United States had acquired Mexico, California and several other states under the Manifest Destiny act. In exchange for a small filing fee the settlers were given 160 acres of land to migrate to the west. The settlers were given a five years grace period before they permanently owned the land. However, after 6 months of residing in the given land they had the option to purchase the land from the government at a cost of $1.25 per acre. By 1900 the United States government had given out 80 million acres of land.