Have you ever wondered who the cowboys were; how they lived; or what they did? The American Cowboy's way of life was interesting and unique, and they contributed more to society than one might think. Besides looking after stock and driving cattle, they had to round up huge numbers of cattle for ranchers. This paper will examine the American cowboy's character, what they wore, the everyday things they did like driving cattle and branding calves and the lawlessness of the old west.
The job wasn't just for anyone. Certain character traits and physical characteristics were required if someone wanted to be a good cowboy. Considering the distances that they covered, traveling was rough. ?? the cowboy needed great strength, endurance, and often ingenuity to complete the treks? (?Cowboy?). People came from everywhere to become cowboys. Some came from eastern American states, others from the Midwest, and the rest came from states in the South. They came to work on ranches and drive cattle on the trail. ?Many were ex-rebel soldiers who maintained that attitude on the trail. There was also a flood of renegades from both north and south that went to Texas. This is how Texas got a reputation for lawlessness and violence? (The Cowboys). Being a cowboy, for some, had a special status. Cowboys in the Western Plains called themselves cow punchers and thought of themselves as more important than others. ?The man himself, the clothes he wore, and the horse he rode were all outgrowths of life on the range. The long days in the open, and riding alone with the cattle gave him self-reliance. The danger of stampeding cattle, of undependable horses, of hostile Indians and of bitter winter blizzards demanded endurance and courage. The whole job of driving, roping, and handling cattle required expert horsemanship? (?Cowboys?). Cowboys worked very hard and also fought hard, but never with their fists. In a fight, a cowboy would always use his gun (The Cowboys). The reason cowboys used their guns was because of the fact of the West being lawless. There were two reasons for the west being lawless, one is the social conditions there during that period and the second because the law there didn?t apply well to the conditions and wasn?t obeyed. It was also do to the vast distances between populated areas, which made it easy for a cowboy to move to another area and g...
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...u, the life of a cowboy was very hard at times, with the chance everyday that you could die or lose everything you had. Even though they have good times, American Cowboys deserve a good amount of credit for the things they did for society. As stated in the thesis, the American cowboy was unique and interesting and contributed in many different ways to our society. Through hard work and the ability to endure harsh working conditions, cowboys historically have been seen as examples of American workers with strong work ethics. Economically, the American cowboy contributed greatly to the cattle movement industry during the opening of the western part of the United States. The various backgrounds of the early American cowboys brought different attitudes and behaviors that resulted in the need for a legal system to the early West. Cowboys were important to American society.
Wende 6 Works Cited ?Cowboy.? Compton?s Encyclopedia. 1989 ed. Encarta 96 CD-ROM: Microsoft, 1993-1995. Gibson, Beth. ?The Cowboys? 28 Dec. 1999
http://www.members.aol.com/Gibson0817/ cowboys.htlm Huff, Madilene and Dick. ?Java Script? 10 Nov. 1999 http://www.net.westhost.com/trail2.htm
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