The Wild West: Introduction and Overview

The Wild West: Cowboys and Indians, Outlaws and Sheriffs!

At the start of the 1800s, the USA was just thirteen British colonies on the East Coast of North America. But for the rest of the century, these settlers headed Westwards to take over the entire continent in a process of “Westward Expansion”, and the dangers they faced created the legend of the “Wild West”.

This new scheme of work is a source of endless fascination for students and a great addition to any school’s History scheme of work!

Introduction and Overview

“Those Americans who moved Westwards often made their living by farming cattle and became known as ‘Cowboys’. They often found themselves at risk of attack from ‘Indians’ (Native Americans) alarmed at the loss of their tribal homelands, and from Mexicans who resented the loss of lands like Texas to the United States. The new towns established in this violent, lawless region attracted outlaws, bandits and robbers, who in turn were kept under control by local ‘sheriffs’.