Why did people start to settle on the Plains?

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  • Why did people start to settle on the Plains?
    • Pull  Factors
      • The Home stead Act - 1862
        • Allowing families 160 acres of land free as long as they lived on it and farmed it for 5 years
      • The Timber Culture Act - 1873
        • The government realized that 160 acres wasn't enough to support a family
          • This allowed homesteader families to claim a further 160 acres as long as they planted trees on half of it
      • Letters home from those who had already gone west
        • The letters encouraged people to move as well
      • Advertising by states and railroad companies
        • All these companies organized their own advertising campaigns to entice people on to the Plains
    • Push Factors
      • The End of the American Civil War - 1865
        • Many  ex-soldiers were looking to start a new life and they could do this on the Plains
        • Slaves gained their freedom
          • Many of the freed slaves wanted to escape persecution from the South so they moved on to the Plains
      • Religious Persecution
        • Religious groups such as Jews and the Amish wanted to move on to the Plains
      • Escaping unemployment and poverty
        • The English, Germans, Irish, Russians and Scots moved on to the Plains to escape unemployment and poverty in their own country


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