Settling the West

Settling the West

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  • The Pacific Railroad Act
  • The Homestead Act
  • The Klondike Gold Rush
  • In 1862, the U.S. government passed the original Pacific Railroad Act. It provided financial aid to the Union Pacific and Central Pacific Railroad companies to build a Transcontinental Railroad. This was important in settling the west.
  • The Bonanza Farms
  • With the passage of the Homestead Act of 1862, the government gave settlers land. The land was available to women and African Americans as well. This encouraged western migration.
  • When gold was discovered in Canadian Yukon Territory and Alaska in 1896, prospectors headed north. This was called the Klondike Gold Rush. They hoped to become rich. Many of them did not survive the trip through the rough terrain.
  • Yellowstone National Park
  • Bonanza farms were gigantic wheat farms. They ranged from 3,000 acres to over 75,000 acres, and they made lots of money.
  • Frederick Jackson Turner was a famous American historian. He was a teacher at many colleges and his most famous work was called “The Frontier Thesis.” It was an analysis of the history of the West and a warning about the future.
  • Frederick Jackson Turner
  • Yellowstone National Park is a huge recreation area located mostly in Wyoming, but also in Montana and Idaho. It sits atop a volcanic hotspot. It was the first national park in the U.S., and it is the home of a geyser called “Old Faithful.”
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