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The Homestead Act Essay

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Homestead Act
The expansion of the United States is such a vital part of American history, yet some often forget how it all happened. Many thriving settlers were given an extraordinary opportunity starting on January 1, 1863 that would end up laying the floor work for many Midwestern and Western citizens today. The rights and responsibilities to live on and maintain 160 acres of land may seem like a lot to take in for a student learning about an Act about land from the 1860s. However, think about all the people the Homestead Act of 1862 affected. There was a lot of pressure on the original homesteaders to make good use of their newfound land, the government was giving out land that wasn’t exactly theirs, and the Native American would have some their rights stolen.
It was not very easy for the United States to expand like they had in mind. The division of land had been a rising problem since the Revolutionary war. Two of the main issues during the time of the Articles of Confederation were the pricing and land measurement (Potter and Schamel 1). Throughout the course of over fifty years, the government had tried many different attempts to get people to want to expand to the west. They just didn’t really know the right way of how to go about it. Trying to sell the acres did not go over well, considering the price seemed outrageous for what they were getting. Untouched soil was very hard to start on and be successful from the beginning, which caused some problems with people not wanting to buy the land (Weiser 1). So again, a different political group tried a different approach.
A political group called the Free Soil Party in 1852 demanded free homesteads. Legends of America says, “In 1854 the first free homestead bill was intro...


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...r for the United states to be successful.
Foner, Eric, and John A. Garraty. "Homestead Act." The Reader's Companion to American History. Dec. 1 1991: n.p. SIRS Issues Researcher. Web. 06 Feb. 2014.
I used this sourse to give me some backround information about the Homestead Act and a quote.
Potter, Lee Ann, and Wynell Schamel. "The Homestead Act of 1862." National Archives and Records Administration. National Archives and Records Administration, n.d. Web. 04 Feb. 2014.
I used this source for a quote and to learn the majority of what I needed to know about the history and effects of the Homestead Act of 1862.
Weiser, Kathy. "The Homestead Act - Creating Prosperity in America." The Homestead Act - Creating Prosperity in America. N.p., May 2012. Web. 06 Feb. 2014.
I used this source for many quotes and a good portion of my information about the Homestead Act itself.



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