Module 5

Westward Expansion

Let's Move West!!

After the American Civil War, the United States government encouraged Americans to move west. They did this through laws that gave free land and incentives to populate the western territories.

The Homestead Act

Homesteaders received 160 acres if they improved the land by planting, building houses/structures.

More Acts to Know

Module 5 Assignment 1

Use the information above to help you on your assignment!

Module 5 Assignment 2

As the west grew, so did farming! Farmers joined together in a social organization known as the Grange. The Grange eventually grew into the Populist Party. Here are some notes to help you with assignment 2:

The Populist Party

  • Farmers formed a political party to push for more change
  • Populists founded in 1891
  • Goals: Graduated Income Tax (wealthy pay higher percentage of their wages), direct election of Senators, and government ownership of major transportation and communication services.
  • Election of 1896

*The election followed an economic depression

*Chief issue was Free Silver—would produce cheap money with actual value that would allow farmers pay off their debts.

*William Jennings Bryant supported free silver. Ran on the Populist and Democratic ticket against

William McKinley—supported big business who supported his campaign.

*McKinley won by a small margin and eventually the economy improved and the Populist Party


*Many of the ideas of the Populist Party would later emerge in the Progressive Era.