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Sat, Jun 03



Trails West: Pushing Back the American Frontier

The westward movement of European settlers – from the Atlantic coast to the far West through the 19th century – gradually advanced “the American frontier” to the Pacific shore. Exploration, trapping, and trade gave way to a flood of immigrants eager to lay claim to their "promised land."

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Trails West: Pushing Back the American Frontier
Trails West: Pushing Back the American Frontier

Saturdays, 1:00-2:30 Central

Jun 03, 2023, 1:00 PM CDT – Jun 17, 2023, 2:30 PM CDT



Perhaps no saga is more exciting, evocative, controversial, or more often distorted than the story of the “winning of the American West.” This workshop will survey the history of the great migration that displaced a people and shaped a continent. It's the story of  waves of largely European settlers pushing forward into a “promised land" already occupied by a rich complex of cultures, and then building their empires with the labor of enslaved peoples. Our topics include the fur trade, Lewis and Clark’s voyage of discovery, the mountain men, the Civil War and the westward stampede, the Pony Express, the telegraph, the railroads, the cattle barons, and the empire builders. And we’ll take a closer look at the myths and realities of the “Indians and cowboys,” the misunderstood icons of an extraordinary age. Finally, we will examine a few of the most central political realities of our own 21st century by reflecting on how the slaveholding South really won the West.

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