Agricultural Productivity Drove Euro-American Settlement of Utah

On July 22, 1847, a scouting party from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints stood above the Great Salt Lake Valley in modern-day Utah; by 1870, more than 18,000 followers had colonized the valley and surrounding region, displacing Native American populations to establish dispersed farming communities. While historians continue to debate the drivers of this colonization event, a new study from the University of Utah proposes that agricultural productivity drove dispersal patterns in a process that led the current distribution of Utah populations today.
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