The Impact Of The Transcontinental Railroad On American History

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The Transcontinental Railroad, in construction from 1862 to 1869, was a major part of American History, as it revolutionized the way that trade and travel are conducted in America. For a very large part of history, the white workers on the railroad have gotten most of the credit for the completion of the project. However, the Chinese workers have been often overlooked. They did most of the most intensive work on the Transcontinental Railroad, received significantly worse treatment than white workers, but have not typically gotten as much recognition as their white peers. Though there is very little left behind from these workers, they have had a large impact on American history, not just for Asian Americans, but for America as a whole. …show more content…

In the past, however, the experience that came with traveling was one of hardship. To venture even from one state to another could mean that one was to go through a long journey, spanning the time of weeks, even possibly months, riddled with threats along the way. This only became more evident as the USA expanded further and further west through extreme climates and mountainous terrain. It was clear that the US needed, more than anything at the time, a safe, quick, inexpensive way to travel long distances. To combat this issue, the Pacific Railroad Act was signed in 1862. This act gave the Union Pacific and Central Pacific companies the task of building a transcontinental railroad between Sacramento, California and Omaha, Nebraska. This started in 1862 and would finish on May 10th, 1869, when the two railroads met at Promontory, Utah. The Union Pacific company’s workforce consisted primarily of white workers, and the terrain that the Union Pacific workforce would work through was quite safe, being mostly flatland. However, the Central Pacific would work through much more dangerous terrain, as it would go through the Sierra Nevada mountains. …show more content…

Asian people receive this treatment across the world, and it has even played into other harmful ideas, such as the fetishization of Asian women, who are touted as being sweet and subservient. Asian people are held to these standards both where their heritage originates and in America. In China, students are made to study long hours so that they can be successful in the future. In Japan, working class people overwork themselves to make money, barely having any time for themselves or to be close with family, friends, and romantic partners. In Korea, public figures are expected to be slaves of the people, facing harsh criticism if they are not completely aligned to every standard they are held to. And in Thailand, women spend excessive amounts of time and money to always be seen as beautiful– a slim figure, white skin, a small head and nose, etc. Among these examples and many more, it is seen that Asian people are held to impossibly high standards in their home countries. And though America is seen as being a land of opportunity where people can break free of the shackles that other countries’ societal standards have put on them, Asian Americans receive the

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