Lincoln County War 1878 | tutor2u History
Study notes

Lincoln County War 1878

  • Levels: GCSE
  • Exam boards: Edexcel

Billy the Kid grew up in mining camps in New Mexico. He was frequently in trouble with the law for stealing and he became notorious for escaping prison. He became involved in The Lincoln County was in 1878. The war was a conflict between a cattle baron called John Chisum, and a rancher called Murphy. They were arguing over land and influence in New Mexico. 

Billy the Kid grew up in mining camps in New Mexico. He was frequently in trouble with the law for stealing and he became notorious for escaping prison. He became involved in The Lincoln County was in 1878. The war was a conflict between a cattle baron called John Chisum, and a rancher called Murphy. They were arguing over land and influence in New Mexico. 

 

Billy fought on the side of Murphy and he played a prominent role in the war. After the war had ended, Billy claimed he was going to kill everyone who was responsible for the death of a friend. Billy went on the run, but was eventually shot dead by sheriff Pat Garrett.

 

The Lincoln County War and the actions of Billy the Kid demonstrate the continuing existence of lawlessness in the American West. Many people admired the way he stood up against powerful businessmen and the justice system was too weak to quickly deal with Billy.

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