Homesteaders Reasons


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Homesteaders Reasons

  1. 1. The Homesteaders
  2. 2. Presentation Objectives: <ul><li>Why people moved onto the Plains. </li></ul><ul><li>Impact of the railroad and the Homestead Acts. </li></ul>
  3. 3. Movement on the Plains <ul><li>The Plains for a long time was considered the ‘great American desert’. This was because they felt no-one could survive on the barren landscape. </li></ul><ul><li>The only people who lived on the Plains were the Native Americans. </li></ul>
  4. 4. Reasons for movement: Push and Pull factors. Push High cost of living in the East coast Escape the poverty of being immigrants, Overcrowding in the East
  5. 5. Reasons for movement: Push and Pull factors. Pull Sense of adventure – Manifest Destiny Cheap land with Rail and Govt. Laws Adverts saying how good it is.
  6. 6. Homestead Act of 1862 <ul><li>The Homestead Act of 1862 was a US Govt. law designed to get people to move on to the Plains. (Kansas, Nebraska and Dakota) </li></ul><ul><li>If a person moved on the Plains then they would get 160 acres of land which would be free except a small charge to file a claim. </li></ul>
  7. 7. Homestead Act of 1862 <ul><li>To meet the terms of the agreement the homesteaders had to live on their homestead for 5 years. </li></ul><ul><li>They would then get the deeds to own the lands. A quick sale could be done in 6 months. </li></ul>How they lived on the Homestead was a different matter. To succeed, crops were sometimes more important than the home someone lived in.
  8. 8. Timber Culture Act 1873 <ul><li>This act was designed to add to the Homestead Act of 1862. </li></ul><ul><li>It gave Homesteaders a further 160 acres if they turned 40 for planting trees (it was later reduced to just 10 acres). </li></ul>
  9. 9. Desert Land Act 1877 <ul><li>The Homestead Act was allowed to increase holdings to 640 acres. </li></ul><ul><li>In 1877 it also created the Desert Land Act which enabled Homesteaders to get 640 acres in poor rainfall or water areas. </li></ul>
  10. 10. What was good and bad about the Homestead Act? <ul><li>What was bad </li></ul><ul><li>Not enough land – 160 acres was not enough in some areas e.g. Colorado. </li></ul><ul><li>Some people took advantage of the law by getting their employees to get claims and then take the land. </li></ul><ul><li>What was good </li></ul><ul><li>People thought 160 acres was manageable. </li></ul><ul><li>A Homesteader could get 480 acres under the three acts up to 1873. </li></ul><ul><li>It got people to move on to the Plains. 2.5 million acres were on offer. </li></ul><ul><li>By 1885-7, 43,000 claims were made. </li></ul>
  11. 11. Railroads all led to the Plains <ul><li>Railroads were being made across the Plains (the Transcontinental Railroads). </li></ul><ul><li>To help pay for the projects, the companies marketed settling on the Plains. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>To make the railroads full of passengers. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>To settle the Plains in between the coasts on their land. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>The freight on the rails would be needed for supplying the Homesteaders. </li></ul></ul>
  12. 12. Adverts like this, sold the idea of settling on the Plains. Notice the lush green scenery – not all the Plains were like this! The Railways also set up ‘Exploring ticket’, which allowed people top visit the plains. If a person wanted to, they could then buy the land on credit from the rail company. The company was selling land it owned either side of the railways.