The "cattle kingdom" is the historical term given to the rise of the cattle industry in the two decades that followed the American Civil War. The rise of the cattle kingdom during the 1870s and 1880s coincided with the expansion of the railroad.
The cattle industry of this period was glorified through motion pictures and popular novels, making the men who herded cattle across long distances heroic symbols that defined the West. The cattle kingdom collapsed in the late 1880s due to the declining price of beef. Overpopulation of cattle, foreign competition and harsh weather all contributed to the decline of the cattle kingdom.