How did the Homestead Act affect U.S. expansion?

1 Answer
Jun 24, 2017

It granted lands for free in the West


The 1862 Homestead gave 160 acres of land for free to pioneers who volunteered to go live in the Midwest.By the end of the Civil War, 15,000 homestead claims had been made, and more followed in the postwar years. Eventually, 1.6 million individual claims would be approved; nearly ten percent of all government held property for a total of 420,000 square miles of territory.

The Homesteaders were a key element of US expansion since they helped the frontier being conquested. Willa Cather wrote novels describing their lives, she had been born on a homestead in Nebraska.