The Decline of Morals in the Colorado Territory

The Decline of Morals in the Colorado Territory

“The Decline of Morals in the Colorado Territory”

Greg Maggard

Table of Contents

Introduction Page# 1
Lack of Family Units 3
Deficiency of Churches 4
Physical Environment 5
Conclusion 6

What drives the behavior of man? Is it lust, greed, power, or possibly family? All children are born innocent; free from the corruption of the outside world, but this innocence is usually lost quickly. Most men have at one time or another, dreamt of becoming rich. As children, games are played that center around becoming rich and famous. During the Colorado Gold Rush, flocks of men made the venture West with dreams of striking it rich. When gold was discovered in 1859, thousands of gold seekers flocked to the Colorado Territory in hopes of gaining their wealth. These men were comprised mostly of Anglo-Americans, most with high morals and strong family beliefs. Early gold seekers faced many challenges that would test not only their religious beliefs, but their morals in general. Although there were many challenges to be sure, three specific challenges had the most dramatic impact on these men’s morals. First, the lack of a family unit close, this made it hard on men who have been separated from their families, to keep morally clean without family guidance. Secondly, a deficiency in the amount of organized churches and places of worship, made keeping up with one’s biblical teachings difficult. Lastly, the harsh unknown environment of the Rocky Mountains, with which gold seekers had to navigate, caused a definite lack of morals out of necessity. This change in the moral fabric of early prospectors had a dramatic and long lasting effect on the Colorado Territory, causing a dramatic decline in the moral culture of this area.
One challenge that faced Colorado Territory gold seekers as they began their quests for riches was the lack of a family unit and the new found freedoms that came along with this...

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