Presentation on theme: "Objectives Identify what attracted farmers to the Great Plains."— Presentation transcript:
1Objectives Identify what attracted farmers to the Great Plains. Describe how people adapted to life on the Plains.Summarize the results of the Oklahoma Land Rush.Explain how economic issues led farmers to organize to seek reform.
2Terms and Peoplehomesteader – settler who acquired free land from the governmentsod – a surface layer of earth in which the roots of grasses tangle with soilsodbuster – Plains farmersooner – person who sneaked onto land early during the Oklahoma Land Rush
3Terms and People (continued) grange – group of farmers who met for lectures, sewing bees, and other eventsfarm cooperative – group of farmers who pool their money to make large purchases of tools, seed, and other supplies at a discountinflation – general rise in pricesWilliam Jennings Bryan – Democratic presidential candidate in 1896; the “Great Commoner”
4How did farmers on the Plains struggle to make a living? Miners, rail workers, ranchers, and cowhands were not the only people inspired to move west.By 1900, half a million farmers had settled on the Great Plains.
5In 1862, Congress passed a law to give more people the chance to own farms in the West. Homestead ActGave 160 acres to anyone wholived on the land for five yearsConditions on the Plains were so harsh, however, that few homesteaders stayed five years.
6The railroads were more successful at luring farmers west. More people meant more business. So the railroads gave some of their land away to settlers willing to move west.
7African American Exodusters People from around the country and around the world rushed west to claim free land.EasternersFree landAfrican American ExodustersEuropeans
8Life on the prairie was difficult Life on the prairie was difficult. Water was scarce, and crops were difficult to grow.
9With no wood, families built houses from bricks made of sod. Men, women, and children all had jobs to do to help the farm—and the family—survive.
10New tools and farming methods eventually made life easier. steel plowcut through tough soddrillplanted seedswindmillpumpedwater from the groundreaperharvestedcropsthresherremovedgraincoverings
11Among the new inventions was barbed wire, which was used for fences so cattle and other animals would not trample the crops.cropscattlecattlecattle
12By the 1880s, little free land was left. In 1889, the government allowed settlers to claim one last open area—what once was Indian Territory—in the Oklahoma Land Rush.Oklahomasoonersboomerssooners“Boomers” lined up to claim free homesteads, but “sooners” who jumped the gun claimed most of the best land.
13By 1890, there was no land left for homesteading and, after gradually moving west, the frontier finally closed.frontier
14With hard work, many Plains farmers began producing bountiful harvests With hard work, many Plains farmers began producing bountiful harvests. Crop surpluses, however, drove prices down.
15Small farmers were hit hard by the drop in prices Small farmers were hit hard by the drop in prices. Deep in debt, many lost their land. To protest their hardships, farmers joined together in granges and farm cooperatives to demand reforms.FarmersNational GrangeFarmers’ Alliance
16In 1892, farmers joined with labor unions to form the Populist Party. Populist Reformspublic ownership of railroads and warehousesincome taxes to replace sales taxeseight-hour workdayuse of silver to back the money supply
17Populists believed that adding silver to the nation’s money standard would trigger inflation. croppricesRising prices, they hoped, would benefit farmers by bringing more money for crops.
18In 1896, the Populists supported William Jennings Bryan for President. Though he won many western states, Bryan lost the election.Populist support soon faded.
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