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Westward Expansion

pioneer An early explorer or settler, especially in the American West.
Manifest Destiny During the 19th century, the belief that Americans had the right to expand west to control all the territory between the Atlantic and Pacific oceans.
transcontinental railroad A railroad that spans an entire continent.
gold rush A strong, sudden attraction of thousands of people to an area in search of gold, especially in 1849 in California.
cattle drives The movement by cowboys of large herds of cattle from grazing areas to towns where they could be shipped to market.
Homestead Act A law passed in 1862, in which the U.S. federal government promised settlers 160 acres of land in the West for a fee of $18.00, as long as they built a home on the land within six months and lived there for at least 5 years.
homesteader A person who migrated to the West to take advantage of the Homestead Act; a settler or pioneer.
drought A long period without rain.
irrigation A method of moving water from a source to where it is needed, such as for watering crops.
dry farming A method of crop production in which moisture is conserved in the soil during dry weather.
sodbuster The nickname given to a person who settled on the Great Plains and had to break up the thickly rooted grass, or sod, to build a home and plant crops.
Pony Express A fast way to deliver mail using several horse riders.
telegraph A way to send coded messages along wires using electricity.
Exoduster African Americans who left the South and moved to the Great Plains.
Created by: jmacon



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