Barbed Wire: The Fence That Changed the West

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  • Format: Paperback
  • Copyright: 2009-10-15
  • Publisher: Mountain Pr
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How could an ordinary fence shape a nation's history? Before the 1870s, much of the American West was an uninterrupted expanse of plains, where native tribes followed buffalo herds for hundreds of miles and cowboys ran cattle wherever water and grass led them. After the Homestead Act of 1862, settlers pouring into the West to stake their claims found that farming was not easy in cattle country, where the Law of the Open Range dictated that the needs of the herds-and their owners-came first. Then, seemingly overnight, everything changed. The invention and mass production of barbed wire made it possible for homesteaders to fence off millions of acres, creating a violent clash of cultures.

Author Biography

Joanne S. Liu is a Texas-based freelance writer who has published articles in The History Channel Magazine, Learning Through History Magazine, and History Magazine, among others. After receiving a bachelor of arts from Brown and a law degree from Boston University, she practiced law in New England, where she specialized in tracing ownership of real estate back to the 1700s. She now resides in Houston, Texas, with her husband and daughter.

Table of Contents

Acknowledgmentsp. vii
Wide Open Rangep. 1
In the Wake of Warp. 10
Land Up for Grabsp. 18
Sticks and Stonesp. 26
A Twist of the Wirep. 34
Light as Air, Stronger than Whiskey, Cheap as Dirtp. 44
The Devil's Ropep. 51
The Fence Cutting Warsp. 55
Moonshine Wirep. 62
Full Steam Aheadp. 72
The Big Die-Upp. 79
Cattlemen Settle Downp. 84
Native Lands Corralledp. 92
Fencing Free-For-Allp. 99
The New Face of the Westp. 107
Sites of Interestp. 115
Resources for Collectorsp. 117
Chronologyp. 119
Glossaryp. 124
Bibliographyp. 127
Indexp. 136
Table of Contents provided by Ingram. All Rights Reserved.

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