2. Homestead Act of 1862 . Allowed anyone to file for a quarter-section of free land. Full ownership occurred at the end of five years if you had built a house on it, dug a well, broken 10 acres, fenced a specified amount, and actually lived there. New arrivals to the U.S. and landless citizens were obvious candidates for the homestead landsHomesteaders were more likely to be the children of established farmers seeking a place of their own. .
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