President Lincoln and the American West

By Terry Graham, published 13th March 2000

Legislation that transformed the American West

In this podcast Terry Graham examines the role of Abraham Lincoln and major Republican Party figures from the 1850’s/60’s and their influence on the American West.

While Lincoln remains a much studied figure, his and his contemporaries’ role in shaping the American West in the 1860’s and beyond is often less explored. In 1862 the Republicans were able to push through Congress several pieces of legislation that would have a massive impact on the west, and beyond that American culture; The Homestead Act, Pacific Railroad Act, The Morrill Land Grant Act and the establishment of the Department of Agriculture.

Terry Graham is a History and Nurture teacher at The Durham Federation in County Durham. Terry specialises in American History, having a particular interest on The American West and Abraham Lincoln.

1. Introduction.
2. The Acts and their background
3. The Department of Agriculture.
4. The Homestead Act 20 May 1862.
5. The Pacific Railroad Act 1862.
6. The Morrill Act 2 July 1862.
7. Effect on Native Americans.
8. Foreign Affairs.
9. Conclusion.


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