The 1862 act that gave 160 acres of free western land to any applicant who occupied and improved the property. This policy led to the rapid development of the American West after the Civil War; facing arid conditions in the West, however, many homesteaders found themselves unable to live on their land. B. Cattlemen on Plains 1. Professional buffalo hunters eliminating buffalo for cattle. 2. Texas ranchers inaugurating famous Long Drive, hiring cowboys to herd cattle. 3. Public grazing lands attracting investors in beef industry, but natural disasters overgrazing of plains’ native grasses contributing to collapse of cattle boom. 4. Ranchers abandoning Long Drive, as railroads reaching Texas range country during 1870s. Stockyards appearing beside rapidly extending railroad tracks, trains took these gathering cattle to giant slaughterhouses in large Midwestern cities. These places became center of meatpacking. C. Homesteaders 1. Women in West a. Euro-Americans thought land barren referring to Great American Desert. b. Railroads, land speculators, steamship lines, western states territories encouraged settlement of Great Plains. c. New technology helping settlers to overcome obstacles. d. 1878-1886, settlers experiencing exceptionally wet weather instead of typical dry weather. e. “American fever” took hold in northern Europe as Norwegians Swedes came to Uniting States. f. Kansas was promising land; by 1880, 40,000 blacks living in Kansas. g. Great Plains fully submitting agricultural development. There was little of “pioneering” that Americans associating with westward movement; farming requiring capital investment willingness risk
state? Morrill Act What were the environmental challenges of the land in the west? What effect did Federal Funding have on the farming and environmental challenges? Land-Grant Colleges Comstock Lode Long Drive What was the first National Park? Why was the first national park created? boom bust cycles. h. Many women accompanying families as homesteaders. i. Westward movement brought Americans into contact with Mormons living in Utah. j. Americans disliking Mormons-practice of polygamy and powerful role of women in Mormon life, their right to vote since 1870. k. Utah became state in 1896, several women won seats in new legislature despite hardship controversy, women living West had new opportunities. An 1862 act that set aside 140 million federal acres that states could sell to raise money for public universities. 2. Environmental Challenges a. Hostile environment on Great Plains: grasshoppers, prairie fires, hailstorms, droughts, tornados, blizzards, lack of water, minimal wood supplies. Families built homes made of sod. b. Typical dry weather on Great Plains by late 1880s, 50,000 homesteaders fleeing Dakotas. c. Dry farming techniques helping alleviate challenges of Great Plains farming. But it’s favoring growth of large corporations. Family farms requiring over 300 acres of grain to survive low prices + harsh weather conditions.
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- Native Americans in the United States