Prairie Fires: The American Dreams of Laura Ingalls Wilder - Chapter 4: God Hates a Coward Summary & Analysis

Caroline Fraser
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Summary

Fraser begins the chapter discussing the Great Dakota Boom in the last region to be settled in the country. The author refers to land sales in Dakota as a "boondoggle" (93). She writes that the land had been left undeveloped for good reasons, including Indian wars in the 1870s that culminated in the Battle of Little Big Horn in which the Sioux, whose ancestral lands had been encroached upon, killed 270 American soldiers (including Lieutenant George Armstrong Custer). The Dakota Territory was also plagued by grasshoppers. Moreover, the land was so arid that it was not fit for farming. The scientist Major John Wesley Power argued that homesteaders should not settle on the Great Plains because it was too arid, but he thought the land could be settled cooperatively.

However, the model of settlement was competitive, not cooperative. Called a "bonanza farm...

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This section contains 1,127 words
(approx. 3 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy the Prairie Fires: The American Dreams of Laura Ingalls Wilder Study Guide
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