Homestead Act Research Paper

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The Homestead Act was officially made a law in May 20, 1862 by President

Abraham Lincoln. It made settlement possible in the western United States.

By allowing all Americans, including freed slaves, to submit a claim for up to 160

free acres of federal land. The Homestead Act of 1862 basically stated that any

adult citizen who headed a family could be entitled to a grant of 160 acres of free

public land by paying a small fee and living on that land for five years or if that

settler would pay small installments, he could obtain that land after six months of

residency. The deal was that dwellers were required to improve the land by

cultivating and building a dwelling on this free land. After 5 years on the land, they

would qualify for the land free and clear,
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Grants did give new probabilities to many poor farmers from the East as well

as the Midwest.

Not many laborers or farmers could afford to build a farm or

get livestock, the tools for work, or even seeds for planting. In the end, most of the

land went to cattlemen, miners, lumbermen, and railroad however some small

farmers did acquired more land under the Homestead Act.

This Act has been called the most important act for the welfare of the people that

has ever been passed within the United States. Most of the land that was available

was said to be in very poor condition to farm especially those areas where droughts

were common issues. Many families stayed for the entire five years because of

hardships like these. Several large corporations also took advantage of this act by

paying people to buy the best property which had great resources. The Homestead

Act of 1912 diminished the homestead requirements to three years instead of the

initial five years but by this time most of the land had already been claimed.

The Homestead Act was in effect for more than 100 years .The security of social, economic, and agricultural that was developed by the Homestead Act
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