Conquest of the West after the Civil War in 'Wedrowiec'
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This article describes the process of conquest of the West after the Civil War. Its analysis is based on articles printed in a Warsaw illustrated weekly 'Wedrowiec'. The magazine specialized in articles from different parts of the world. It appeared in Warsaw in the years 1863-1906. The authoress characterizes reports dealing with that subject in the sixties and the seventies of the nineteenth century. While 'Wedrowiec' discussed numerous interesting topics concerning life in the West, articles depicting general characteristics of the region and its inhabitants predominated. A lot of attention was paid to miners, Indians, Mormons and the Chinese. For no clear reason, stock-breeders and farmers - the other important heroes of the American West were dealt with only casually. 'Wedrowiec' devoted a lot of space to descriptions of nature of this exotic and wild region. Various species of fauna and flora were characterized in great detail. The reader was also thoroughly informed about natural resources of the American West, with special emphasis on gold and silver ledges. The development of transport in the West was another widely discussed issue. Subsequent ways of transport preceding the establishment of the first transcontinental railway lines were duly presented in the magazine. Authors of articles often focused on gossip and sensation, neglecting more serious subjects. Despite numerous deficiencies, reports printed in 'Wedrowiec' undoubtedly constituted interesting and absorbing reading matter - on the one hand, not infrequently rectifying stereotypic opinions, on the other hand, often strengthening several untrue ideas.
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