In the early 1800s, ranching spread to other regions especially after the U.S. settlers arrived. Each region had its advantages. Such as East Texas being close to the cattle markets in New Orleans while Central and South Texas had a desirable climate and rich prairie grasses. As the cattle industry slowly expanded in the 1840, cattle rancher Aaron Ashworth of Jefferson County earned over 30,000 dollars or 700,000 in today’s world in the cattle industry, and in 1846 Edward Piper took a herd of cattle to Ohio by using the system Cattle drive.
The Spindletop boom peaked in 1902 producing more than 17 million barrels of oil. In 1902 nearly 20 percent barrels of oil in the us was produced in Spindletop. The economic law of supply and demand states: if supply is more than demand, prices fall. If demand is greater than supply, prices rise, which is what happened to the prices of the oil.
Railroads provided a cheap way to transport cotton to national markets , railroads also opened up new commercial areas to farming since Texan farmers grew over 57 million worth of cotton. Spur lines were extended of main railroads that travels into regions where cotton could grow to boost commercial farming. During this time period the value of cotton in East Texas shot up to more than 10 million to almost 40 million dollars and in West Texas experienced an even more dramatic shift increasing from 574,000 to more than 8 million dollars in that same period.
In the early 1880s, a conflict broke out between owners who own small properties complained that they were surrounded by big cattle companies. The “Range Wars” broke out after the ranchers would snip the barbed wires under the cover of darkness. After 500 miles of barbed wire was cut and the war raging on Governor John Ireland called an emergency session with the legislature and they sent Texas Rangers to enforce the law.
Life in most boomtowns in Texas was crowded, dirty and some rough places. People who lived on these oil fields usually lived in tents or wooden shacks. When it rained the soil would be so loose that the streets would become rivers of mud. Buildings built there were opened to serve the growing population, but some stores were geared to workers, offer gambling, and drinking. Some of these activities often caused violence. Making boomtowns dangerous to live in.
Labor unions grew in Texas because some workers pushed for improvements in the hours, wages, and working conditions for the “laborers”. The “Knights of Labor” organized to support both the skilled and unskilled workers of every trade and every gender and race. In Texas the Knights organized railroad workers, which led a successful strike against Jay Gould Wabash Railroad in 1885, and in 1886 they were defeated in the Great Southwest strike. This defeat would lead to violence in Fort Worth in which both the State militia and the Texas Rangers were sent to restore order. After all of the violence, the ending result was that the support for unions decreased in Texas.