How the old west was more European than you may know
West world has brought western entertainment back around and tweaked it a bit so it’s in the future. The same stereotypical characters are there. You have the cowboy, the bad guy, the owner of the brothel, the prostitutes, and the good ole boy. Is it an accurate depiction of how the wild west was? You can look to cowboys in older movies to see how people really want to imagine their cowboys. They want manly men and fair damsels fanning themselves outside the saloon doors. For the most part, the accents in cowboy movies sound a lot like Americans but the accents probably should be a bit more British.
Per an article on cracked.com there are a lot of false facts everyone believes about the wild west. One is that cowboys wore cowboy hats. Most of them wore bowler hats which is not the same. If you look at pictures from the time you'll see the small hats perched on their heads and not the cowboy hats we've become so accustomed to. Another myth believed by a lot of Americans is that the wild west is as American as you can get. The truth is, it's a lot more European. Most people in the wild west spoke with a British accent. The Indians and the cowboys weren’t always fighting, in fact, some of them had a very good relationship with one another.
The Wild West refers to a thirty-year span starting in 1865. While it's well known for bank heists, gunslingers, and outlaws, that is a reality learned from movies that romanticize the Wild West for us. We know thanks to the history of what happened that the bank heists weren’t happening every day and outlaws didn’t just constantly harass the towns. Prostitutes and the owners of the brothels weren’t destitute. Selling flesh turned a hefty profit and they were some of the more wealthy residents of the west.
Western culture influenced by heavy European migration is a combination of traditions and philosophic ideals. These European traditions are a mix of Hellenic, Jewish, and Celtic cultures per an article on sciencedaily.com the belief systems mixed into a new set of ideals in the Western lifestyle. Christianity played a large part in the ethical values and customs that shaped a lot of the culture of the wild west.
This can be seen in the bowler hats and the sweeping skirts the women wore. It also is apparent in their hygiene. One thing you won’t see in the history books about cowboys is they were dirty. The Indians were appalled that they didn’t bath sometimes for a month or more. They wore long sleeves and thicker clothing as was the custom where they were from and this meant the sweated in the hot sun and smelled terrible. What’s more European than that?
In conclusion, it’s not a surprise Americans and people from the UK have romanticized the wild west to be something it’s not. There’s nothing wrong with enjoying the westerns and your version of what it meant to live in the wild west, but if you look at it logically, the people who migrated there were all still very European so a few more accents and a little fewer bank robberies makes sense.