The Morrill Act's Attempt to Expand Agricultural Development in the United States

The Morrill Act's Attempt to Expand Agricultural Development in the United States

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The Morrill Act was clearly pioneer thinking for United States timeframe and was met with strong criticism from the universities. At the time, the schools were teaching religion, law, and medicine. Morrill’s vision came from Europe, where it was proven that European farmers produced greater yields on smaller pieces of land compared to the United States (LaMay 77). This is where Morrill sought to bring people of different backgrounds, economically and social class to be educated and be beneficial to all. By allowing a widespread education in the United States, the country opened up many doors to a broader population of the country. When Morrill wrote the act, he also had a thought-provoking method of producing the money to fund the colleges through interest from sale of public lands (“The Land Grant Tradition”).
With the passing of the Homestead Act, previous to the signing of the Morrill Act, the Homestead Act gave western state and territories 160 acres of land. When Morrill brought the act back again to the House and Senate, he urged Congress to increase the land acreage to thirty thousand, but importantly including the teaching of military skills along with the Land-Grant provision (LaMay 78). The Morrill Act brought together a wider assembly of new American landowners along with a way to educate people to caring for the land and how to improve yields. With the industrial age coming about it was almost perfect timing for Justin Morrill and his expansion idea from Europe.
Land grant colleges were a major movement in the education system in the United States. With the passing of the Morrill Act, it enacted federal land to be given to each state, to provide a school to educate people on agriculture and mechanical arts. The purp...


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...n black land-grant colleges through the South.
Improving the uses of agriculture through research
Again, the coming about of land grant colleges had many factors that played into getting these colleges started and process of giving land to each state. The major factors that played an important role are social needs, to increase the efficiency of agricultural production. Farming was the primary source of income for much of the western population, and current production was extremely inefficient. Land grant colleges were a major stepping stone on building the land-grant system, where now more that 10 percent of America’s undergraduates are enrolled at a land grand college. An educator dream that rose above the traditional education, to make a more “people college” as Justin Morrill states that can educate the wider, diverse, growing population in the United States.

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