The Homestead Act of 1862 stated that, “..any person who is the head of the family.. be entitled to enter one quarter section or less quantity of unappropriated public lands..” In other words, President Abraham Lincoln signed a document which allowed families, that met the requirements, to settle in western territories in the United states, on 160 acres of land or less. Requirements to obtain 160 acres of land included being a legal citizen of the United States, being at least twenty-one years of age, and never have borne arms against the United States. If you met all of these requirements, you were to fill out an application, move to the land you choose to live on, build a home, make improvements to the land, and farm that land for a minimum of 5 years. Even immigrants, widowed or single women, freed slaves, and farmers without their own land could even apply for 160 acres! If you were able to make the improvements, farm the land, and build a home and establish settlement there, you were then handed a deed to the land, which you would then own, and could pass down to your family for years to come.
Noting the fact that properties were handed out for 160 acres or less is important. On 160 acres of land, President Lincoln believed we could establish yeoma...
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... knowing what to do in case of a medical emergency, knowing that you have ample food supply, and more. This was needed during the 1800’s because you have few neighbors, and even fewer hospitals, grocery stores, and places we like to think of today as necessary.
Overall, the Homestead Act of 1852 had a lot of long lasting impacts, both positive and negative. As stated previously, we are still conducting and using methods that date back to the Homestead Act, included canning, preserving, using old ways of healing such as plants and oils, and much more. Many families were positively impacted due to the Homestead Act, including Peter Agre. And lastly, the Civil war is one of the countries most memorable wars, simply because we were fighting each other. The Homestead Act ties into all of these major changes that were taking place and changing history in the mid 1800’s.
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