Effects of New Innovations
Barbed Wire, Windmills, and Railroads
Ranchers no longer had to have access to water ways. This contributed to the close of the open range. This also led to what is called the Range Wars, farmers and Ranchers would battle against each other over many issues. Most were over the raising of sheep, control of water rights and the use of barbed wire. Cattle and sheep farmers began fencing their land in with barbed wire, sometimes enclosing the land of others. Some ranchers cut off the water supply to other ranchers' herds. During the Range Wars fences were cut and destroyed, pasture land was burned resulting in gunfights. After these wars fence cutting became a felony.
There were a lot of reasons for the invention of the windmill. Farming in West Texas was often abandoned because of the limited water resources. Windmills allowed water on farmers land, so ranchers no longer had to have access to water ways. Windmills pumped water from underground sources up to the surface for livestock and household use.