Transcontinental Railroad Essay Outline

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The Transcontinental Railroad

“May God continue the Unity of our country as this railroad unites the two great oceans of the world - David Hewes” (gliderlehrman.com). The Transcontinental Railroad was built to make traveling from the East to the West easier. By doing that it also created a connection between the East and West part of the United States (history.com). The railroad was successfully built but also had struggles with the planning and building of the Union Pacific and of the Central Pacific. Before the Transcontinental Railroad was built, the journey westward was a real risk. It was dangerous and there was a very high chance of you catching deadly diseases. To make it west, you had to cross rivers, deserts, and mountains. Even …show more content…

He tried to get it approved by congress but failed every time. He found someone named Theodore Judah, and together they were able to convince the people and the congress to be for the railroad. Theodore started to look for a place for the railroad to run through. With the help of the people, Theodore found two routes. One was called the Central Route, and the second one was the Southern Route. The Central Route was the same trail that the Oregon Trail ran through. The Southern Route ran through Texas, New Mexico, and then to Los Angeles, California. Congress took a vote, and they chose the Central Route to build the railroad. They hired two big companies, Central Pacific and Union Pacific, to build the railroads (ducksters.com). The Pacific Railroad Act was signed in 1862 by Abraham Lincoln. In 1862 President Abraham Lincoln signed the Pacific Railroad Act (lindahall.org). This act gave the Union Pacific and the Central Pacific the land for building the railroad (ducksters.com). The government was paying these two companies by milage and that caused some problems to occur. They were paid $6,000 per mile on flat land, $32,000 for building on the high plains, and $48,000 per mile through mountains (tcrr.com). The companies sometimes made their tracks wind to get more mileage …show more content…

Native Americans did steal livestock and equipment, pulled up tracks, and even derailed locomotives. The Indians were not such a problem compared to the other things they faced. The first major problem was it was very difficult for them to find workers. Without employees there would be no way of building and placing the rails which means no railroads. This made some the owners furious. They searched and searched but they could not find any. They started to hire Chinese immigrants who were desperate for a job. They ended up being better workers than most people would have thought. At the end, the majority of the workers ended up being Chinese. Only 20% of the people who built the railroads were not Chinese (american-rails.com)! Another problem they faced was the Siena Nevada mountain range. Some days they were only able to increase one foot per day (american-rails.com)! Not to mention these mountains were very snowy, too (ducksters.com). This slowed them down a lot. Most of the workers slept on the work site to save valuable time. After they were out of the Sierra Nevada it was easy going and then went a lot faster

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