How and why did transportation developments spark economic growth during the period from 1860 to 1900 in the United States? The period from 1860 to 1900 was marked by significant economic growth in the United States, fueled in large part by the development of transportation infrastructure. This essay will examine how and why transportation developments sparked economic growth during this period, exploring the impact of railroads, canals, and steamships on the American economy. The development of railroads was perhaps the most significant transportation development of the period. Prior to the Civil War, there were only around 30,000 miles of railroad track in the United States, but by 1900 that number had grown to over 200,000 miles (White, …show more content…
The construction of railroads required vast quantities of steel, which led to the growth of the steel industry. Similarly, railroads helped to create a market for coal, which was used to power locomotives (White, 2011). The growth of these industries, in turn, created new jobs and further stimulated economic growth. Another important transportation development of the period was the construction of canals. While canals had been in use for centuries, the construction of the Erie Canal in 1825 marked a significant shift in their use. The Erie Canal connected the Great Lakes to the Atlantic Ocean, providing a new route for goods to move from the Midwest to the East Coast. The success of the Erie Canal led to the construction of numerous other canals, further expanding the transportation network and facilitating economic growth (Larkin, 2004). Finally, steamships played an important role in transportation during this period. Steamships made it possible to transport goods and people across the ocean more quickly and efficiently than ever before. This facilitated the growth of international trade, as American businesses were able to sell their goods to markets around the world. Steamships also made it easier for immigrants to come to the United States, which helped to fuel the growth of the population and the economy (Larkin, …show more content…
The expansion of railroads, canals, and steamships facilitated economic growth, created new industries and innovations, and set the stage for the continued expansion of the American economy in the years to come. While these developments had their social and environmental costs, they nonetheless represent a critical chapter in the history of the American economy and its ongoing evolution. One significant impact of transportation developments during this period was the opening up of new markets. The expansion of railroads, canals, and steamships made it possible for goods to be transported more quickly and efficiently, and at a lower cost. This facilitated the growth of regional and national markets, allowing businesses to expand their customer base and sell their goods to a wider range of consumers (Larkin, 2004). The growth of these markets, in turn, created new opportunities for entrepreneurship and innovation, further stimulating economic
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The first way that the economy was impacted was that with the ease and efficiency of the railroads, they created a large demand for goods and labor because they needed a lot of people to help build the railroads and also needed a large quantity of steel for the rails and wood for the railroad ties. Secondly the railroads created a huge national market because of the simplicity of delivering goods from place to place. The railroads helped the people in even the most rural place prosper with the cost efficient transportation of the trains. From 1830 to 1861, the United States laid aproximately 30,000 miles of railroad track, which led to an increase in demand for coal which was used to produce iron for the
The development of the Erie Canal and New York Harbor in 1825 brought about more freedom to transport different goods in btp on page 274 it
In the 1840s, the steamboat was a very common mode of transportation along the rivers of south-central states. This, of course, resulted in increased business on and around the rivers that run through America. Another transportation mode that was boosted by the expansion was the railway system, as significant numbers of Americans desired to move West. As the century progressed, the railroad system began to expand to help transport both people and large amounts of agriculture goods from place to place. Not only did the expansion of the agricultural industry boost America’s economy, the continuous Westward expansion attracted more Americans to travel and settle Westward; this resulted in further economic growth due to the nation’s expanding transportation networks, the building of new infrastructure, and the settlement of new towns and communities which relied on goods and services to
As stated in Background information "America's economic transformation in the 1800s was linked to dramatic changes in transportation networks.” This was followed up by "The development of canals, steamboats, roads, and railroads led to the expansion of
The completion of the Erie Canal in 1825 was of the greatest engineering feats in history, at the time. The 363-mile canal allowed trade between New York and the Great Lakes. The economic boost of the Erie Canal was immediately felt by the entire country as someone could transport goods from the Great Lakes to New York in half the time and one-tenth of the cost. This feat saved Americans an unprecedented amount of money as the Erie Canal is still used today, nearly 200 years later. This massive project not only enabled much faster transportation but also attracted an influx of farmers to the area.
The same thing occurs with the Erie Canal. Not only did it make transportation faster, it also costed less. It costed 95% more without the canals. It made shipping to exterior countries easier, less expensive and saved an extraordinary amount of
These new canals would cause people to spread out and build their homes along them to make it easier to ship their items. In a diary written by a traveler they describe the journey down the newly built Erie Canal and how convenient and cheap it was (American Yawp Reader: A Traveler Describes Life Along the Eerie Canal, N.A.). Railroads began in 1828 and these became a very popular way to ship goods. Because of all these new technologies for shipping these people also needed somewhere to mass produce the item.
This allowed entrepreneurs and investors to secure their assets and investments and create a stable economic environment in which to operate. Finally, technological innovation played a significant role in the development of capitalism in the early United States. The growth of transportation infrastructure, including the construction of canals and railroads, made it easier and more efficient to move goods and people across the country. This facilitated trade and commerce, making it possible for entrepreneurs to reach new markets and expand their
The U.S. was awash in an abundance of natural resources from its newly acquired territories, a growing supply of labor immigrating from Europe, and the migration of emancipated African Americans North and West, an expanding market for manufactured goods, and the availability of capital for investment. The Second Industrial Revolution took local communities and their new products out of the shadow of large regional agricultural based economies which was assisted by new labor forces and production techniques. During the Second Industrial Revolution, innovations in transportation, such as roads, steamboats, the Eerie Canal, and most notably railroads, linked
As American factories and farms started to produce more goods businessmen and legislators began to create a faster and cheaper way to get goods distributed to consumers. Around 1820, Americans began to build canals and steamboats, railroad, and extend roads linking the Atlantic Coast with new states in the Trans Appalachian west. Canals and Steamboats shrunk the distance of carrying goods from one place to another and could haul the most cargo for transportation. A well-known waterway called the Erie Canal connected the Great Lakes region to the Atlantic Ocean and cost 7 million dollars.
The first half of the nineteenth century went through significant changes in transportation and communication in the United States that had a large impact on the economic landscape of the country, transforming it from a mostly agricultural economy to a more industrialized one. The creation of the steam engine and the railroad network were particularly important because they made it possible to transport goods and people much more quickly, cheaply, and efficiently than ever before, opening up new markets and creating opportunities for trade and commerce. The steam engine was also used to power steamboats, which made it easier to transport goods through bodies of water. Changes in communication technology include the development of the telegraph
The industrialization of transportation included that building of canals, bridges, and railroads. All of these made travel so much easier in America. Between 1820 and 1860 the industrialization of transportation helped with urbanization in westward expansion. The population in urbanized areas doubled between these years due to easier, cheaper, and faster travel. Not only was it easier for people to travel, but also goods could travel up to ninety percent faster than before letting people out west send their goods to the major towns for profit.
Canal Era was between 1825-1840’s The Erie Canal was a 363-mile canal and completely built in the 1825. The canal was located in New York and helped to create a water route to the Atlantic Ocean and also the Great Lakes. As the canal boom Robert Fulton installed a steam engine on the Clermont, which made two-way river
With the advent of the railroad, many of these issues disappeared. Railroads had a major impact on advancing the American economy, transforming America into a modern society, and improving an antiquated transportation system. The building of railroads created rapid economic growth in America. Railroad companies employed more than one million workers to build and maintain railroads. At the same time, coal, timber, and steel industries employed thousands of workers to provide the supplies necessary to build railroads (Chapter 12 Industrialization).
The building of roads, canals and railroads played a large role in the United States during the 1800s. They served the purpose of connecting towns and settlements so that goods could be transported quickly and more efficiently. These goods could be transported fast, cheap and in safe way through the Erie Canal that was built to connect the Great Lakes to New York. Railroads were important during Civil War as well, because it helped in the transportation of goods, supplies and weapons when necessary. These new forms of transportation shaped the United States into the place that it is today.