Arts and Humanities,
National Archives and Records Administration
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- This lesson recounts efforts to improve homesteading laws and make land ownership possible for more settlers. The distribution of government lands had been an issue since the Revolutionary War. Preemption -- settling the land first and paying for it later -- became national policy; however, supporting legislation was stymied until the secession of Southern states. See one of the first applications for land under this law. Teaching activities are included.