How Did The Railroad Have An Impact On The United States During The 19th Century

927 Words4 Pages

In the western United States during the 19th century, the nation was impacted for the better by miners, homesteaders, and railroads. Although all of these different groups of people had an effect on the United States, one group prominently had the most significant impact. Miners, homesteaders, and railroads proved to be beneficial to the growing nation’s development, and railroads were the most effective in opening up the West. Miners were the first group to start transforming the West, making it a vital part of the United States’ economy, and building new towns. In 1849, the California gold rush caused newcomers to pour into the West, fanning out all over in search of valuable ores. Ten years later, Henry Comstock founded the Comstock …show more content…

In 1862, Congress passed the Homestead Act in the Great Plains, which allowed the poor to have a chance to own land. During this time, the Civil War was still in action and more people started moving West. First, the Homestead Act and promotion by railroads brought more farmers into the West, which meant more food for the growing population of America and the cultivation of the West. Although this was helpful for the nation, it was less effective than the railroads for the selling of crops because farmers could have a bad harvest or not be able to get crops to the market on time. Next, farmers formed the Populist Party, which wanted the public ownership of railroads and warehouses to control rates, a tax on income instead of property, and an 8 hour workday. The formation of the party was responsible for the change in power in the White House to Republican because most Americans did not empathize with the farmers, so the Populist Party had a small effect. Lastly, immigrants and Americans were recruited by railroads to farm in the West, which led to a more diverse population. These people were supposed to homestead in the West in exchange for free land, but railroads played a larger role than homesteaders in creating more space for immigrants to live, so they had a more significant impact on the US. Overall, homesteaders helped the growing nation develop, formed a new Party, and opened up the United States for

Open Document