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The End of the Era


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For the sake of our game, we have defined the end of the Cowboy Era as 1899.   Things have to be in or prior to that year to be considered as being a part of out game.

That is a good as a definition as any, and it very workable as a good rule of thumb.

Now, setting aside our game, and looking at it from a more historical/cultural question, when did the "Cowboy Era," the "Ninteenth Century" really end.   I am not talking calendar so much as cultural/historical or practical reality.   Many people will say, for example that 50's ended not in 1960, but in November of 63 when JFK was assassinated.

I think there are three possible answers to saying when the era we are so fond of came to an end.

 

1.  The assassination of President McKinley and the installation of Theodore Roosevelt to the Presidency.

2.  The Spanish American War could be considered the last great "event" of the era, and with it's ending, the new one began.

3.  Related to the above, the Philippine Insurrection was very much something that was a part of the aftermath of the SpanAm War, and one could make a case that it was in many ways, a holdover event of the Nineteenth Century.   But when it finally ended, so did the last vestiges of the "Old West."

 

Mostly this is just an academic discussion.   Any thoughts on it?

Edited by H. K. Uriah, SASS #74619
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Arizona Rangers formed legally in 1901, they were active until 1909. The reason was cattle rustling especially on the Mexican border. It was still the wild west in Arizona!!!

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30 minutes ago, The Rainmaker, SASS #11631 said:

That's not still legal? Lol

Maybe it should be...   ^_^


If that were true, we should label all politicians horse thieves and…

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This makes me want to watch Monte Walsh again.

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Jan. 1, '01 first day of 20th C.?

 Three weeks later, Jan. 22, death of Queen Victoria of England, end of Victorian era?

                                     Red

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6 hours ago, H. K. Uriah, SASS #74619 said:

For the sake of our game, we have defined the end of the Cowboy Era as 1899.   Things have to be in or prior to that year to be considered as being a part of out game.

That is a good as a definition as any, and it very workable as a good rule of thumb.

Now, setting aside our game, and looking at it from a more historical/cultural question, when did the "Cowboy Era," the "Ninteenth Century" really end.   I am not talking calendar so much as cultural/historical or practical reality.   Many people will say, for example that 50's ended not in 1960, but in November of 63 when JFK was assassinated.

I think there are three possible answers to saying when the era we are so fond of came to an end.

 

1.  The assassination of President McKinley and the installation of Theodore Roosevelt to the Presidency.

2.  The Spanish American War could be considered the last great "event" of the era, and with it's ending, the new one began.

3.  Related to the above, the Philippine Insurrection was very much something that was a part of the aftermath of the SpanAm War, and one could make a case that it was in many ways, a holdover event of the Nineteenth Century.   But when it finally ended, so did the last vestiges of the "Old West."

 

Mostly this is just an academic discussion.   Any thoughts on it?

I would say just prior to American involvement in WWI.  We still had the hunt for Pancho Villa, after his raid on Columbus,  NM, followed by the unsuccessful pursuit by Gen. Pershing, in 1916.  Maybe it ended October 24, 1926, when Charlie Russell "crossed over the Divide".   Whenever I see a red sunset, I figure Charlie is at work, 'cause nobody painted a Western sunset like he did. 

Stay well and safe, Pards!

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Really is a regional thing, don't you think?

On the East and West coasts, it was pretty well 'civilized'...

Still see a lot of the era carried on today, in much of the midwest.

(The shoot-em-up cowboy was not as prevelent as the stories that are told)

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1 minute ago, Phantom, SASS #54973 said:

Define what is meant by "The Cowboy Era".

 

Cattle Drives??

To me, it was a way of life...all of it.

The deals made by handshake, ect.

I still see it today.

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7 minutes ago, Singin' Sue 71615 said:

To me, it was a way of life...all of it.

The deals made by handshake, ect.

I still see it today.

Uhhh...don't think that real "Cowboys" of the late 19th Century really fit that description...call me cynical, but "Cow Boys" weren't your most outstanding citizens.

 

:ph34r:

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4 minutes ago, Phantom, SASS #54973 said:

Uhhh...don't think that real "Cowboys" of the late 19th Century really fit that description...call me cynical, but "Cow Boys" weren't your most outstanding citizens.

 

:ph34r:

But...we are talking era, correct?

That 'era' brings me to think of the Wild West...

The ranchers, farmers, folks living life for God, family and community.

Call me naive...but that is my idea of the era.

Edited by Singin' Sue 71615
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Papaw was born in Tennesse in 1880...they had an interesting life! Hard, but they didn't know it...nothing to compare it to.

Made me think of Hondo or Shane.

 

I think the 1880- 1905 was really the end of that lifestyle.

Trains, autos...electricity, phones...

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Wikiknowitall says...

 

The American frontier, also known as the Old West or the Wild West, includes the geography, history, folklore, and culture in the forward wave of American expansion in mainland North America that began with European colonial settlements in the early 17th century and ended with the admission of the last few western territories as states in 1912 (except Alaska, which was not admitted into the Union until 1959). This era of massive migration and settlement was particularly encouraged by President Thomas Jefferson following the Louisiana Purchase, giving rise to the expansionist attitude known as "Manifest Destiny" and the historians' "Frontier Thesis". The legends, historical events & folklore of the American frontier have embedded themselves into United States culture so much so that the Old West, and the Western genre of media specifically, has become one of the defining tenets and prides of American national identity.

 

The archetypical Old West period is generally accepted by historians to have occurred between the end of the American Civil War in 1865 until the closing of the Frontier by the Census Bureau in 1890.

 

By 1890, settlement in the American West had reached sufficient population density that the frontier line had disappeared; in 1890 the Census Bureau released a bulletin declaring the closing of the frontier, stating: "Up to and including 1880 the country had a frontier of settlement, but at present the unsettled area has been so broken into by isolated bodies of settlement that there can hardly be said to be a frontier line. In the discussion of its extent, its westward movement, etc., it can not, therefore, any longer have a place in the census reports."

 

A frontier is a zone of contact at the edge of a line of settlement. Leading theorist Frederick Jackson Turner went deeper, arguing that the frontier was the scene of a defining process of American civilization: "The frontier," he asserted, "promoted the formation of a composite nationality for the American people." He theorized it was a process of development: "This perennial rebirth, this fluidity of American life, this expansion westward...furnish[es] the forces dominating American character." Turner's ideas since 1893 have inspired generations of historians (and critics) to explore multiple individual American frontiers, but the popular folk frontier concentrates on the conquest and settlement of Native American lands west of the Mississippi River, in what is now the Midwest, Texas, the Great Plains, the Rocky Mountains, the Southwest, and the West Coast.

 

Enormous popular attention was focused on the Western United States (especially the Southwest) in the second half of the 19th century and the early 20th century, from the 1850s to the 1910s. Such media typically exaggerated the romance, anarchy, and chaotic violence of the period for greater dramatic effect. This inspired the Western genre of film, along with television shows, novels, comic books, video games, children's toys and costumes.

 

As defined by Hine and Faragher, "frontier history tells the story of the creation and defense of communities, the use of the land, the development of markets, and the formation of states." They explain, "It is a tale of conquest, but also one of survival, persistence, and the merging of peoples and cultures that gave birth and continuing life to America." Turner himself repeatedly emphasized how the availability of free land to start new farms attracted pioneering Americans: "The existence of an area of free land, its continuous recession, and the advance of American settlement westward, explain American development." Through treaties with foreign nations and native tribes, political compromise, military conquest, the establishment of law and order, the building of farms, ranches, and towns, the marking of trails and digging of mines, and the pulling in of great migrations of foreigners, the United States expanded from coast to coast, fulfilling the ideology of Manifest destiny. In his "Frontier Thesis" (1893), Turner theorized that the frontier was a process that transformed Europeans into a new people, the Americans, whose values focused on equality, democracy, and optimism, as well as individualism, self-reliance, and even violence.

 

As the American frontier passed into history, the myths of the West in fiction and film took a firm hold in the imaginations of Americans and foreigners alike. In David Murdoch's view, America is exceptional in choosing its iconic self-image: "No other nation has taken a time and place from its past and produced a construct of the imagination equal to America's creation of the West."

 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/American_frontier

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19 minutes ago, Stump Water said:

Wikiknowitall says...

 

The American frontier, also known as the Old West or the Wild West, includes the geography, history, folklore, and culture in the forward wave of American expansion in mainland North America that began with European colonial settlements in the early 17th century and ended with the admission of the last few western territories as states in 1912 (except Alaska, which was not admitted into the Union until 1959). This era of massive migration and settlement was particularly encouraged by President Thomas Jefferson following the Louisiana Purchase, giving rise to the expansionist attitude known as "Manifest Destiny" and the historians' "Frontier Thesis". The legends, historical events & folklore of the American frontier have embedded themselves into United States culture so much so that the Old West, and the Western genre of media specifically, has become one of the defining tenets and prides of American national identity.

 

The archetypical Old West period is generally accepted by historians to have occurred between the end of the American Civil War in 1865 until the closing of the Frontier by the Census Bureau in 1890.

 

By 1890, settlement in the American West had reached sufficient population density that the frontier line had disappeared; in 1890 the Census Bureau released a bulletin declaring the closing of the frontier, stating: "Up to and including 1880 the country had a frontier of settlement, but at present the unsettled area has been so broken into by isolated bodies of settlement that there can hardly be said to be a frontier line. In the discussion of its extent, its westward movement, etc., it can not, therefore, any longer have a place in the census reports."

 

A frontier is a zone of contact at the edge of a line of settlement. Leading theorist Frederick Jackson Turner went deeper, arguing that the frontier was the scene of a defining process of American civilization: "The frontier," he asserted, "promoted the formation of a composite nationality for the American people." He theorized it was a process of development: "This perennial rebirth, this fluidity of American life, this expansion westward...furnish[es] the forces dominating American character." Turner's ideas since 1893 have inspired generations of historians (and critics) to explore multiple individual American frontiers, but the popular folk frontier concentrates on the conquest and settlement of Native American lands west of the Mississippi River, in what is now the Midwest, Texas, the Great Plains, the Rocky Mountains, the Southwest, and the West Coast.

 

Enormous popular attention was focused on the Western United States (especially the Southwest) in the second half of the 19th century and the early 20th century, from the 1850s to the 1910s. Such media typically exaggerated the romance, anarchy, and chaotic violence of the period for greater dramatic effect. This inspired the Western genre of film, along with television shows, novels, comic books, video games, children's toys and costumes.

 

As defined by Hine and Faragher, "frontier history tells the story of the creation and defense of communities, the use of the land, the development of markets, and the formation of states." They explain, "It is a tale of conquest, but also one of survival, persistence, and the merging of peoples and cultures that gave birth and continuing life to America." Turner himself repeatedly emphasized how the availability of free land to start new farms attracted pioneering Americans: "The existence of an area of free land, its continuous recession, and the advance of American settlement westward, explain American development." Through treaties with foreign nations and native tribes, political compromise, military conquest, the establishment of law and order, the building of farms, ranches, and towns, the marking of trails and digging of mines, and the pulling in of great migrations of foreigners, the United States expanded from coast to coast, fulfilling the ideology of Manifest destiny. In his "Frontier Thesis" (1893), Turner theorized that the frontier was a process that transformed Europeans into a new people, the Americans, whose values focused on equality, democracy, and optimism, as well as individualism, self-reliance, and even violence.

 

As the American frontier passed into history, the myths of the West in fiction and film took a firm hold in the imaginations of Americans and foreigners alike. In David Murdoch's view, America is exceptional in choosing its iconic self-image: "No other nation has taken a time and place from its past and produced a construct of the imagination equal to America's creation of the West."

 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/American_frontier

Hey...I was pretty close!!!

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1972 When MY Mom burned down the bunkhouse causing entomologists all over the world to weep in anguish.++

 

:rolleyes:

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Our hands drank shooters on Saturday night. Californian hands shoot up!

 

There was a lot of shooting going on.

 

:angry:

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My paternal grandfather was born in 1859.  He was the original J-Bar.  His father, a Confederate Cavalry soldier, died as a prisoner of war in Camp Douglas near Chicago.  Grandpa and Grandma raised cattle and kids near Clayton, New Mexico until 1922, when at age 62 he and Grandma gave up ranching and supported themselves and remaining children by operating a boarding house in Pueblo, Colorado.
 

So as far as my family is concerned, the cowboy era was over in 1922.

 

My father and his twin brother were born in 1916, so they were a bit young to be called cowboys in 1922.  But there is no doubt that Grandpa and his older sons were cowboys in 1922.

 

I’m easy going, but you would not want to argue with the original J-Bar.  He had a short temper!

 

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Edited by J-BAR #18287
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there have been shootouts in the street in my midlife but i dont consider it the old west era , i still look on that as pre WWI , but i do appreciate reading all the views here , it has been entertaining , i like sue's attitude - 

"I think the 1880- 1905 was really the end of that lifestyle.

Trains, autos...electricity, phones..." 

 

that does seem to be the end of that era - "progress" kinda crept in and negated it 

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i dont remember a time without electricity , except in storms which was frequent , i do remember a time without indoor plumbing but that was not as common in those days , i dont remember not having a phone but i do remember a party line and having to go through an operator to place a call beyond the city limits , i dont remember not having a radio but i remember that first TV , then i remember the building of Eisenhower's interstate highway system , JFKs election and death  , the moon landing and woodstock , i was blessed to know a barnstormer that had his license to fly signed by orvil wright and to fly with him , all of which my kids think of as ancient history , that is sad 

 

i guess an era ends when no one remembers it anymore as this lives on in our endeavors as humble as they may be , i question if anyone will remember if this goes away , 

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1900 was a reasonable time to call the end of the era, though arguably, some spots in the West and Southwest were quite violent until much later.  The end of the Indian Wars, the introduction of the automobile and airplane and most livable land claimed (by individuals or government).

 

Oddly enough, we have more gunplay today and quite a bit of condoned lawlessness all across the country. In the cowboy era, there are many documented instances of vigilantism where "concerned" citizens hanged the ruffians or drove the bad guys out of town. I think we could use more of this today.

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40 minutes ago, Go West said:

In the cowboy era, there are many documented instances of vigilantism where "concerned" citizens hanged the ruffians or drove the bad guys out of town.

Well this is because towns and such really didn't have a police force...in many cases, if you wanted to find out "who dunit", you'd have to hire a P.I.

 

Phantom

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On 7/30/2021 at 5:39 AM, H. K. Uriah, SASS #74619 said:

FNow, setting aside our game, and looking at it from a more historical/cultural question, when did the "Cowboy Era," the "Ninteenth Century" really end.   I am not talking calendar so much as cultural/historical or practical reality.

When the last calf is roped by a man on horseback, drug to an open fired and branded with a hot iron.

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