in 1840s groups only crossed the plains, but after 1860 more people moved onto the plains indian land themselves. huge numbers sold homes travelled west from USA and abroad.
1. Government encouragement
Homestead Act 1862: gave each family 160 acres of land free if they lived/farmed it for 5yrs
timber culture act 1875: gave settlers another 160 acres free land if they planted 40 acres with tree
desert land act 1877: gave settler right to buy 640 acres cheaply in areas with lack of rainfall