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American History Notes 9th Grade Essay Sample

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American History Notes 9th Grade Essay Sample

1. The Beginning of Settlement
Guiding Question: What encouraged settlers to move west to the Great Plains? * The Great Plains is a vast region of prairie roughly was of the Mississippi River and east of the Rocky Mountains. * Settlers faced many challenges with the weather

* In this dry grassland, trees naturally grew only by the rivers and streams. * To get water they often had to drill wells more than 100 feet deep * Eventually this land turned into Americans wheat belt

* In 1862 the government passed the Homestead Act that for a small fee people could file for a homestead and get up to 160 acres they could own after 5 years

2. The Wheat Belt
Guiding Question: What new methods and technologies revolutionized agriculture and made it practical to cultivate the Plains? * The Morrill Land-Grant College Act of 1862 gave each state 30,000 acres to sell to fund existing colleges or make new ones that focused on agriculture and mechanical arts * Dry farming was planting seeds so far in the ground there was enough moisture for them to grow * Some of the new tools farmers where using by the 1860s where steel plows, threshing machines, seed drills, and reapers * Bonanza farmers formed companies, invested in property and equipment, and hired laborers as needed

3. Farmers Fall on Hard Times
* The Untied States was the leading exporter of wheat by the 1880s * There was a big drought in the 1880s and the large amount of wheat caused wheat prices to drop * Some farmers tried to borrow money from the bank, but if they failed to pay there mortgage payments they lost there land to the bank * Farmers often continued to work as tenant farmers, renting the land from its new owners * By 1900, tenants cultivated about one-third of the farms on the Plains

4. Closing the Frontier
* One April 22, 1889 the government opened large territories for settlement, thousands of people raced to stake claims, This was called the Oklahoma Land Rush * Typical homesteaders raised cattle, chickens, and a few crops

Summary:
This section was mainly about settling in the Plains. It started with the Homestead act in 1862. This gave away land up to 160 acres to anyone. Also in 1862 the government passed the Morrill Land-Grant College Act. This gave each state 30,000 acres to sell to fund existing colleges or make new ones that focused on agriculture and mechanical arts. Also in this era there where new tool and technics invented to make farming easer such as steel plows, threshing machines, seed drills, and reapers. The Untied States was the leading exporter of wheat by the 1880s. Wheat prices soon went down though and farmers lost money. They tried to borrow money from the bank but often couldn’t pay moorages and lost their farms. By 1900, tenants cultivated about one-third of the farms on the Plains.

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