2 Essential Question:How did the settlements of pioneers effect the environment of the West?
3 Pioneers on the Plains The Great Plains Great Plains = Great American DesertA dry grassland in the middle of the country.Few trees, harsh weather, low rainfall
4 The Great PlainsGovernment wanted to encourage pioneers, or new settlers, to move to the Great Plains.Food and farm goods could be carried by rail back to the growing cities in the East.
5 Homestead ActLaw offered free land (160 acres) to American citizens and immigrants who were willing to start new farms in the Great Plains.
6 Homestead Act A man over 21, or woman who was head of the house Small fee $10.00Farm and live on the land for 5 years, then the land was yoursImprove it by building a 12-by-14 dwelling and growing crops
7 HomesteadersSettlers who claimed land through the Homestead Act
8 Settling on the PlainsFarmers who had to bust up the soil that had grass with thick roots were called “sodbusters”
9 Why was sod a useful building material for homesteaders?
10 Sodbusters The farmers would then use the sod to build their house. They were cool in the summer, warm in the winter, and fireproofWalls were often full of bugs, worms, snakes, and mice.
20 Growth in the West West shows growth Japanese immigrants settle in California and are successful farmers.New railroad lines bring settlers into Washington, Oregon, and California
21 Review Describe the purpose of the Homestead Act. What challenges did the homesteaders face?Why did the Exodusters come to the Plains?How did technology help the farmers turn the Great Plains into productive farmland?