How And Why Did Transportation Developments Spark Economic Development From 1860 To 1900

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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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