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Cowboy Dude 1

A painting of a Eularbian cowboy in western Avarice

The Eularbian Frontier, more commonly referred to as the Old West and the Wild West, was an era that took place in western Avarice -- mainly in and around the Grand Winsch Desert. It spanned from the 1840s up until the late-1920s, when Harbian civilization had permanently rooted itself and the Harbian economy began its ascension out of its depression. The era was spurred by the discovery of gold and silver -- and later oil -- in the Grand Winsch Desert by Eularbian pioneers. However, as the years went on, the frontier became filled with outlaws, property wars, vigilantism, poaching, and civil tensions. This era became a stark contrast from the Edwardian era -- which had begun in the 1820s and ended in the 1890s. 

History

Origins

The Eularbian Frontier began in 1844, when an exploration party of government surveyors were scouting the Grand Winsch Desert and stumbled upon a creek laced with gold nuggets and dust. This large collection of gold prompted the Eularbians to return to Ostlyn, Culberne and report their findings to the Harbian half of the Eularbian Commonwealth. This information made itself eventually made it through most of Harbitros' major cities at the time -- and then spread to Eulumia's half of the government. By 1848, thousands of optimistic Eularbian pioneers and frontiersmen set off toward the Grand Winsch Desert -- and the other unknown lands of western Avarice. By the mid-1850s, news and rumours spread to Baecca of the opportunities and resources available in the Eularbian frontier, and eager immigrants from Domi Concordia, San Locura, Machinam, and Zeiifunder moved to Avarician Eularbia en masse.

Gold Rush

From 1848 until the early 1870s, gold was readily available for anyone with the right equipment or funds. During this span of two decades, prospectors and miners made up a large sum of the denizens in western Avarice's growing population. Those who moved to this area of bustling economy and industry struck rich -- but those who arrived on the scene beginning in 1868 found themselves either wasting their days in cleaned out mines, or scraping along river beds and abandoned prospecting sites for the leftover "crumbs" of the Gold Rush. As a way for others to profit off of the large groups of miners and prospect owners who ventured out into the frontier, merchants, entrepreneurs, and construction workers helped compose small settlements and towns. However, as the Gold Rush reached its waning days, many of these towns were shrunk in population size, or were abandoned altogether -- forming ghost towns. A few towns, however, managed to keep their size -- and eventually expanded; the cities of Crittenden and Blackwood are two examples of this. Many of those who successfully struck fortune either moved to eastern Avarice or to Eulumian Larusia, or stayed and constructed large ranges and homesteads.

Black Gold

A second "gold rush" began in 1877, when a group of construction workers struck a resevoir of petroleum whilst clearing land for a project. This new and strange substance attracted the attention of many across the world, and immigration on the basis of capital was again rekindled for the Eularbian Frontier. The Harbian demesne of Winsch would later come to be known as the world's oil capital.

The Wild West

Cowboy Duel

A duel taking place in a North Contoure settlement, circa 1891

Though the era may be referred to as the Wild West, the time period did not live up to its name until the 1860s. As communities, settlements, and towns took shape across western Avarice, a sense of wild lawlessness formed as well. Due to the lack of authority in the region, bandits and racketeers became rampant. Outlaws and fugitives looking to escape the Eularbian justice system also moved to the frontier -- where they could commit their crimes relatively freely, with only other citizens and criminals to keep watch for. This led to the rise of vigilantism and settlements electing a respective sheriff. 


The Eularbian Frontier was also rampant with property and range wars between competing homesteads, ranches, and families. Between these conflicts and battles with outlaws, cowboys became an essential piece of the Wild West's history and culture. Also, due to the promotion of firearm ownership by the Eularbian Commonwealth, many settlers, cowboys, and miners carried their own weapons -- and thus many civil disputes ended up being settled either through intimidation, duels, or shootouts. 

Final Days of the West

Train and Cowboys 1

A painting of a bandit gang attempting to raid a train, circa 1887

By the 1880s, the Eularbian Commonwealth had begun expanding authority and societal functions to the Eularbian Frontier. Railroad tracks for trains and rail cars had begun to be constructed. Due to this, however, the government of Eularbia often found itself in opposition to the priorities and needs of its frontiersmen. A notable example is the Caster Range War, in which a battalion of Eularbian marshals fought the Caster family over their land after declining a monetary offer from the Commonwealth. By the late 1890s, most of western Avarice's smallest settlements had functioning electricity. By this point, Crittenden had become a bustling western city and had already received paved roads. In the 1900s, the remote settlement of Vice Ridge -- which housed many of the Wild West's outlaws, charlatans, and grifters -- received large population boosts, as disgruntled homesteaders and former frontier settlers wanted to cling to their libertine society. 

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