Westward migration maintained continuity in the sense that it added to American strength. The mining booms in Arizona and Colorado after the Civil War provided jobs for millions. People taking advantage of the Homestead Act found lots of land available for their farms. Immigrants from Germany and Russia did not see a treeless plain; rather, they saw an opportunity to grow wheat and turn the United States into a major grain producer. The United States was able to add several new states after the Civil War thanks to emigration. Railroads and telegraphs also helped people in their movements west because the technologies enabled them to feel culturally and economically tied to the rest of the country. Many African Americans and poor white Southerners moved west after the Civil War looking for a fresh start in life; in this respect, they were very similar to those who moved west before the war, often for the same reasons.