Chapter 14 Changes on the Plains

Ch. 14 Changes on the Plains

1.       transcontinental – crossing a continent

2.       prejudice – an unfair, negative opinion that can lead to unjust treatment

3.       homestead – a settler’s home and land

4.       Exodusters – an African American settler who called him or herself after Exodus, a book of the Bible

5.       drought – a long period with little or no rain

6.       sodbuster – name given to Great Plains farmers because they had to break through so much thick soil, called, sod, to farm

7.       demand – the amount of something that people want to buy at certain prices

8.       supply – the amount of something that people want to sell at certain prices

9.       railhead – a town where railroad tracks begin or end

10.   barbed wire – twisted wire with a sharp barb, or point, every few inches

11.   reservation – land that the government set aside for American Indians

12.   habitat – the area where an animal or plant normally lives or grows

13.   extinct – when a certain type of plant or animal no longer exists

14.   assimilate – to change a group’s culture and traditions so that it blends with a larger group

15.   Two ways the west was linked to the east:

a.       Telegraph

b.      Transcontinental Railroad

16.   Samuel Morse invented a code of dots and dashes to send telegraph messages.

17.   Two companies built the transcontinental railroad:

a.       Central Pacific

b.      Union Pacific

18.   The transcontinental railroad was completed on May 10, 1869, at Promontory Point, Utah.

19.   The Homestead Act gave 160 acres of land to people willing to farm that land for 5 years.

20.   Hardships the Plains:

a.       Cold Winters

b.      Blizzards

c.       Thunderstorms

d.      Heavy Rain

e.      Floods

f.        Tornadoes

g.       Hail

h.      Droughts

i.        Hot, Dry Summers

j.        Prairie Fire/ Lightning

k.       Grasshoppers


21. Vaqueros were Mexican cowhands.

22. Cattle ranchers sent their herds on long cattle drives to railheads so that the cattle could be shipped to the East and North.


23. Cattle drives ended for 4 reasons:

                a. settlers put up barbed wire fences

                b. spread of railroads to Texas

                c. overgrazed land

                d. the winter of 1886-1887 killed thousands of cattle

24. Buffalo are also known as bison.

25. Nomads move from place to place to find food and water.

26. At the Sand Creek Massacre the Colorado militia attacked a Cheyenne village and ignored their attempt to surrender. Almost ½ of the people in the village were killed. After this, fighting among Indians, soldiers, and settlers increased.


27. The Battle of the Little Bighorn is also known as Custer’s Last Stand. Crazy Horse, Gall, and Sitting Bull led the Lakota and Cheyenne to victory against the U.S. soldiers. George Custer led the U.S. soldiers.


28. After Sitting Bull’s death, Chief Big Foot led many Ghost Dancers to hide in the Badlands of South Dakota. The fighting there became known as the Massacre at Wounded Knee.


29. 3 reasons the buffalo became nearly extinct:

                a. settlers killed buffalo for meat

                b. cattle spread disease to buffalo

                c. hunters shot buffalo for sport

30. The Dawes Act took reservation land away from Indian nations and split it into smaller pieces.