What is the Homestead Act? What part did it play in development of the West? What were some of the associated problems with it and similar Acts (e.g. Timber Act, Desert Lands Act, Swamplands Act)? (Reisner Chapter 1, especially pgs 41-44; Development of West (DOW)Lecture)
The government wanted to sell cheap 160 acre squares of land westward for folks to cultivate farms on. But the land was terrible, wouldn't work for this. Timber Act (said you'd have to plant ttrees, Desert Lands Act (rivers were scarce, you said you have to irrigate), Swamplands act (said you had to drain); too easy to cheat to comply with the regulations, amass titles, therefore have ranches, because it was necessary.