Westward Ho. Manifest Destiny. Following the Civil War, many Americans loaded all of their possessions into their wagons and headed West. Why were people so willing to head into the unknown?. Homestead Act 1862. The new law established a three-fold homestead acquisition process:
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Following the Civil War, many Americans loaded all of their possessions into their wagons and headed West. Why were people so willing to head into the unknown?
To encourage the building of "land-grant" colleges in Western territories that had already been granted statehood, hundreds of thousands of acres of land were given to state governments. This land could be sold by the states to pay for these colleges. At 50 cents an acre (and sometimes less), settlers and land speculators received land from individual states.
F.Y.I. Michigan State & Pennsylvania State Universities were the first land grant universities in the country. (1863)
What dangers would they face during their journey?
Deadwood, SD: 1876
Deadwood, SD: Late 1880’s
At the end of the trail, sometimes four months and 1,200 miles later.
Dodge City was established in 1872, just before the arrival of the Santa Fe Railroad. It initially did a booming business in buffalo bones and hides, as well as serving as a rendezvous for soldiers from Fort Dodge. By 1875 its days as a cattle town had arrived and for the next 10 years it was the "Cowboy Capital" of the world, and "Queen of the Cow towns."
2. The mechanical reaper was an important step in the mechanization of agriculture during the nineteenth century. Before the reaper, the amount of grain that could be cut by hand during the short harvest season limited both food supply and farm sizes. McCormick's reaper would win international acclaim at the first world's fair in London's Crystal Palace, in 1851.
1. Deere's story is an American success story, just like that of Cyrus McCormick. (Do you remember what McCormick invented?) At eleven years of age, John Deere was an apprentice blacksmith making smoothly polished hay forks and shovels. By 1836, when Deere was twenty-six, he traveled from his home in Vermont by canal boat, lake boat, and stagecoach to Grand Detour, Illinois, where he set up another blacksmith shop. There he discovered that farmers were using cast iron plows that clogged with mud every few minutes. John Deere pondered the problem, and soon produced shiny steel plows that made nicely molded furrows.
2. Not only did Deere provide plows on special order, but he also began mass-producing them in advance of orders. Ten years after he sold his first steel plow, John Deere was filling orders for a thousand plows a year.
3. Deere's plows were high quality. In fact, he often said, "I will never put my name on a plow that does not have in it the best that is in me."