How Did The Transcontinental Railroad Affect The Economy

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The United States is a country that raised itself from nothing, and has changed, and adapted itself into one of the most successful countries in the world. The United States evolved from an agricultural society into an industrial one through advancements in technology, although not without many challenges to conquer. Yet even with scandals, problems, and death the United States has always proved strong. The transcontinental railroad was the match that set fire to the Industrial Age. The transcontinental railroad connected the East Coast to the West Coast. With the merge between the West Coast’s Central Pacific railroad, which started in Sacramento and conquered the Sierra Nevada Mountains, and the East Coast’s Union Pacific railroad, which …show more content…

Unfortunately the creation of steel was a very slow, expensive process, and the steel production could not keep up with the demand. That is until Henry Bessemer brought the Bessemer process to America. With the Bessemer process, steel production became, fast, efficient and inexpensive. With steel now a readily available resource, cities were totally changed. Land became scarce in big cities like New York, and the only way to expand, was by going towards the heavens. Skyscrapers took the United States by storm, giving our country a new modern look, compared to those of old farm lands.
Steel became a cash cow, and Andrew Carnegie had the right idea. He cut out the middle men, through vertical integration, which is having your own supplier, transportation and stores. He quickly became one of the worlds first billionaires. Andrew Carnegie sent the big business fever into full effect. Rockefeller controlled most of all the railroads, slowly he started to try and use horizontal integration. This created a monopoly and destroyed competition for Rockefeller, the government quickly put a stop to this for it was bad for the …show more content…

Crowded workrooms, poor safety, awful pay, and long hours, were what was usually associated with these factories. The owners did not care about their workers, along as they made their money. Labor unions were created, employees who fought for better pay, shorter hours, and safer workplaces. Most labor unions lived through strikes and protests, but most of the time they were unsuccessful but still gave the people a voice against these billionaires. Mary Harris Jones, was one of the most influential labor union leaders. She fought for the children who were forced to work in these unhealthy work spaces, and later took on the name “Mother Jones.” She spoke up for the children who couldn’t and actually influenced many reforms, such as higher pay, lower hours, and an age requirement that must be reached before being able to work. While Mother Jones was fighting for the people, Eugene Debs was fighting with others. He led the extensive Pullman Strike and made a name for himself between the big business leaders.
Now the worst part about all these big businesses was Social Darwinism. It claimed that those who were rich, were rich due to their genes. Those who were poor, were poor due to their genes. This caused a rift between the people of America, as the wealthy began to look down on the poor, and treated them as lesser humans. This did not stop people like Eugene Debs, and Mother Jones, infact it just made them push harder

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