Essay On Homestead Act

Essay On Homestead Act-22
But the lack of means to acquire sufficient land to ensure economic success, allied with the harsh conditions, made farming too uncertain. The 1909 Enlarged Homestead Act, an amendment to the 1862 Homestead Act, recognized that prime alluvial land was not available anymore and, considering the aridity of areas such as the Great Plains, provided claims of 320 acres, leading to a new movement to the West. "The Significance of the Frontier in American History." In Rereading Frederick Jackson Turner: "The Significance of the Frontier in American History" and Other Essays. White homesteaders, ranchers, and others had been in the Manzanola-Rocky Ford area since the 19th century. In Search of the Racial Frontier: African Americans in the American West, 1528-1990.

But the lack of means to acquire sufficient land to ensure economic success, allied with the harsh conditions, made farming too uncertain. The 1909 Enlarged Homestead Act, an amendment to the 1862 Homestead Act, recognized that prime alluvial land was not available anymore and, considering the aridity of areas such as the Great Plains, provided claims of 320 acres, leading to a new movement to the West. "The Significance of the Frontier in American History." In Rereading Frederick Jackson Turner: "The Significance of the Frontier in American History" and Other Essays. White homesteaders, ranchers, and others had been in the Manzanola-Rocky Ford area since the 19th century. In Search of the Racial Frontier: African Americans in the American West, 1528-1990.

Smaller places–Dearfield (Greeley, CO) and "The Dry" (Manzanola, CO), for example–continue to be mostly unacknowledged and to have their contributions to the history of the West effaced.

By providing diverse narratives of African American homesteading beyond the widely acknowledged approaches, we are able to not only challenge the veracity of the Western frontier myth, but also complicate western identity and bring to the forefront marginalized narratives.

Survey and excavation have yielded a large number of artifacts related to domestic life which, when paired with interviews of descendants, have opened a window into the daily lives of those in the African American homesteading community.

According to oral information, most homesteads may have started with dugout constructions (including living spaces, root cellars, and outhouses).

They acquired land, developed homesteads, and started a number of all-black towns mainly in Kansas, Oklahoma, and Texas.

By the turn of the century, 765,000 African Americans lived in the West (Moos 2005, p.Although individual African Americans had moved to the west throughout the early decades of the 19th century, it was in the years following the end of the civil war and the end of Reconstruction that thousands of African Americans migrated to western regions in an attempt to move away from the socio-economic and political oppression of the south.Encouraged by the advertisement of bountiful land, African Americans migrated to Kansas and neighboring states, forming the movement known as Exodusters (Painter 1976).This notion highlights a Euro-American-centered history full of romantic imagery: settlers traveling long distances, leading wagons and family to homestead in a land of open, endless prairie, rolling hills, and tall grass.Academics have debated this imagery as nothing more than ethnocentric, sexist, environmentally insensitive, and unduly celebratory (e.g., Armitage 1994; Billington and Hardaway 1998; Limerick 1991; Painter 1976; Taylor 1998).But they had no money to go back and had to stay in Colorado." (Author interview with Alice Mc Donald.) Settlers collectively attempted to build an irrigation system using water from the Apishapa River, but after the system's collapse during the 1923 floods, it was never rebuilt, as homesteaders realized that irrigation farming was an impossible task. As with other rural communities, recollections of the descendants from The Dry seem to indicate a large measure of mutuality among community members and a relaxation of culturally determined barriers, including gender and racial barriers. In the early 20th century, farm experts (Campbell 1907; Hargreaves 1957) believed that dryland farming, uniquely dependent on natural rainfall and using non-irrigated crops, such as wheat, corn and beans, could be successful and provide profits when practiced on large-scale acreage. It is acknowledged that the homesteading experience enhanced female status and autonomy, with women sharing responsibilities that altered the traditional gender division of labor, and freed them from traditional gender constrictions. The fate of many was sealed when the towns were bypassed by the railroad and dwellers started moving to cities.The original Homestead Act of 1862 had provided homesteading of 160 acres, after payment of a fee, claimed in deed after settlers had lived on the land for five years and showed evidence of having made improvements. The importance of African Americans in the West is widely acknowledged, but often the history of small, rural black communities goes unrecognized in western states' historic narratives, which are often dominated by pictures of white pioneer men wrestling and conquering nature.Though subject to much criticism, the idea of the "frontier" and the depiction of a triumphal settlement of the West as a part of the American character (Turner 1893) still persist in the national culture.

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