American West - Farming on the Plains

megrusson's version from 2015-06-07 17:21

Section 1

Question Answer
By which decade had most land in California and Oregon been bought?1860s
In which year did railroad building begin, helping settlers onto the Plains?1862, Pacific Railroads Act
When did the Civil War end, leaving ex-soldiers and freed slaves looking for land?1865
By what year had major living and working problems been solved on the Plains?1890

Section 2

Question Answer
Which four main areas did the government want people to settle in?Texas / California / Oregon / The Great Plains
What is a federal republic?There is a federal government who make decisions for the whole country, whereas individual states make smaller decisions that affect their state.
What did the government divide the Great Plains into?Townships
When was the Homestead Act?1862
What did the Homestead Act allow?Settlers could claim 160 acres to live and farm on, and after five years for a fee of $30, gained a certificate of ownership.
Which act was passed in 1873?The Timber and Culture Act
What did the Timber and Culture Act allow?160 more acres for a homesteader family if they promised to plant trees on half of it.
When was the Desert Land Act?1877
What did the Desert Land Act allow?640 acres of land cheaply that was difficult to farm
How did the government promote railway building?Gave out township land parcels either side of the tracks
When was the first railroad completed?1869

Section 3

Question Answer
What was usually the first problem for homesteaders after registering a claim to land?Building a house to withstand extremes on the Plains
What did homesteaders build their houses with?Blocks of earth (sods)
How great was the responsibility of homesteader women?The women on the Plains had to work to keep their family alive - warm, fed, clothed, clean and healthy.
What would women find to use as fuel?Dried cow and buffalo dung
How difficult was keeping the house clean?It was incredibly difficult to keep a sod house clean, especially with little soap, a few rags and brushes made from twigs.
How did women treat illness on the Plains?Through tried and tested natural remedies, such as wrapping a cobweb around a cut.
Was there anyone to help women birth children on the Plains?Absolutely no-one. Women would have to simply get on with it.
Which women leaving on the Plains had to pledge no marriage for three years?Teachers
How did the women develop a sense of community?By meeting with the nearest homestead and celebrating a good harvest or a new baby. It was a very isolated environment otherwise.

Section 4

Question Answer
Why were the Great Plains so difficult to farm?The soil and climate were nothing anyone had experienced trying to farm before.
Why was the land difficult to plough?The grasses that grew there had dense and tangled roots that broke most cast-iron ploughs
Why was getting water a problem?Only 38cm of rain fell a year, and this was usually in the summer when the soil could not retain moisture.
How did people attempt to overcome lack of water?Dig wells, which was expensive and uncertain and still did not provide enough water.
How much land did a homesteader need to support his family?More than the 160 acres originally allocated, prompting the Timber and Culture Act.
What crops did the homesteaders first try and why did they fail?Maize and soft winter and spring wheats, which could not cope with the extreme weathers on the Plains.
Why did homesteaders need some form of fencing?They need to a boundary between them and their neighbours, and needed to prevent cattle from straying and eating their crops.
Which two natural disasters were very common?Wild fire and plagues of locusts

Section 5

Question Answer
Why did it take so long to look for a solution?It took multiple years to realise that one bad year was not just an accident - their methods needed to be changed.
What machinery did factories produce to help?Mechanical reapers, binders and threshers and ploughs built with steel ploughshares.
Which invention helped solve the problem of lack of water?The wind pump
How did the wind pump work?A mechanical drill was used to get down to the water and then the wind pump would raise this water to the surface.
What was invented in 1874 and by whom?Barbed wire, invented by Joseph Glidden
How did barbed wire help the homesteaders?Homesteaders could now fence their land quickly, efficiently and cheaply.
What did the railroads bring for the homesteaders?Machinery, goods and other materials, whilst also enabling their produce to be sold in distant markets.
What was the name of the technique which trapped moisture in the soil?Dry farming
What type of wheat did Russian migrants bring that grew well in the harsh Plains environment?Turkey Red wheat