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Word Count: 776
Mining cattle raising and farming are the three key movements that allowed Americans to conquer and settle the land in the West Mining and the lure of instant wealth from finding gold made people flock to the West seeking over-night riches Cattle raising created local food supply alternative jobs for failed miners and reasons for extending the railroads out West to transport the cattle Farming set up a constant food source as opposed to the fluctuating amounts of cattle and homesteads in the West thus forming the first permanent communities These three factors developed the once vast and open territories of the West into townships and even further into true states Mining cattle raising and farming molded our Western front The most important step in claiming and settling land is occupying it Mining was the perfect bait to real in Easterners Rumors about newfound gold such as Pikes Peak and the Comstock Lode whether true or not gathered crowds by the hundreds all trying to get their piece of the pie Gold mining gave hope to failed business men freed blacks young men veterans from the Civil War and others alike the chance to start over and possibly change their lives overnight After all the loose gold on the surface had been swept up by individuals corporations took over with expensive machinery to dig into the earth and break through the rock This set up steady business meaning steady employment meaning long-term living accommodations Miners working for these corporations set up the first townships But these towns and mining sites only took up a very small amount of the available land The prairies and vast fields accounted for a large area of the Western territory Wild herds of cattle roamed freely on this land and so did the cowboy Men or cowboys as we refer to them today began herding the wild cattle and transporting them to the East by train The cowboys did not
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