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Article Analysis: The Erie Canal

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Although the Erie Canal was proposed in 1807, the construction did not commence until 1817, the canal originally ran 363 miles from Albany, to Buffalo, New York, along the Hudson River, which they have since improved and expanded the canal throughout the years. Without steamships or railroads during this period, the only way to transport goods was by pack animals, which was time consuming, expensive and had unreliable delivery dates, in turn the canal was built to create a new water route from the Atlantic Ocean to the Great Lakes to provide a more efficient and cost effective transportation system of good and products to the western interior of the United States.
I am writing this paper to compare and contrast three authors’ views over the
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Bernstein who wrote the article “Waters of wealth; The Erie canal” states, that the idea of the canal was founded based on the idea that the “country’s founders saw that this land [the western United States] might easily drift out of their control if it lacked intercourse with the coast”. Bernstein illustrates the failed attempts of previous canals and displays the ideas of Elkanah Watson, which thought that an artificial waterway would reduce the cost of moving shipments, thus giving birth to the idea of the Erie canal, he continues on by showing how American politicians perceived the canal and the concerns they had with it being completed. In conclusion, Bernstein stated that the canal offered “Americans a vision of themselves as a great trading nation as in moving goods to…show more content…
“the canal’s impact was immediate” New York became an immense immigration hub with hundreds of thousands of Irish and German men and women pouring into the United States and the canal allowed them to move faster and cheaper into the northwestern interior of the country, with this massive influx in the population around the northern areas, the North greatly outnumbered the South. With the larger population, the North was able to fill the blue-coated armies and keep the industrial businesses up and running, “the wealth and population-generating power of the canal made New York the “Empire State”, states Pierson. The author goes on to say that without the canal during the civil war, that the citizens of the northwestern areas would depend on the Mississippi to transport their goods to market, which in turn would make them more sympathetic to the Confederacy, but with the Erie canal, the western products went to feed and support the growing regions of the mid-Atlantic area and specifically New
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