Longhorns were important in the Texas cattle industry because Texans were able to cooperate with them. Longhorn lived on the native grass and could survive harsh droughts with little water. They had long legs that allowed them to travel great distances. Longhorn are known for their long horns which protected them from being attacked. They were also resistant to the cattle disease known as the “Texas Fever”,which helped them live longer.
The system Texans used to move cattle were ¨cattle drives¨.Cattle drives are the herding of large groups of cattle and moving them from one place to another. Cattle drives were a major economic activity in the 19th century, particularly between 1856-1896.
Farming & Ranching
The Spindletop strike was a life changing event for people on January 10, 1901 in Texas. A man named named Anthony F. Lucas worked t Spindletop, and cause the big oil strike that occurred that day. After drilling 575+ feet, the giant plume of oil shot up into the air for 9 days shooting out about 800,000 barrels of oil!
Farming & Ranching
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Many young farm workers moved from town to town following the news of oil strikes. These boomtowns were often very dangerous. They were crowded with desperate farmers searching for work, and were dirty and rough. The boomtowns had people offering gambling and drinking, which led to violence. Oil-field workers often lived in tents or wooden shacks.
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One advantage of railroads in Texas was they were fast. Travel by horse was about 18x slower than by train. Secondly, railroads were very cheap.A wagon freight was about $1 for every 100 pounds shipped 100 miles,while railroads were less than 50 cents for the same amount and distance!
Many Texans joined the labor unions because they varied from job to job and these labor unions supported the interests of the workers. The railroad union led a successful strike against Jay Gould’s Wabash Railroad in 1885 and were defeated. The defeat caused violence in Fort Worth and upset many Texans. Many believed that strikes and labor actions were harmful to the transportation of goods, so the support for unions decreased in Texas.