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Flyin' West Historical Context

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Historical Context

The Homestead Act of 1862

The notion of free land in the United States existed from the nation's formative years, but it was not until the Civil War that the idea became reality. During the mid-1840s, the entire United States experienced significant growth, but growth in the West outpaced that of other regions. Despite its expansion, the West consisted of territories that had not yet become states. As a result, they did not have representation in Congress and thus did not enjoy the government programs afforded the older areas of the North and the South. The issue of free land was supported by Westerners, who knew that it would attract more people, and by Northerners, who wanted the newly settled land to become a productive market for manufactured goods. On the other the hand, the South opposed free land, as it would result in agricultural competition and entice...

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This section contains 689 words
(approx. 3 pages at 300 words per page)
Purchase our Flyin' West Study Guide
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Flyin' West from BookRags and Gale's For Students Series. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.
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