Homestead act, free land (General Discussion)

by sparky @, Friday, May 04, 2018, 08:30 (138 days ago)

Homestead Acts

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Not to be confused with Homesteading.

Norwegian settlers in 1898 North Dakota in front of their homestead, a sod hut
The Homestead Acts were several United States federal laws that gave an applicant ownership of land, typically called a "homestead," at no cost. In all, more than 270 million acres of public land, or nearly 10% of the total area of the U.S., was given away free to 1.6 million homesteaders; most of the homesteads were west of the Mississippi River.

An extension of the Homestead Principle in law, the Homestead Acts were an expression of the "Free Soil" policy of Northerners who wanted individual farmers to own and operate their own farms, as opposed to Southern slave-owners who wanted to buy up large tracts of land and use slave labor, thereby shutting out free white men.

The first of the acts, the Homestead Act of 1862, opened up millions of acres. Any adult who had never taken up arms against the U.S. government could apply. Women and immigrants who had applied for citizenship were eligible. The 1866 Act explicitly included black Americans and encouraged them to participate, but rampant discrimination slowed black gains. Historian Michael Lanza argues that while the 1866 law pack was not as beneficial as it might have been, it was part of the reason that by 1900 one fourth of all Southern black farmers owned their own farms.[1]

Several additional laws were enacted in the latter half of the 19th and early 20th centuries. The Southern Homestead Act of 1866 sought to address land ownership inequalities in the south during Reconstruction. The Timber Culture Act of 1873 granted land to a claimant who was required to plant trees—the tract could be added to an existing homestead claim and had no residency requirement. The Kinkaid Amendment of 1904 granted a full section (640 acres) to new homesteaders settling in western Nebraska. An amendment to the Homestead Act of 1862, the Enlarged Homestead Act, was passed in 1909 and doubled the allotted acreage from 160 to 320 acres. Another amended act, the national Stock-Raising Homestead Act, was passed in 1916 and again increased the land involved, this time to 640 acres.

Contents [hide]
1 Background
2 History 2.1 Donation Land Claim Act of 1850
2.2 Homestead Act of 1862
2.3 Southern Homestead Act of 1866
2.4 Timber Culture Act of 1873
2.5 Kinkaid Amendment of 1904
2.6 Enlarged Homestead Act of 1909
2.7 Stock-Raising Homestead Act of 1916
2.8 Subsistence Homesteads provisions under the New Deal – 1930

3 Homesteading requirements

Homestead act, free land

by mrse @, NORTHERN WI, Friday, May 04, 2018, 20:39 (138 days ago) @ sparky

Thanks for sharing. :-) :-) :-)

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