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Public Lands and Political MeaningRanchers, the Government, and the Property between Them$
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Karen Merrill

Print publication date: 2002

Print ISBN-13: 9780520228627

Published to California Scholarship Online: March 2012

DOI: 10.1525/california/9780520228627.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM CALIFORNIA SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.california.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of California Press, 2019. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in CALSO for personal use.date: 17 October 2019

Policing and Policymaking on the Range

Policing and Policymaking on the Range

Chapter:
(p.16) Chapter 1 Policing and Policymaking on the Range
Source:
Public Lands and Political Meaning
Author(s):

Karen R. Merrill

Publisher:
University of California Press
DOI:10.1525/california/9780520228627.003.0002

This chapter describes how Theodore Roosevelt and like-minded writers saw manly virtues in the ranchers' way of life, but Roosevelt and others also believed that only the agricultural settlement of the West, with its emphases on private landownership and improvements, would bring the frontier region into the nation. The spread of the cattle industry over the northern plains only became possible with the destruction of the bison population and the suppression of Native Americans. The dichotomy in Roosevelt's description of the ranching industry of the late nineteenth century would continue into the public land debates in the early twentieth century. The public domain, both Richards and Mead believed, had to be tied to a homestead or a home ranch. The homesteader — also known as the “home-builder,” the “home-maker,” and the “little fellow” — would do more political work for ranchers in the early twentieth century than they could ever have imagined.

Keywords:   Theodore Roosevelt, agricultural settlement, private landownership, cattle industry, ranching industry, public land, policymaking, policing

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