Why did settlers move to the Great Plains?

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mkoren | Middle School Teacher | (Level 3) Senior Educator

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Settlers moved to the Great Plains for several reasons. One reason was the government was offering 160 acres of land for free if the settler agreed to live on the land for five years. This was part of the Homestead Act of 1862. People had a significant interesting in owning land. This would give people a chance to farm this land. Additionally, the government launched a campaign to attract settlers to this area. This campaign made it sound as if the Great Plains was a good place to live.

Some people went to the Great Plains when they heard there were minerals in the region. Gold was one mineral found in the Great Plains region. People hoped to make a lot of money by mining gold.

There were new inventions that made it easier to farm. The seed drill allowed seeds to be planted deeper in the earth. The steel-tipped plow made it easier to turn over the soil. These inventions would help farmers on the Great Plains.