History

Study Notes

Oklahoma Land Rush

Level:
GCSE
Board:
Edexcel

Indian Territory was the area of land that had been reserved specifically for the Indians. Different tribes owned different sections. In the middle of the Indian Territory there was a section that no tribe officially owned. White settlers had been attempting to settle here since the beginning of the 1880’s as it had very fertile farmland. However, they were usually stopped by the US army which shows that the government were capable of protecting Indian land if they wished.

Indian Territory was the area of land that had been reserved specifically for the Indians. Different tribes owned different sections. In the middle of the Indian Territory there was a section that no tribe officially owned. White settlers had been attempting to settle here since the beginning of the 1880’s as it had very fertile farmland. However, they were usually stopped by the US army which shows that the government were capable of protecting Indian land if they wished.

 

In 1889 the US government decided to allow white settlers onto this middle-section of land to file homestead claims. At noon on the 22 April 1889, white settlers gathered around the boundary waiting for a signal to declare the territory was open. When a gun sounded, thousands rushed across the border. This event became known as the first Oklahoma land rush.  There were a total of seven land rushes in 1893 and, by the end of the year, Oklahoma had a population of 60,000.

 

The land rush is significant as it is another example of the US government giving away Indian land because of pressure from white settlers. 

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