Chapter 17, Section 3
The Castle Kingdom
The Rise Of The Cattle Industry
- For years cattle wandered the open range.
- They needed almost no care.
- They grew from strays lost by Spanish ranchers.
- They just let them run off because they had no need for them.
- Good beef was in high demand.
- Ranchers would start rounding up skilled people to help get the cattle back in order.
- They would lead cattle drives where they would move the cattle over long distances.
- Drives lasted 2-3 months.
- In just one year 600,000 cattle would be moved north.
Life On The Trail
- Life on the trail was very dangerous.
- Cowhands had to keep the cattle in order.
- This job was very risky.
- Cowhands would spend 18 hours a day on the saddle.
- Yet, their wage was less than $1 a day.
- Vaqueros tended cattle on ranches in Mexico, California and the Southwest.
- Cowboys copied many things from Vaqueros.
- One third of western cowhands were Mexican.
The Wild West
- Cattle drives ended in towns along railroad lines.
- Abilene was the first "cow town".
- There would eventually be many rival cow towns.
- There were gunfights in the towns.
- The west would become known as a place of violence.
- Today, it is a very peaceful place.
Boom And Bust In The Cattle Kingdom
- The cattle boom lasted from the 1860s to 1880s.
- The cattle kingdom was regions dominated by the cattle industry.
- Profits were very high.
- By the mid-1880s, more than 7 million cattle roamed the open range.
- However, they would soon start to die off.
- Sheep would also come into the picture and compete with cattle for land.
- Eventually, the cattle boom was over.