Westward Expansion 1800-1860: Law and Justice Research Article from American Eras

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Land Law.

The migration of hundreds of thousands of Americans into the Trans-Appalachian West gave birth to a multitude of legal problems regarding land. States were anxious that the land be settled and developed by their citizens. As a result state legislators sponsored internal improvements such as roads and canals, which raised the value of the land since then it could be developed more profitably. Further, state politicians wanted land under their control because land held by the federal government generated no income for the state. Movements that favored land reform and settlement gained support on a number of levels as a result. For example, Illinois passed laws that favored profitable settlement. The Preemption Act of 1830 helped the squatters who had moved to, occupied, and developed land held in the public domain without ownership. Under the act these illegal settlers could purchase up to 160 acres for a minimum...

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This section contains 1,093 words
(approx. 4 pages at 300 words per page)
Buy the Westward Expansion 1800-1860: Law and Justice Encyclopedia Article
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