Author Box
Articles Categories
All Categories
Articles Resources

The Wild West, A Glorious Age of America

February 13, 2012 | Comments: 0 | Views: 163

What is The Wild West

The Wild West is the word that that has been coined for a period in American history that coincided with the movement of the white settlers west wards. It was a turbulent period and dominated by gunmen, sheriffs or lawmen, red Indians and the settlers themselves. It was the age that opened America to development and perhaps what the USA is today would never have been in case this period had not existed.

This entire period was marked by courage, perseverance, adventure, inventiveness and strength of purpose. It was in fact in some ways the golden age of America and hundreds of movies and books are testimony to this period as the age that made America.

The Settlers and their Wagons

The white settlers who came from Britain started moving westwards from the eighteenth century onwards This was virgin land and home to the Red Indian tribes like the Apache's, Cherokees and others. Obviously there was bound to be a clash between the settlers and the Red Indians and hence the settlers travelled in lines of wagons called the wagon trail. The fighting was bitter, but the Red Indian tribes were defeated as the settlers pressed forward. This was also the period when local laws were framed and is the genesis of the federal system of Government in the USA, where states frame their own laws.

Lawmen and Gunslingers

The period also brought to the forefront the rustler or cattle thief and the gunslinger who wished to make some money by his gun alone. To counter them local lawmen emerged called sheriffs who also made a name for themselves as fearless fighters and tamers of these gun slingers.

Outlaws and law men were the mainstay of the Wild West. The odd thing is that both these categories of men, one for the law and one against it were in fact interchangeable. Thus a lawman in one state was an outlaw in another state and vice versa.

Some of the outlaws made a name for themselves that still lives today. One of these was Billy the Kid. He was shot dead in 1881 by his friend a sheriff named Pat Garret and mind you he was only 21 and had shot 21 men by that time. In 1881 again in Tombstone, Arizona Marshall Wyatt Earp and his brothers along with Doc Holliday shot to death the Clanton gang members in a famous shoot out at the O.K Corral. And in 1882, another notorious outlaw, Jesse James, who is also a legend, was shot in the back by a close relative who wished to collect a reward of $ 5000 offered for him at that time. Jesse James and his gang had terrorized the west for close to 2 decades.

The Civil War

The Wild West got a further impetus after the end of the American civil war in 1865. Overnight some of the big plantation owners were reduced to penury and many took up the gun to become outlaws. Some of the outlaws were from good family and as they travelled westwards they left behind a trail of murder, bank robberies and looting.

The Rail Road

Another factor that opened up the Wild West was the rail road. The rail line was pushed forward from the east (New York) to San Francisco, a distance of almost 6000 km. As the rail line was built it was attacked by both Red Indians and gunmen. Great credit is to be given to the fearless rail road men who went out into uncharted lands. In fact this is another romantic episode of this period.

One gang who specialized in rail road hold ups was Robert Parker and Harry Lombaugh also known as the Butch Cassidy and the Sundance kid. They started their activities in 1899, but by 1901 the pressure of the law men had an effect and the duo fled to South America. This was the end of the outlaw and the Wild West, which by then had been tamed.

The Red Indian Wars

The Wild West was also the age of the Red Indian wars with the US Army. Thus men like Davy Crockett, James Bowie and General Custer have made a name for themselves. It is worth noting that the US government signed over a thousand treaties with the Red Indians, but each and every one of them was broken resulting in a war led by Geronimo. He was also defeated and he surrendered and was confined to a reservation, areas that were earmarked for Red Indian tribe's men. These are still in existence at a lot of places. These are referred to as 'reservations.'

The United States Army - Building Legends

The US Army also built up its legends during this age. There were wars with Mexico and Red Indians. The Mexicans were defeated and California captured. One of the famous battles of the period was the stand of the US army against a horde of Mexicans at the Alamo. It is a hallowed spot in American history.

The Wild West was an era that has no parallel anywhere else in the world. It was a romantic era and has been immortalized by writers like Zane grey. This was a period where the men was strong and masculine with a macho image and the women were lovely but hardy companions. The west could not have been what it is without these hardy women who travelled with their lovers and husbands into the wilderness. This is the spirit of adventure and the white man must take credit for being in the fore front. One spin-off from this period is the lax gun laws in the USA. Everybody can own a gun just with some identification and the weapons can be bought across the counter.

Lastly I have no doubt that America would not have been what it is without the Wild West. It affected the Americans with a dare-devil spirit and the spill off is the shooting of Osama bin laden. I am glad such an age existed. Let's see the movies and read the books of this period to savor that glorious age, for it will never come again. Gone with the Wind?

Source: EzineArticles
Was this Helpful ?

Rate this Article

Article Tags:

Wild West


Red Indian


Red Indians


Rail Road


Indian Tribes


Red Indian Tribes


Jesse James

It is true that a photo booth hire cannot actually replace a camera but you will never run short of photographs if you think of photo hire.It is true that a photo booth hire cannot actually replace a

By: Simon Liva l Arts & Entertainment > Photography l November 21, 2012 lViews: 269

Well-known director Pascal Laugier is once again all set to frighten his fans with another dreadful affair, The Tall Man. The spooky thriller has been produced by Clément Miserez, Kevin DeWalt,

By: rose jasmin l Arts & Entertainment > Movies TV l November 02, 2012 lViews: 262

The Good Wife is an American legal drama series. It was first broadcasted on CBS on 22nd September, 2009. It is the creation of Robert King and Michelle King. It is produced by the Kings, Ridley and

By: Monu Mani l Arts & Entertainment > Movies TV l November 01, 2012 lViews: 259

ICarly in an American teens show created by Dan Schneider who is also the executive producer of the show. this show is about a girl named Carly Shay who along with her best friends Sam and Freeddie

By: elvis l Arts & Entertainment > Movies TV l October 25, 2012 lViews: 265

Love stories are supposed to be full of romance, seduction and enduring love. As these funny love stories show, however, these stories can also be filled with laughter. Fortunately, shared laughter

By: Jasmine Montford l Arts & Entertainment > Humor l October 25, 2012 lViews: 312

Lost is an American television science fictional series that is full of mystery, adventure and supernatural drama. It was originally broadcasted on ABC from September 22, 2004 to May 23, 2010,

By: ramandeep l Arts & Entertainment > Movies TV l October 25, 2012 lViews: 337

To publicize national prestige and strengthen the bonds with foreign countries, Zheng He was sent to travel to the west under Emperor Chengzu's order for seven times, and he sailed with a fleet of 62

By: Young M Qingweil Arts & Entertainment > Humanitiesl June 18, 2012 lViews: 295

In a recent discussion of politics, a friend asked me if I knew what signs of trouble appeared during the Pax Romana that weakened Rome. I had an idea about the decline and fall of Rome, but he

By: Curtis D Bradleyl Arts & Entertainment > Humanitiesl June 14, 2012 lViews: 271

What was the crisis of the Third Century" and how did Emperors Diocletian and Constantine respond to it? Simply put, the crisis of the Third Century was the end of the Roman Empire. After AD 212, the

By: Curtis D Bradleyl Arts & Entertainment > Humanitiesl June 14, 2012 lViews: 289

Church planting is hard work. Let God give you direction.

By: Paul L Getterl Arts & Entertainment > Humanitiesl June 13, 2012 lViews: 229

The complete story of Rome must take into account the result of empire-building for the Roman Republic. As the Romans grew more comfortable with their form of government, and the aristocrats more

By: Curtis D Bradleyl Arts & Entertainment > Humanitiesl June 13, 2012 lViews: 249

A friend once asked me if I knew what kind of government and society Rome had in the Republican Period? We were talking about politics and he wanted to school me on some of the finer points of

By: Curtis D Bradleyl Arts & Entertainment > Humanitiesl June 13, 2012 lViews: 219

The Second World War ended in 1945 by the dropping of two Atomic Bombs on Japan. This feat itself needs scrutiny and is the start of the decline of the West. Japan, it has been conclusively proved

By: Madan G Singhl News & Society > Internationall April 06, 2012 lViews: 118

Tarzan is a fictional character created by a writer with an unlikely name; Edgar Rice Burroughs. To him must go the credit for creating a legend that has entertained young and old for a hundred

By: Madan G Singhl Arts & Entertainment > Humanitiesl February 26, 2012 lViews: 255

On 13 Feb 1849 the famous battle of Chillianwala took place. The Sikh army under General Sher Singh Attariwala had inflicted a defeat on the British army led by General Sir Hugh Gough. Chillianwala

By: Madan G Singhl News & Society > Militaryl February 22, 2012 lViews: 155

When I was undergoing the Staff Course at Wellington, I was introduced to the name of General Count Von Schieffelin (1833-1913). A deeper study conveyed to me that he was one of the most important

By: Madan G Singhl News & Society > Militaryl February 19, 2012 lViews: 116

India has not much of a tradition in the field of sports and hardly any in the men's track and field events. It is hard to reconcile that a nation of over a billion people has a paucity of heroes in

By: Madan G Singhl Recreation & Sports > Track and Fieldl January 25, 2012 lViews: 191

  I must confess that two things which I have loved are t western films and books of that turbulent period referred to as the 'wild west' in American history of the 19th century. This was a period

By: Madan G Singhl Book Reviews > Westernsl November 03, 2011 lViews: 137