Why go west?•There were a number of reasons why newspaper editors said, “Go West, young man, and grow up with the country.”
Why go west?•For thousands of people looking to carve out a new life themselves at the end of the Civil War, the area of the Great Plains offered new opportunities.
Why go west?•The government played their part in two ways: the Morrill Land-Grant Act and the Homestead Act, both of 1862.
Why go west?• The Morrill Land-Grant Act gave states the right to sell public land in order to establish colleges specializing in agriculture and the mechanical arts (A & M).
Why go west?• The Homestead Act gave settlers 160 square acres (1/4 of a mile) for a small fee provided that the buyer was at least 21 or the head of a family, an American citizen or legal immigrant, they built a house and lived in it for 6 months a year, and they had to farm the land for 5 consecutive years.
Moving west• Improvements in transportation made the way out west much easier.
Moving west•In 1862, the Pacific Railway Act was passed.
Moving west• On May 10, 1869, the Union Pacific Railroad and the Central Pacific Railroad companies met in Utah, and the transcontinental railroad was complete.