The 17th century brought immigrants from the Eastern seaboard, by the 18th century most scholars refer the Ohio region and Tennessee Valley as the old west. It was during this time the frontier was being contested by France, Britain and the American Colonies. The region west of the Mississippi, the American West was the true territory that became to be The Old West by the 19th century.
Wow who don’t like the old west? One of Americas’ steps to civilization the law and order came from there. Cattle towns, our first hub in society with its dirt roads and swinging door salons, how could you not have a good time. This sure beat the hell out of your camp site, sleeping on the ground moving cattle across the land with occasional thieves. Being out there on the plains was like a ship at sea, you and the environment with what’s over that next range of mountains through the pass? With that you learned what to expect!
Code of the West
Men and woman alike could gain a lot of respect for one another with such laws. I don’t think anyone was too quick to clear the holster and not to think of being shot!
A new code of behavior was becoming acceptable in the West. People no longer had a duty to retreat when threatened. This was a departure from British common law that required citizens to have their back to the wall before they could protect themselves with deadly force. In 1876 a Ohio court held if attacked a citizen was not “obligated to fly”. The Indiana Supreme Court upheld the legality of “no duty to retreat”. The code of the West dictated that a man did not have to back away from a fight, needing to retreat no further than “the air at his back”, and could pursue an adversary even if it resulted in death.
To control violence, sometimes cowboys were segregated into brothel districts away from the main part of town. Cattle rustling was a serious offense sometimes punished by lynching. However, free-shooting brawls, also known as “hurrahing”, were not as frequent as in the movies. In Wichita, handguns were outlawed within city limits and in many towns some form of gun control existed. Also unlike in the movies, marshals rarely shot outlaws, especially in the middle of Main Street in a showdown. Famed lawmen such as Wyatt Earp, Bat Masterson, and Wild Bill Hickok, and less remembered ones like Michael Meagher, Thomas James Smith, and Bill Tilghman actually averaged only one or two killings in a year.
Ya know American History is a good read, we could go on and on here just reading about The Old West. We still have a fashion of the old west, yep the Internet the digital telegraph. The last frontier of the modern Cowboy and Indians’ until something comes ashore. Floyd Red Crow speaks of a time where the landing of Columbus was America’s first Wold War, and you know something he is right.
We are witnessing one of America’s history book pages once again from new technologies coming down the pike that will forever change the way we live. To the corruption melt down which is leading us on the trail to ethics. The old west lives on along with The Code of The West, it’s what we came from. So dust yourself off from these stagnant times because I think were going to ride.
Video uploaded by U Tube user Mbrewer1959