The American Wild West

WildWest Logo-1The American West is generally considered to consist of the 17 most Western States of the United States from Texas to California and North Dakota to Washington and everything in between.

The romance of the Wild West or the Old West became popular beginning about 150 years ago after the Civil War and extending into the 20th and 21st centuries. In the last half of the 19th century, the excitement over the dangers and violence of the Wild West was popularized in the big cities of the East through pulp novels about notorious gunfighters and Indian wars and from touring Wild West Shows. The glamour continued into the 20th century and even into our 21st century through movies and TV shows.

The American West began in the 1600s as the wild and dangerous untamed land that lie just west of what was known as the “frontier line”. This frontier line steadily moved westward as population increased and land was settled. At one time areas such as the Ohio Valley and Kentucky and Tennessee were considered the Western frontier.

After the Revolutionary War, population exploded and more and more settlers kept pushing the line westward. But, it was the Louisiana Purchase from the French in 1803 that really opened things up. It was a territory of 828,000 square miles encompassing parts of 17 current states. This acquisition just about doubled the size of the young nation, and the reports of the richness and vastness of the Western lands from explorers such as Lewis and Clark, Zebulon Pike, and John Fremont fueled the idea of “Manifest Destiny”. This was the belief that the United States was destined to expand from the Atlantic to the Pacific Ocean. This led to additional land acquisitions such as the annexation of Texas in 1845 and areas won from war with Mexico in 1848 that included New Mexico, Arizona, California, Nevada, Utah, Colorado and parts of Wyoming.

So, the scene is now set for the drama of the unique American Wild West with character types such as hunters and trappers, explorers, Indians, soldiers, settlers, ranchers, cowboys, rustlers, lawmen, gunfighters, outlaws, gold miners and more, all playing their roles during this period of American history. Larger than life characters arose in each group such as Wyatt Earp, Buffalo Bill, Billy the Kid, Annie Oakley, Doc Holiday, George Custer, Geronimo, Wild Bill Hickok, and countless others doing their part to add to the romance and excitement of the American Wild West.

Wild West Gift Emporium is also doing its part to continue bringing up the beauty and drama of the American Wild West by offering products of art, jewelry, decor, etc. that are inspired by the three main cultures that make up the Old West – Native Americans, Mexican, and the Western Cowboy. Enjoy browsing our site and return often as new products are added on a regular basis.

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