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capitalist society was speeded by the disappearance of the buffalo, Confederation with Canada and subsequent immigration into Man itoba.
With the formation of Manitoba, and the signing of Indian Treaties Numbers 1 and 2 in 1870 and 1871, the land in southern Manitoba was thrown open to settlement. The subsequent immigration was in large part the result of active promotion on the part of the Dominion Govern ment. Under the terms of the Dominion Lands Act of 1872, all lands in the Northwest were administered by the Government of Canada.
As a prerequisite to settling these newly acquired lands the govern ment had the land surveyed, and settlement generally followed the survey. The sectional survey, which was adopted for most of the North west, divided six mile square townships into 36 sections, each of which was 640 acres, and further divided each of these sections into 160 acre quarter sections.
Along with the survey system came a method of land disposition.
There were two main objectives in the administration and disposal of Dominion Lands. One was to promote the rapid settlement of the west, and the second was to finance the building of the Pacific Railway. In addition to this the Hudson's Bay Company, in return for surrendering control of the land to the crown, was granted a block of land around its trading posts and one-twentieth of the fertile land belt between the Lake of the Woods and the Rocky Mountains. This was implemented in the Dominion Lands Act of 1872 when seven quarter sections in each. township were allotted to the Hudson's Bay Company.
A free homestead system was also introduced in 1872 to promote rapid settlement. Under this type of land disposal any person twenty one years of age or older, or head of family, was entitled to apply for a quarter section of land. This land was patented to him after fulfilling certain residency and cultivation requirements.
Until the Manitoba and Southwestern Colonization Railway grant in 1879, a settler could homestead any land not reserved or assigned as Hudson's Bay or School land . School lands , two sections per township, were reserved for sale until the area was well settled and an optimum price could be obtained.
Within this framework of settlement over 15,000 settlers were induced to settle in Manitoba between 1875 and 1876, and another 58,000 during the period 1879-1881. 21 This large immigration was to completely change the face of Manitoba and the approximate 7,000 Mennonite immigrants coming between 1874 and 1880 were a signifi cant part of this.
Those Mennonites who immigrated to the area west of Red River