In 1862, during the Civil War, Union states in the Union were given 30,000 acres of land set aside for construction of agricultural and mechanical colleges (also known as land-grant colleges). Basically, this means colleges were created with the specific goal to educate students in the areas of agriculture and mechanics! After the Civil War ended, Confederate states were also extended the opportunities afforded under the Morrill Act. Many of our big engineering schools today are results of the Morrill Act. Some examples of these schools you may heard of: Cornell University, MIT, and Texas A&M University. 69 universities in total were created from this act! The Morrill Act is named after Senator Justin Morrill from Vermont who was the brains behind this education initiative and was largely responsible for getting it passed through Congress.