out there to do nothing but rob us and get the riches of this world away from us…” The…show more content…
Hydraulic mining scarred the face of the terrain beyond recognition. Hills melted away and disappeared; much of the land mass was being distributed in the riverbeds below; whole valleys were filled with clean washed boulders, and other rocks left behind in the general debacle; possibly fertile land was being defaced in cold blood (Document F). Amongst the unfortunate were of course the farmers, whose occupation it was to feed the entire American population. The profits that were to be realized from national nourishment were mostly grabbed by manipulative railroad companies, who took advantage of farmer’s distance both from the buying and selling markets. Rates were often four times as large as Eastern rates. No state west of Missouri was able to combat the high rates (Document I). Not every year was profitless for the farmer. C. Coffin writes in “Harper’s New Monthly Magazine” of his successful season: “Since the furrow was turned in the Red River Valley, there has been no failure of crops from drought, excessive rains, blight, mildew, or other influence of climatology. With good tilth, the farmer may count upon a net return of from eight to ten dollars per acre per annum.” A season with nature hindering with the crop therefore produces a “wide margin of profit” (Document
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