American frontier  

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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.
Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.

The American Old West comprises the history, myths, legends, stories, beliefs and cultural meanings that collected around the Western United States in the 19th century. Most often the term refers to the late 19th century, between the American Civil War and the 1890 closing of the frontier. Terms Old West and Wild West relate to life beyond the frontier. While this terminology could logically place the setting as far back as the American colonial period, the area from the "Frontier Strip" (i.e., the six U.S. states from North Dakota south to Texas) west to the Pacific Ocean is usually meant. Sometimes the tier of states just east of the Frontier strip (Minnesota to Louisiana) are also seen as the "Wild West" because of their stance as passing gates.

As the setting for numerous works of fiction, the period and region quickly became so popular that it now has its own genre, called "Western."

Historical revisionism has noted that certain interests (notably cowboys, Indians, businessmen, and the United States government) repeatedly clashed in these conflicts, and a few accounts refer to them as a "western civil war of incorporation" that established United States authority over the region. Violent small scale range wars between settlers, such as the Pleasant Valley War, Lincoln County War, and Johnson County Range War appear to have been common. Accounts of corrupt and criminalised justice systems are also common.

See also

  • Cowboy action shooting is a competitive shooting sport which originated in the early 1980s that requires shooters to compete using firearms typical of the mid-to-late 19th century including single action revolvers, lever action rifles (chambered in pistol calibers) and side by side double barrel shotguns or pump action shotguns with external hammers.
  • Cowboy hat
  • Boss of the plains
  • Historical reenactment : an activity in which participants recreate some aspects of a historical event or period.
  • National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum : museum and art gallery, in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, housing one of the largest collections in the world of Western, American cowboy, American rodeo, and American Indian art, artifacts, and archival materials.
  • Reno Gang : Southern Indiana post civil war gang. First Train Robbers in US History. 10 members lynched by vigilante mob in 1868.
  • Rodeo : demonstration of cattle wrangling skills.
  • The Oregon-California Trails Association preserves, protects and shares the histories of emigrants who followed these trails westward.
  • Wanted poster : a poster, popular in mythic scenes of the west, let the public know of criminals whom authorities wish to apprehend.
  • Wild West Shows : a following of the wild west shows of the American frontier.
  • The West As America

Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "American frontier" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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