8A Part 1

Erin Townsend

Western Migration

After the Civil War, migration towards the Western half of the country became much more popular.

• Pre- Civil War and the immediate Post-Civil War were the years of the American Cowboy; filled with long cattle drives and open land.

• Many Americans had to rebuild their lives after the Civil War. They moved west to take advantage of the Homestead Act of 1862 (which gave free public land in

the western territories to settlers who would live on and farm the land).

• People of the South moved west to seek new opportunities after all the damage that was done.

• New technologies, such as railroads and the mechanical reaper, opened new lands in the West for settlement and made farming profitable. By the turn of the century, the Great Plains and Rocky Mountains were quickly becoming areas filled with farms, ranches, and towns.

• As settlers continued to move west, the removal of Native Americans also continued.


During the half-century from 1871 until 1921, most immigrants came

from southern and eastern Europe (Italy, Greece, Poland, Russia, Hungary, and former Yugoslavia), as well as China and Japan.

• Like earlier immigrants, these immigrants came to America seeking ways to better their lives and families. However, the immigrants from southern and eastern Europe mostly came for economic reasons, such as jobs.