Homestead Act- Signed by President Lincoln in 1862 ,under the act, for a small fee settlers could have 160 acres of land—a quarter-mile square—if they met certain conditions: They were at least 21 years old or the heads of families.
Pacific Railroad Acts- The government gave large land grants to the Union Pacific and Central Pacific railroads. The 1862 act granted every alternate section of public land to the amount of five alternate sections per mile on each side of the railroad.
Morrill Land Grant Acts- It gave state governments millions of acres of western lands, which the states could then sell to raise money for the creation of “land grant” colleges specializing in agriculture and mechanical arts.
Land Speculators- people who bought up large areas of land in the hope of selling it later for a profit.