The Homestead Act of 1862 was passed during the Civil War, to encourage Western migration.
Argument: President Abraham Lincoln had issued this act in order to give to the U.S. citizens 160 acres of land, however he would give it to them on the requirement that they lived there and improved the land for up to 5 years, while paying a fee of $30. This act had increased the settlement westward for farming. The Homestead Act gave the ability for any American citizen to own land, even women who were divorced, widowed, or unwed could acquire land. Freed slaves were eligible as well. Any one citizen who owned the land would become the “head of household” which permitted men and women to potentially live the American dream. Although this act did not help the issue of poverty, several homesteaders had to give back the land to Congress due to the poor condition of the land they were given.
While migration was expanding in the West, many conflicts arose with the Native Americans and the U.S troops. The westward expansion had many adverse effects on the Native Americans, they were forced to live on reservations. The Homestead Act had lead the Indians to fight to the death to defend their tribe lands from white settlements.
While the westward expansion was in motion, conflicts started to become unavoidable between the American settlers and the Indians. The Cheyenne, and the Arapaho tribes were involved in the rivalry that was transpiring. Argument: These two tribes were forced to sign treaties, which meant for them to hand over most of their tribal land, so the new white settlers that migrated west could acquire that new land. In result, the Indian tribes moved to Sand Creek to hunt and stay on their reservation, but a turmoil with the U.S. troops had taken action. John Chivington’s troops had massacred men, women, and children at Sand Creek. This massacre at Sand Creek in 1864 was an unexpected event between the Indians and the U.S. troops. Although the Indians fought to defend their tribal lands, they were strikingly defeated by Chivington’s troops.
As massacres between Indian tribes and white settlers were continuous, it did not stop prevent citizens from accomplishing and discovering new things. For example the first transcontinental railroad was completed in 1869, which opened doors for new ways of transportation to travel across the United States. The chance of moving west encouraged white settlers to improve the way of living. However this improvement of lifestyle for the white settlers, was creating rage between the Indian tribes and the U.S government.
In 1876, a battle was fought between the U.S government and the Sioux, Cheyenne, and the Arapaho tribe. Once more, the U.S government wanted to claim another tribal land, as well as claim the gold that was discovered in the desired area. This war was called the Great Sioux War, but also known as the Black Hills war, considering the discovered gold there.