Cattle Ranching (1850's-1880's)


GCSE History Mind Map on Cattle Ranching (1850's-1880's), created by Ellen Laidlaw on 03/17/2014.
Ellen Laidlaw
Mind Map by Ellen Laidlaw, updated more than 1 year ago
Ellen Laidlaw
Created by Ellen Laidlaw about 9 years ago

Resource summary

Cattle Ranching (1850's-1880's)
  1. Beginnings
    1. Cattle brought to America by European Invaders
      1. By 1850's Texas was the major centre of Cattle Ranching
        1. After Civil War (1860-65) cattle herds had grown massively. Around 5 million in Texas.
        2. Cattle Drives
          1. Took place in Summer
            1. Cattle was worthless unless it could be sold for meat. Best market was in the East.
              1. Homesteaders blocked route to East. Didn't want the Longhorns to spread their Texas Fever.
                1. Goodnight-Loving took route West to sell cattle to US army, reservations and railroad workers.
                  1. Railroads enabled cattle to be transported from the West to the East.
                  2. Cowboys
                    1. Groups of men (often Southerners/Mexicans/Blacks) who looked after the cattle, controlled ranch boundaries (line riding,) branded cattle, kept away strays and rustlers and organised cattle drives.
                      1. Portrayed in films as vigilant, lawless, dangerous drunkards. Actually were loyal, hardworking men with few luxuries.
                        1. Dangerous life - injuries whilst branding, stampedes, bad weather, Indian Attacks etc
                          1. Equipment included a STETSON to protect from all weather, GLOVES to protect hands that could be rubbed raw from the lariat, a LARIAT (a thin leather rope) to catch animals, a BANDANA used for many purposes including sun protector, dust mask, ear cover, blindfold for nervous horses and as a sling and a SIX SHOOTER ( a weapon used for protection.
                          2. Open Range (1870)
                            1. A vast area of unfenced land on the Plains claimed by a rancher for its cattle.
                              1. Shortened length of cattle drives (right next to cow towns)
                                1. Discovered that Longhorns could survive winter there and the cold also killed the ticks they carried - so could now breed with fatter cattle to make better meat.
                                  1. North of Plains was empty with plentiful grass.
                                    1. Spread of homesteaders continued to block cattle drives.
                                      1. Allowed ranchers to keep loads of cattle as unlimited space, meaning more money.
                                        1. Fencing large areas was expensive, cheaper to use cowboys. Also meant everyone could access water supply.
                                          1. Branding cattle solved issue of ownership and losing cattle to rustlers.
                                          2. Cow Towns
                                            1. Joseph McCoy set up Abilene (1st Cow town)
                                              1. Buy the land with good grass and water supply and build pens.
                                                1. Cattle driven to cow towns situated along the railroads.
                                                2. Johnson County War
                                                  1. Conflict between Cattle Barons in Wyoming and new homesteaders and smaller ranchers.
                                                    1. Barons accused homesteaders and ranchers of stealing their land and of rustling
                                                      1. Wanted list of 70 drawn up and lynching squad assembled. (1889-92) Government sent in troops to end the conflict. Cattle Barons never convicted but widely condemned.
                                                      2. The End of the Open Range (1885)
                                                        1. Overgrazing
                                                          1. Beef Prices and demand fell.
                                                            1. Drought of 1883
                                                              1. Harsh winter of 1886/87
                                                                1. Invention of wind pumps and barbed wire led to ranchers sectioning off smaller areas and focussing on breeding fewer but better quality cattle.
                                                                2. Homesteaders Vs Cattle Ranchers
                                                                  1. Early Conflicts
                                                                    1. Homesteaders trying to block Cattle Drives - afraid of damage to crops and Texas Fever.
                                                                    2. Later Conflicts
                                                                      1. Cattle Ranchers moving on to Plains - competitions for land and water supply. Homesteaders fencing land to protect crops, cutting ranchers off from water supplies.
                                                                        1. Later, ranchers saw benefits of barbed wire and could section off huge areas. Led to fence cutting from smaller ranchers
                                                                        2. Sheep Farmers
                                                                          1. Competition for grass
                                                                            1. Racial Prejudice
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