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Week 3: Immigrants and Urban Growth in the Northwest


The Great West

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This week we take up the topic of the influx of people into our region.  Don’t forget that even in the West  most people lived in cities or towns.  In this week’s Lecture (approximately 63 minutes), Professor Wiltse discusses the rise of cities  and the various immigrants who came to our region, focusing on Butte as  a case study.

Maps & Cityscapes uses Tacoma, Spokane and Butte as examples to compare promotional birdseye maps with contemporary tribal locations. Featured interviews in Tribal Perspectives  deal with the issue of homeland areas and the taking of Indian land for settlement  by non-Indians. People and the Humanities presents Great Falls founder Paris Gibson and a discussion of the rise of nostalgic western art in response  to growing urbanization and settlement. In Research, we discuss the rise  of rephotography along with our list of important books and movies.

Assignment suggestions for this week's content might include the following ideas:

  • How do artists react to what they perceive to be an era's important issues, as with nostalgic art?
  • Discuss the contest over land ownership and control, a theme that can be applied to almost every historical time or geographical region.
  • There is a perception of the contest between Indians and non-Indians...but are the "non-Indians" really a unified entity? Are the Indians?
  • Investigate the rephotography process (possibly applying it to historical sites or buildings in your area).

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