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Word Count: 851
After the Civil War Americans accelerated their conquest of the lands west of the Mississippi River The story of that conquest is one of hard - working farmers and ranch families and unwavering miners It was a tale of gallantry of those who left everything behind to take a trial at the new life and the difficulty of working the land While times were not going as planned with all the fake advertisements the government and corporations stepped in to try and lend a hand While sometimes they did aid those of the West by handing out the government land and with mechanization of farming but most of the time they contributed more to the loss of the West with the Big Business Bonanza tariffs and currency policies The disposing of the government land was a big reason why more people were coming into the West Government passed the Morrill Land - Grant Act of 1862 which gave over 140 million acres of land to state governments The state governments were then free to sell the land to fund agricultural colleges A similar act was then passed later that year called the Homestead Act The Homestead Act offered American citizens and immigrants who planned to be citizens 160 acres of public land each for only a ten-dollar registration fee The catch to this act was that you had to live and build the on the land for five consecutive years before being able to claim ownership These two acts of land distribution were the major cause for all the western migration The West was home to Native Americans for many years before it was home to the people of the U S Modern farming methods discovery of mineral deposits and ranching made the West appeal to many others especially big business Among new farming methods were the harrow and the motorized plow The use of mechanical farm tools made the workday shorter and it caused
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