National Archives, Homestead Act of 1862
Library of Congress, “The American West: 1865-1900
Smithsonian, Western Indian Wars
Use these sources to answer the discussion questions. You are also welcome to conduct additional research.
1. What were some of the reasons that led white settlers to decide to move to the West?
2. What was the westward journey like?
3. How did Native Americans respond to the influx of white settlers?
4. What actions did the Federal government take to facilitate settlement of the West by whites?
5. What were the conditions of life for other groups, beyond white men, in the West?
6. Should the West in the 19th century be viewed as a ‘land of opportunity,’ as most Americans believed it to be?