The Morrill Act: Land-Grant College

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The Morrill Act named after Justin Morrill who served as a representative of Vermont was first proposed in 1857 and passed in 1859 faced the veto pen of President James Buchanan. Due to Buchanan’s veto Morrill re-submitted the bill with an added amendment that institutions would teach military skills, along with engineering, agriculture mechanics, and mining. This was significant as this is where the “A&M” in the name of many of the land-grant colleges came from. Under the act, the federal government provided incentives for the states who remained in the union to sell their distant western lands and use the proceeds to “fund advanced instructional programs”(Thelin-H 76). Beginning in 1862 with incentives as each state was given per a formula
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