European immigrants flocked to the Great Plains in search of political or religious freedom, or simply to flee poverty in their own countries. Younger sons from the east coast (where the population was rising and land was becoming more costly) moved because it offered them the opportunity to purchase their own land. The majority of settlers were male, between the ages of 20 and 40. They brought with them tools, equipment, and a work ethic learned on the farms back home.
The men who settled the plains had often been soldiers or sailors, and they brought with them skills that would be useful on the open prairie: building houses, planting crops, herding cattle, and working the soil. Many women also followed the westward flow of roads and railways to find employment as cooks, maids, or nurses.
Immigrants came from all over Europe, but mainly from Germany, Ireland, and Poland. To escape the poverty of their homelands, many Americans decided to move west. Between 1820 and 1890 about 4 million people emigrated from Europe, most going to North America. The main destinations were Canada and the United States, but some also went to Australia and New Zealand.
In the early days there were very few laws and no police force, so people took care of themselves by creating a community with rules that everyone could understand. They established churches where they could pray for guidance and help if they needed it.
African American pioneers came to the Great Plains to begin their lives as free men. The cheap land provided them with the chance to possess a factor of production, which would help them significantly improve their economic situation. Also, the great plains offered them a new start after being enslaved in southern states.
The most common reason given by scholars for why African Americans left the South is because of the difficult living conditions there. It was not easy for slaves to live in Southern states due to the fact that most of them were worked under harsh laws that prevented them from owning property or going to school. They could only be bought, sold, or traded.
In addition, slavery deprived them of many basic rights and freedoms. For example, they could not marry without their owners' permission, leave or go anywhere other than where they were taken, or vote on issues concerning them. All these things together made life extremely difficult in the South for African Americans.
Another reason for leaving was the desire to start over. Many slaves wanted to get out of slavery and use their time outside the plantation to work hard so they could one day become landowners or even white people. This opportunity was not available in Virginia or Georgia where most slaves lived before the Great Migration.
Last, but not least, was the hope of finding freedom.
European immigrants are the saviors of the land, having crossed the Atlantic and the eastern United States over consecutive boundary lines. The frontier, according to Turner, alters the settler. The meeting with nature "strips away the clothing of civilisation." It places the colonist "in the Cherokee and Iroquois log hut." Here he learns to live off the land and fight off predators.
The heroes are therefore the pioneers who settled the plains: men such as George Washington Carver, Davy Crockett, and William Cody. Women also played an important role in the settlement of the prairie; examples include Cynthia Ann Parker, who was captured during a raid on her family's plantation, and Victoria Regent, the last female buffalo hunter to die in the profession. Also included in this category are indigenous people who fought against extermination at the hands of Europeans, including the Sioux and Cheyenne.
In conclusion, the heroes of the Great Plains are all individuals who through courage, conviction, and determination overcame great obstacles to reach their goal.