Western Expansion, Manifest Destiny, and the Mexican-American War

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What are some problems that farming on the Great Plains presented to settlers?

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There were many problems farmers faced when they went to settle on the Great Plains. One of the problems was the land. The soil was much more difficult to farm in the Great Plains. Regular plows could not break the sod. Thus, new machines were needed. Steel-tipped plows were invented to help farmers turn over the soil. Additionally, seeds had to be planted deeper in the earth to reach the area where moisture could be found in the soil. As a result, farmers needed the seed drill to plant seeds deeper in the earth.

Farmers also faced attack from Native Americans. Native Americans were concerned with white expansion based on events surrounding their removal from land east of the Mississippi River in the 1830s. Thus, there were attacks on farmers by Native Americans who viewed the farmers as a threat to them and their way of life.

Farmers also faced climatic issues. Droughts were common. Winters could be very cold and snowy while summers could be incredibly hot and humid. These factors made farming very difficult at times.

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There were many problems faced by farmers on the Great Plains during the 1800s.  

Perhaps the most important of these was the fact that the Great Plains were simply not that easy to farm using the technology that was then available.  Rain was not very consistent.  There were things like locust swarms.  Even the ground was hard to plow because of how thick the roots of the prairie grasses were.  

A second set of problems was connected to the fact that the Great Plains were far from the populated areas.  There was very little wood on the Great Plains and it was hard to get any from the East.  This meant people had to do things like living in sod houses.  They had to do without much fuel and without many kinds of foods that were available in the East.

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