Many in America tend to pine for the old American West. They look back at a day when all men were equals. They look back upon a day when any man could live off the fat of the land. They look back to a time where men organized themselves into communities and ran justice on a local and fair scale. They look back to a time when they didn't have to worry about interference from the federal government. They look back at a time when they didn't have to fear the machinations of East coast financiers. In short, they look back upon a fantasy.
The American West was like most any despotic society. In Montana, you had a handful of rich cattle barons who dictated the terms to everyone else. In New Mexico, the real story of Billy the Kid was really a sub plot in a civil war. In history it was the Lincoln County War, and it is described as a range war. That range was about a quarter of New Mexico. The parties of the war were represented by two wealthy families. In the southwest, there were countless injustices against the native Hispanic farmers. Of course the majority of cowboys were also Hispanic. Most everywhere the justice system had to be funded. The people funding it weren't folks who traded wheat or corn for implements. They were of course the wealthy, and it was their interests they served first. In other parts of the West, land was expropriated from people who tended it to pay for transcontinental railroads.
The real West is of course not that different from all of human history. It is only when the common people have interests and rights for which they demand acknowledgement do we see modern government come into being. As long as the people are under the thumb of the powerful, whether they be actual slave holders or de facto, there is no need for government. In fact the first governments were to mediate disputes between the wealthy. The Magna Carta was not about recognizing the rights of every man but it was about recognizing the rights of the near nobility vis-a-vis the king of England. This idea of governance versus people allows you to claim that at a point and time in history almost all of Europe was Christian but only a minority of her people had heard the Gospel.