In 1862, President Lincoln signs the Morrill Land Grant Act. States begin receiving federally-owned land for the purpose of selling sections of it to finance new “land grant” colleges and universities. The act requires students at these schools to receive military, as well as academic and practical, training. This concept for what later will become the ROTC (Reserve Officers’ Training Corps) ensures that, unlike during the Civil War, the country has a reserve of men well-prepared to serve as officers in national emergencies.
Six years later, in 1868, the University of California is chartered by the state, having accepted the federal funding and the terms of the Morrill Land Grant Act of 1862.