Swamp Land Act of 1850

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A U.S. federal law, the Swamp Land Act of 1850 [1] essentially provided a mechanism for reverting title of federally-owned swampland to states which would agree to drain the land and turn it to productive, agricultural use.[2] Primarily aimed at the development of Florida's Everglades, and transferring some 20 million acres (31,000 sq mi; 81,000 km2) of land in the Everglades to the State of Florida[3] for this purpose, the law also had application outside Florida, and spurred drainage and development in many areas of the United States, including areas around Indiana's Kankakee River,[4] Michigan's Lake St. Clair's shores, and elsewhere, and encouraged settlement by immigrants arriving in the United States after that time. Later considered to have been ecologically problematic, many of its provisions were in time reversed by the Wetland Protection Act of 1972[5] and later legislation, but its historical effects on U.S. development and settlement patterns remained.


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