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Wild West for Kids

The gold rush, the railroad, cowboys & more!

Imaginations are ignited when we look at the Wild West for kids – from cowboys to steam trains, from outlaws to sheriffs.

The American Wild West, also known as the American Frontier, was an exciting time of exploration, adventure and new beginnings. Many people travelled thousands of miles to new and unexplored areas in search of a new life. Native Americans, who had lived on the North American continent for thousands of years, were forced off their land at gun point or even sold as slaves. However, there are also great stories of friendship with Native Americans showing the new settlers how to live off the land.

The California Gold Rush of 1848 sparked a rush of people to the West coast, all hoping to find gold. When the transcontinental railroad opened in 1869, people could travel much more easily from East to West. Cowboys set up ranches. People set up temporary camps, which grew into frontier towns. At first, the new territories in the West had little or no local government, which is why the Wild West is often shown in films as being lawless. Towns looked after themselves and voted for their own sheriff.

By the end of the 19th century, there were no more unexplored areas. The United States of America was emerging as a world power.

Wild West for Kids Scene
Wild West Cowboy History Facts for Kids

Wild West Facts

The American Wild West, also known as the American Frontier, was an exciting time of exploration, adventure and new beginnings. Many people travelled thousands of miles to new and unexplored areas in search of a new life.

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Wild West Saloon

Wild West Towns

At first, when large groups of people arrived looking for gold, people set up temporary camps. These steadily became more permanent with wooden buildings being built.

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Wild West Outlaws

Outlaws

Outlaws were the criminals in the Wild West. While there were nowhere near as many bank robberies as the films will show, the Wild West did attract thieves and murderers.

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Wild West Stage Coach

Stage Coaches

Stage coaches were a popular way to travel across the country. Passengers shared the coach with strangers, just like a modern-day coach.

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Wild West Dude

Dude Ranches

During the late 19th century, the Wild West was famous for being a place where people could seek their fortune.

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