The Pursuits of Prairie Settlement: Why They Failed and Succeeded this essay is about why Canadians were able to remain on the Prairies and farm, and why some weren't able to.

Essay by clrithalerUniversity, Bachelor'sB, February 2003

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People came to the Prairies with a dream, a dream of a better life, where you depended on nobody but the land around you and yourself. They thought their lives would be simpler, easier when they came here. They read the advertisements of the Canadian government about free land, and all the space you could want, and they were swept away by the image of "the last best west". Settlement quickly began and flourished on the Prairies. Pioneers quickly signed contracts to stay on a settlement of a quarter section, 30 acres of which would be broken to field for three years, and as long as they followed the provisions of those contracts. Some of the other provisions of this contract were that they had to spend six months of each of their three years on the farm, and they had to construct a house that was worth at least $300.

At the end of this contract, the settler would be rewarded with 160 acres of his own, which could be valued close to ten or fifteen dollars. But to achieve this was not as easy as some of the early settlers first thought. They had no knowledge of the harsh weather that the Prairies sometimes endured, nor the isolation they would face upon moving out here. A good number of them also had no experience in agriculture, so this would be their first experience growing crops themselves. The economics of the entire situation were also heavily influencing the success/failure rate of homesteading on the Prairies. The economic situation of the family, as well as those of the agriculture industry had heavy influence on the decision to stay, or give up and go home. These are only a few examples among many as to why homesteaders succeeded or failed on...