Transcontinental Railroad

822 Words4 Pages
Technological innovations, such as the transcontinental railroad in the United States, forced society to reevaluate the role of government. The most obvious repercussion of the construction of the railroads in America is the control of ecosystem services such as land and agriculture. Railroads were sloppy; they did not care for where they were placed, unless it maximized profit; it did not care for the impact on society and it blurred the lines of government intervention in public and private enterprises. Thus, the transcontinental railroad transformed the political system by creating a modern corporate lobby. Space as a Political Concept The organization of railroads, both for public and private use, symbolized the transformation of “space”…show more content…
The modern corporate lobby sought to control space to maximize profit by disregarding the direct impacts on landowners and the cultural impact that railroads would eventually have on society. For example, “state legislation aided the railroad construction by allowing the exercise of eminent domain” (Steiner, 2006). Eminent domain allowed the railway to be built without prior permission to the landowner; they would however, be compensated for the cost of land and any other damages associated with the railway in their property. Regardless of the impact that the construction of the railroad had on the landowner, the opportunity cost that would maximize the corporates’ profit was much…show more content…
By using the railroads people were able to travel towards the western frontier in hopes of a better place. It is true that railroads organized internal transportation and intimately connect the Midwest to West. Furthermore, this opportunity was not accessible to everyone. Unequal gender and racial relationships became more obvious for those who had the short end of the stick. Womyn and men, as were colored and white people, were physically separated in a streetcar. Like in Stansell’s City of Womyn, a proclamation of working class womyn facing society’s pressures, limited womyn to the household or else they were considered promiscuous. In essence, the modern corporate lobby reshaped the space to maximize profit without an assessment of the cost to landowners and
Open Document