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The Wild West

Economic and Social Conditions

Life In The Early Days
Economic and Social Conditions
Clamity Jane
Billy The Kid
Erastus Beadle Publishing
Charles M. Russel and Frederic Remington

The Gold Rush:

Part of the reason the "west" became "wild" is because of the rush of prospectors to western areas after gold had been discovered there. There was no established law there, and most of the inhabitants of mining towns were male. Everybody wanted to make their own little fortune, with the result of $322 million being produced within the 2-3 years of the Gold Rush.


Because of the number of men in mining towns, many business-people decided to take advantage of that to make themselves some money, very soon, mining towns no longer contained just a bank, a church, and a general store, but brothels, gambling houses, saloons, and liquor stores.
Violence was common, as there was no set law, just the law of lynching. The only law was: do not kill an unarmed man......this was considered murder, everything else could be classified as self-defence