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Friday, May 20, 2022

The Homestead Act of 1862 accelerated the White settlement of the Western Territory granting adult male heads of families 160 acres of surveyed public land for a minimal filing fee and five years of continuous residence on that land. Passed after the Secession and the absence of the Southern legislators who opposed it, the Act encouraged thousands of squatters who took over land that was inhabited by Native tribes and Mexicans.