When the Civil Ward ended, the west was still largely a region of great untamed wilderness, earning it the nickname, "The Great Plains." However forbidding it was, the West was gradually being settled. The federal government had acquired various terrirotires like Utah.
In 1889, the government opened up the Oklahoma territory, which resulted in the famous Oklahoma land rush. Pioneers raced each other to claim choice parcels of land. Though some settlers made good lives for themselves, others turned back upon confronting the challenges, including Indians, severe weather, and isolation.
In an expansion further north, Secretary of State Seward purchased Alaska for 7 million dollars in 1867.