The Wild West   - Homesteaders

The Wild West

The History of the West  -  Wild West Merchandise

The wild west, cowboys, homesteaders, native Americans, wagon trains and more.... plus wild west merchandise


In 1862 the US Government passed a law that allowed any family to claim 65 hectares of land, which they had to farm for 5 years and then they could claim it as their own. The 'Homestead act' saw 1000's of immigrants from Europe heading west to claim the land. After the Civil war when slavery was abolished, freed black slaves also claimed land on the Prairies.

The 'homestead act' was not all plain sailing. It had several consequences. The native Americans were pushed off even more of the land that they had lived, off freely for 1000's of years. This loss of land had already begun with the growth in the number of ranches on the Plains. The homesteaders also came into conflict with the ranch owners..

The ranch owners believed that the land belonged to them, causing disputes between the Homesteaders and the Cowboys.

Despite all the hardships many of the homesteaders managed to claim their land and built thriving communities and farms. The arrival of the Homestead families helped bring a more civilised lifestyle and also law and order to the Prairies.

Did you also know that the Homesteaders were also known as 'Sod Busters'. This was because they often built their homes from 'Sods' or blocks of earth. This was because there were very few trees on the plains to provide them with the, wood that was needed for their homes.

The History of the West - Native American Peoples Of the Plains - Wagon Trains - Gold Fever - Ranches on the Plains - Cowboys - The Railroad - Justice in the Wild West - War Between The Settlers and The Native American Indians



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