Cattle Kingdom


US History Reconstruction Era and the Western Frontier Cattle Kingdom
Students learn about the growth of the cattle industry following the Civil War. They identify some of the difficulties involved in cattle drives, and then they examine the growth of cow towns. Finally, they reflect on how the cattle industry contributed to westward expansion.

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Overview

In this experience, students learn about the growth of the cattle industry following the Civil War. They identify some of the difficulties involved in cattle drives, and then they examine the growth of cow towns. Finally, they reflect on how the cattle industry contributed to westward expansion.

Objectives:

  • Identify the Cattle Kingdom.
  • Describe cowhands and cow towns during the cattle boom.


In the twenty years after the Civil War ended, the cattle industry grew tremendously. With the expansion of the railroads in the 1870s and 1880s, the industry began stretching from its base in Texas northward and westward into Kansas, Nebraska, Colorado, Wyoming, Montana, and the Dakotas. This area of the United States that was dominated by the cattle industry during the 1870s and 1880s is referred to as the “Cattle Kingdom.”

Objectives:

  • Identify the Cattle Kingdom.
  • Describe cowhands and cow towns during the cattle boom.




Take a look at this photograph. What comes to mind?


In a word or short phrase, post at least one item to the word cloud below. To list multiple items, separate them with a comma, like this: dog, cat.

Post your answer

Ask students to share some of their responses. They might have said things like cattle, ranchers, cowboy, horse, prairie, cattle drive, herds, hard work, lasso, etc.

Mention that in this experience, students will be learning about the cattle industry in the 1870s and 1880s, cowboys, cow towns and cattle trails.


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