After the Revolutionary War, the Federal government found itself with large areas of land west of the thirteen colonies. The land was distributed according to two purposes: to raise money for the fledgling nation and to reward soldiers for their recent service by giving them land. In order to accomplish this, the land needed to be surveyed. A rectangular survey system was designed in order to transfer public lands to private citizens. This was the beginning of the PLSS, which still forms the basis for most land transfers and ownership today.