Heed the government's urging and "Go West" with the many people who accepted the challenge. Motivated by the ideal of Manifest Destiny - the right of the United States to expand across the continent - the U.S. government created laws that encouraged settlers to move west by offering free land. "News stories" describe significant events, including the independence of Texas and the Mexican–American War. Travel with settlers on the great migration routes, such as the Oregon Trail, and find out how the farmers who made up the bulk of the settlers lived in their new communities.
Go west seeking your fortune with those who came because of the land's rich natural resources. "News stories" reveal the hard lives of miners in the Rockies and the desperation of prospectors searching for riches in the gold rushes in California, Alaska, and on the Klondike River in the Yukon. Find out which was the wealthiest occupation - trapping for furs, logging in the forests of the northwest, or mining borax in Death Valley.
Go west to see how people in the towns lived, selling goods to the settlers, miners, and prospectors. Some became hugely successful, such as Levi Strauss, who began selling overalls and tents to prospectors in the California gold rush. Others scraped out a living by selling essential goods in the local general store, or by running stables, saloons, hotels, or newspapers. Some merchants made their money by shipping goods west or east across the continent. In some places, groups of settlers from different countries formed townships, such as the Chinese in San Francisco and the Mormons in Salt Lake City.
When the cattle trade moved west, herds took over vast expanses of land. Go west with the cowboys that rode the range and herded cattle along the trails from the southwest to the railheads. Discover how many of the cowboys were African Americans or Latin American vaqueros. Find out what life was like for the ranchers who owned the herds and how ranching practices sometimes led to armed conflict with neighboring farmers, such as in the Johnson County War.
As settlers came west, they discovered there were already people living on this "new" land. Discover how this mass invasion of settlers impacted the indigenous peoples of the West: their first contacts with explorers such as Lewis and Clark; the gradual encroachment of white settlers on their traditional lands; the enforced removal of native peoples to the West; the clashes with native peoples after the Civil War; resistance by native leaders such as Sitting Bull; and the end of Native American resistance in the 1890s.
Travel with some of the most famous pioneers who opened up the West, from the explorers Daniel Boone and Lewis and Clark to John C. Frémont and the trappers of Canada. This fascinating history features the explorers and entrepreneurs who made their marks - and their fortunes - by venturing west. News stories also highlight the development of communications such as the Pony Express and the invention of the telegraph, and the eventual building of the railroads.
From hiking in Big Bend National Park to learning the history of the Alamo, there's lots to see and do in Texas! Additional features include maps on each spread, state symbols, famous people, fact bubbles, and informative captions that highlight some of the things that make Texas special. A table of contents, sources for further research, a phonetic glossary, and an index support readers and extend learning.