History from 1865 - 1900


Homestead Act

May 20, 1862

Offered 160 acres of free land to anyone who was 21, American citizen, who had to build a house and farm. There was 600,00 claims for land. This encouraged people to spread out across the open land.


Approx. 1865 - Approx. 1877

Union victory freed about 4 million slaves in 1865. It was a struggle to get the south to cooperate since they lost the war. Many people moves west to get away from all the conflict. Most of the people that moved were former slaves. They were getting away from their hard past.

Purchase of Alaska

March 30, 1867

Russia was financially struggling and offered to sell Alaska to the US.   For less than 2 cents an acre at a price of 7.2 million dollars and the US accepted the offer.

Typewriter Created

November 7, 1867

Christopher Scholes invents the first practical and modern typewriter in November 7, 1867.  This invention made documents more professional and presentable and raised the bar from the previous handwritten documents.

Invention of the Telephone

March 10, 1876

Alexander Graham Bell made the telephone on March 1876. He was a inventor who worked at a school for deaf people. He was trying to transmit sound by electricity.

Civil Service Act Passed

January 16, 1883

This was a federal law that established the United States Civil Service Commission, which placed most federal employees on the merit system and marked the end of the “spoils system” so it changed how people were living if they had much money. During this time about 65-70% agreed with it. President Arthur pushed through legislation for civil reform. So once he got in office he pushed to get it passed to help the people.

1st Skyscraper Built

Approx. March 1885

George Fuller is the man responsible for skyscrapers, he worked on solving problems on the weight distribution of tall buildings. Using Bessemer steel beams George created the world's 1st skyscraper. Henry Bessemer had a large play in making the skyscraper successful by his invention of the Bessemer process. So this building made living and growing easier because they could build up instead of horizontal with more land and less stretching because buildings were taller and could hold more people.

Interstate Commerce Act

February 4, 1887

The Interstate Commerce Act forced railroad companies to change their fair rates to their customers and make the fairs public.  This made transportation by trains more affordable for the general public.