Major issues for America after the civil war untill 1900

Essay by tolgar1357University, Bachelor'sA, March 2006

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Changes in American Life

After the civil war America had extreme changes in the way it functioned as a society. The west was being developed which, in turn, drove the Native Americans out. Business was booming which caused hardship with farmers, and foreigners were flooding into America with hopes of a better life. Though the people of this era may have not known at the time, they were shaping America into what would become the nation it is today.

During the end of the nineteenth century more than two million people moved into the west. Before the civil war many looked over the west and either settled on the east coast or in California. There was a large amount of new immigrants partaking in the westward movement; however most were native born Americans. For all migrants the idea of moving west brought the thought of a better life.

The westward movement was aided by the Homestead Act. In 1862 Congress launched the Homestead Act which offered anyone willing to move west 160 acres of land for ten dollars. Although the Homestead Act was very important in developing the west it mostly benefited wealthy business men. Another group of people the Homestead Act and westward movement hurt were the Native Americans.

In 1865 about 250,000 Native Americans lived in the western part of the country. These Native Americans were members of various Plains tribes. Cheyenne, Crow, Arapaho, Kiowa, Apache, Comanche, and Sioux Indians were the major tribes of the Great Plaines during this time. The lives of these tribes varied from each other but all were much more diverse than the white mans way of living.

Before the mid of the nineteenth century land west of the Mississippi was deemed "Indian Country". The white man would move eastern tribes to...