Describe the problems of living in a newly set-up town in the west:

Essay by Herr_LippHigh School, 10th gradeA-, June 2004

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In the Wild West there were four main types of town. These were mining towns, cattle towns, Mormon towns and homesteader towns. In these towns the inhabitants suffered different problems to different degrees, such as communication, law and order and other various problems.

Mining towns were built to provide accommodation for the miners to live. An example of a mining town in the USA is Denver. In these towns the law and order was a severe problem. A common crime that took place in mining towns was claim jumping where a miner would find gold on a piece of land and someone else would hear of this and claim the land before the miner. The reason there was a lack of law and order in the mining towns was because the miners drank a lot of alcohol to celebrate their earnings and in doing so would become drunk and therefore violent.

Miners went to the saloons for pleasure, but the atmosphere within them often became violent and disorderly. Saloons were a major aspect of a mining town. In San Francisco there were 537 saloons and San Francisco wasn't a particularly large town. However, the mining towns only suffered a problem with law and order periodically, when they had finished working a seam. A further problem is that the sheriffs were also very unreliable and unprofessional, they weren't very good at their job and often took bribes. An example of a poor and "crooked" sheriff was a man called Henry Plummer. He was elected as sheriff by the citizens of Bannack, a mining town in Montana, in 1863. A gang of 100 road agents/ highwaymen were robbing the miners and others on the road to Bannack. The gang was highly organised but the sheriff couldn't capture them. A Vigilance committee was...