Barbed Wire: The Fence that Changed the West (Used Paperback) - Joanne S. Liu

Barbed Wire: The Fence that Changed the West (Used Paperback) - Joanne S. Liu

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Before the mid-1800s, much of the American West was a vast
expanse of open plains. Native tribes followed buffalo herds
unimpeded for hundreds of miles, cowboys ran cattle wherever
water and grass led them, and the cattleman s Law of the Open
Range ruled. All this changed when settlers pouring into the West
under the Homestead Act of 1862 brought with them the Eastern
farmer s concept of fencing in farms. With the invention and mass
production of barbed wire in the 1870s, it soon became possible
for homesteaders to fence off millions of acres of what was once
open range. But barbed wire threatened the livelihood of the
cattlemen who depended on unfenced grasslands, and a clash of
cultures was inevitable.

In a style that will capture the interest of adult and teen readers,
Barbed Wire: The Fence That Changed the WestĀ reveals the surprisingly
critical role the invention of barbed wire played in the settling of
America. From the legal battles over barbed wire patents to the
brutal fencing wars that erupted on the frontier and the ultimate
end of the open range, author Joanne Liu tells the fascinating story
of how a simple twist of wire transformed a country s landscape
and ushered in a new way of life.