• Photo of cannon at Antietam National Battlefield

    The Civil War

The War and Westward Movement

Photo of homesteading family.

With Federal resources focused on waging the war farther east, both native tribes and the Confederacy attempted to claim lands west of the Mississippi.

The Federal government's response included The Homestead Act and the construction of the transcontinental railroad. The goal was to encourage settlement, solidify Union control of the trans-Mississippi West, and further marginalize the physical and cultural presence of tribes native to the West.

Stories from The War and Westward Movement

Showing results 6-6 of 6

  • The War and Westward Expansion

    Painting Westward the Course of Empire Takes its Way showing settlers moving into the American west

    With Federal resources focused on waging the war farther east, both native tribes and the Confederacy attempted to claim or reclaim lands west of the Mississippi. The Federal government responded with measures (Homestead Act, transcontinental railroad) and military campaigns designed to encourage settlement, solidify Union control of the trans-Mississippi West, and further marginalize the physical and cultural presence of tribes native to the West. Read more