Seminar paper from the year 2004 in the subject History - America, grade: 2, University of Würzburg, course: History of the American West, 36 entries in the bibliography, language: English, abstract: The story of people who are moving and settling in order to find a suitable place for living in the Great Plains has always been a central experience in American agricultural history. As Jackson Turner points out in his famous essay: 'Up to our own day American history has been in a large degree the history of the colonization of the Great West. The existence of an area of free land, is continuous recession, and the advance of American settlement westward, explain American development... American social development has been continually beginning over again on the frontier. This perennial rebirth, this fluidity of American life, this expansion westward with its new opportunities, its continuous touch with the simplicity of primitive society, furnish the forces dominating Amrican character. The true point of view i n the history of this nation in not the Atlantic coast, it is the Great West.' From the nation's earliest days, farming has had a very important place in the U.S. economy. Throughout frontier literature the virtues of the farmers, their initiative, hard work and selfsufficiency, were praised as being unequalled in American history. But this heroic picture forgets that there farmers have always been dependent upon some uncontrollable facts as the weather, prices or government policy. American farmers are known to produce large yields per hectar, what has to be charged to the abundance of natural benefits. 'Some of the richest farmland in the world can be found in the American West.' Between the close of the Civil War and 1900, the United States developed as one of the world's leading economic powers. Revolutionary methods of production, vast new markets, and new forms of corporate organizaiton were created by successful indurstrialists. A rapidy expanding railsroad system as well as innovations in farm machinery led to a ubiquitous growth of agricultural poductivity. To sum it up, farmers embody the real hero of the New World, as they were bringing civilization in their wagons into that unknown land. Though there were many obstacles hindering their moveme nt, the farmers learned to adapt to the special demands of the nature and established villages, roads, railroads, schools and churches. 'Amricans were a pioneering and an agricultural people who had experienced a constant love affair with the land.' This research paper tries to analyse environmental backgrounds as well as the history of the western movement including typical farm life examples.