The railroad had contributed many advantages, therefore dramatically affecting economic, cultural and social lives of the people in the United States. Economically, those advantages included more directed routes, greater speed, safety, and comfort than other modes of land travel, more dependable schedules, a larger volume of traffic, and year-round service. The railroad covered fifty miles in about an hour, 700 miles in a day. It went where canals and rivers did not go—directly to the loading platforms of factories or across the arid West.
The completion of the first Transcontinental Railroad was an important event in the United States history. There were many challenges in building it, but after it was finished, it connected the East Coast of the United States to the West Coast.
The largest single construction project ever undertaken within the country left approximately eighty thousand people dead, weighing in as the fifth deadliest construction project in the world. The Transcontinental Railroad shortened the distance traveled from the east coast to the west coast from months in a horse drawn wagon to only eight days by train. On July 1,1862 President Abraham Lincoln signed into law the Pacific Railroad Act.
The invention of the railroad changed everything. It was the beginning of a new era. The railroad was a new way to transport goods, materials, and people. According to Stuart Moulder, “Prior to the last spike being driven in 1869, the only ways to get from coast to coast of the United States were a months long journey by foot, horseback or (very expensive) carriage” (Moulder). This means that the railroad was not only a new way of transportation, but also a new way of life. To put things into perspective, an article
The Transcontinental Railroad was the first line across the continent. The railroad line stretched from Omaha, Nebraska, all the way to Sacramento, California. This railroad allowed the United States the opportunity to expand westward, as both people and resources would be able to be shipped much faster than before. In 1862 The Pacific Railway Act was passed, which allowed the Union Pacific Railroad and the Central Pacific Railroad to construct the lines for the transcontinental railroad. On May 10, 1869 the Transcontinental Railroad was established at Promontory, Utah.
Transportation vastly improved in the early 1800s. As production increased, people needed faster and easier ways to transport their product. In the early 1800s, the steam locomotive was a huge advancement. “In the early 1800s, pioneers like George Stephenson developed steam-powered locomotives to pull carriages along iron rails” (202). This was a big advancement because a railroad track did not have to follow a river. The tracks could be placed wherever. People could travel further and faster than ever before. “Other inventors applied steam power to improve shipping. In 1807, an American, Robert Fulton, used Watt’s steam engine to power the Clermont up the Hudson River in New York”(202). This was a huge victory at the time. It traveled at
The Transcontinental Railroad had a drastic effects on many aspects of life during the 1860s, including society, the economy, and the Native Americans’ way of life. These are just a few of the ways the Transcontinental Railroad changed the world. Native Americans were forced to relocate, society had a new outlook on life, and the economy had been boosted almost incalculably.
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
To say the time period following the Civil War in the United States involved a lot of change would be a understatement. Between the years 1870 and 1900 the people of the United States lived through a period of great change. Not only did they witness technological advances that would change their daily lives, they also saw new laws and organizations formed. All of this was done in hopes of improving the country. Many of these changes came about because of the type of businesses that were formed. In the post-Civil War United States corporations grew significantly in number, size and influence. Big business had a major impact on the economy and politics in America resulting in changes for many American citizens.
In what ways did the American West of the late nineteenth century represent a contrast to the East? In what ways did the two regions resemble each other?
The transformation of the West changed the frontier into a new and growing part of the United States. Over the period of twenty five years the land changed drastically. New technologies were created allowing the expansion of the United States to continue marching forward. The Native Americans were conquered and the railroads brought greater civilizations.
During the late 1800’s, many settlers were expanding to the West and the Transcontinental Railroad helped them move from the East to the West. Some wanted to gain 160 free acres of land known as the Homestead Act. The Transcontinental Railroad connected the East and the West. The Union Pacific Railroad and Central Pacific Railroad were the companies that built the Transcontinental Railroad; however, the companies were run by greedy men and felt no guilt as they asked the government to pass special bills for them. The railroad cut through many lands and affected the Native Americans in a perilously way. Furthermore, many resources, such as buffalo were slaughtered and were almost made extinct, and Native Americans lost their land to American settlers, as well as these resources.Therefore, the Transcontinental
Before the 1800s, there were two early roads, Forbes and Wilderness Road. In 1811, the National Road known as Cumberland Road was built to reach Western settlements, because they needed a road to ship farm products that connect East and West. The National Road passed thousand of wagons and coaches. John F. Stover states in American Railroads, “The rich agricultural production of the country, the small but expanding factories of eastern cities, and the largely untapped natural resources of the nation-all of these called for improvements in transport.”(Stover1) Stover said that transportation was important because of getting goods
In the late 19th century, railroads propelled America into an era of unprecedented growth, prosperity, and convenient transportation. Prior to the building of the railroads, America lacked the proper and rapid transportation to make traveling across the country economical or practical. Lengthy travel was often cumbersome, costly, and dangerous. 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.
Throughout American History, revolutions in transportation have affected the American society politically, socially and economically. Soon after the war of 1812, American nationalism increased which leads to a greater emphasis on national issues, the increase in power and prevalence of the national government and a growing sense of the American Identity. Railways, canals, and Turnpikes began to increase making many people employed. The era of 1830-1860 represents a shift from agrarianism to industrialism. Overall, during the transportation revolution, construction of turnpikes, roads, canals, and railroads led to the market economy expansion, an increased population in America and alternations of the physical landscape of America.