In the late 19th century, railroads propelled America into an era of unprecedented growth, prosperity, and convenient transportation. Prior to the building of the railroads, America lacked the proper and rapid transportation to make traveling across the country economical or practical. Lengthy travel was often cumbersome, costly, and dangerous. With the advent of the railroad, many of these issues disappeared. Railroads had a major impact on advancing the American economy, transforming America into a modern society, and improving an antiquated transportation system.
Alexander Hamilton’s innovative vision has remained relevant throughout the development of the United States’ financial system. The First Bank of the United States, championed by Hamilton, serves as the first model for the American financial system and banking structure. Remnants of Hamilton’s framework endure to this day. After nearly eight decades without a central bank, Congress revived Hamilton’s “notion of a centralized, quasi-governmental bank” in 1914, when the Federal Reserve System was created (Davies). Even so, Hamilton’s vision never fully disappeared. In the nineteenth century, bank lending “spurred business growth, planting the seeds for the nation’s flowering into an economic power after the Civil War” (Davies). Hamilton’s vision
Between 1865 and 1900, Industrialization changed the way America continued about advancing. It brought about industries such as the railroads, steel and oil that generated jobs and opportunities, as well as economic wealth. Although these times were great for some - mainly the millionaires gaining fortune from their businesses and poor immigrants who found better lives in America than there were in their home countries - others, like the farmers and industrial workers, found a hard time making a living in the new, fast paced America. Farmers and industrial workers responded to the cruelness of industrialization by politically, financially, and socially.
Throughout history, transportation has helped move people and materials around in civilizations. Transportation has enabled the growth of cities and has further increased the development of complex societies. A method of transportation widely used is the system of railroads; before cars and airplanes became popular, trains dominated passenger and freight services due to their simplicity and business versatility. Railroads became more widespread in the United States after economic damages caused by the Civil War. The Civil War was caused by the secession of the Southern States due to controversies over allowing slavery in the United States. The North did not want slavery while the South depended on inexpensive slave labor for its agrarian society. As a result of the Civil War, the South’s economy was crippled since it could no longer depend solely on cotton as a result of slavery being outlawed in the 13th Amendment. As a result of the crippled economy, the South needed to be “reconstructed” meaning that it had to diversify its economy beyond agriculture. A way that the United
Many people did not want to work for the railroads. There was much danger associated with this job. The most dangerous job for workers was the brakeman. The Brakeman rode on top of the trains and jumped down pushing a larger wooden stick into the spokes of the wheels to slow it down until it stopped. This was an extremely dangerous job and was stopped once the air brakes were invented. Another negative part of the railroad workers was the lack of payment that they received. Railroad workers made barely two dollars for a twelve-hour day. The harsh work, low pay and long days led to many angry workers that went on strike several times. The largest strike was in Baltimore and Ohio. The strikes spread to West Virginia, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
The appearance of the railroad in the early 19th century created a revolution in the transportation for the development of the economy and the society. This invention, eventually, also brought a lot of outcomes as well as disadvantages for the people living near the routes and the stations.
The Baltimore and Ohio Railroad played a significant role in the Civil War. It contributed to the victory of the North, and the end of slavery. This is important because it provided freedom to the African Americans. If the south would have won, it would have changed history dramatically. As Donald McCraig once said, "The Civil War has a tremendous moral and emotional force" (Wise Old Sayings 1). The B&O Railroad had a role in the civil war because it supported the north, connected locations, created conflict, carried supplies, and employed citizens.
There was no stopping the forward progress of the railroads in the 1800s. Trains, even before the mid-century, went twenty miles per hour; that was twice as fast as the stagecoach and four times as fast as the canal boat. To the entrepreneur that meant one thing: profit. These profit-minded Americans wasted no time in laying down track in America. The Transcontinental Railroad was one of these important railroads contributing to trade and economy; it was connected by the Central and Union Pacific Railroads. The completion of the Transcontinental Railroad, changed the economy of the nation, created unity between the east and west, and helped transport passengers and freight across the country in a matter of days.
The decision to annex Texas produced problems within the government for example, whether or not adding a new slave state was equal according to the Missouri Compromise. They also feared that it would block the nation’s plan to accomplish Manifest Destiny. After President Polk annexed Texas, Mexico and Texas had to establish the border. Mexico believed that it was the Nueces River, however Texas and the rest of the U.S. believed it was the Rio Grande River, this caused a dispute between the two leading to the U.S. Mexican War. James K. Polk made it his mission during his campaign to annex Texas when John Tyler did not want to add the republic. Gadsden Purchase was involved in politics because our government had to come to an agreement whether or not to follow President Pierce’s anxious feelings toward purchasing the land. The Alaska Purchase was solely made to keep Britain away from purchasing it. We received the Mexican Cession in the Treaty of Guadalupe-Hidalgo after the U.S. Mexican War. After acquiring
Despite the initial sentiment of economic historians, the railroad was not an integral part of American economic development after 1860. Even though the railroads were not crucial to economic growth does not negate the fact that the railroads were the first big business in the United States. The railroads benefited from economies of scale, increases in technology and pro-railroad legislation. The miles of track line increased exponentially from 30,000 miles of main line track in 1860 to 254,037 miles by 1916. In addition to the increase in track distance, in 1883 there was standardization of gauges and time, which created a more seamless process. These advancements contributed to an increase in revenue from $1 billion in 1890 to $3.6 billion in 1916.
During this time period, there were many chinese immigrants that entered the United States who made up most of the workers that built the tracks. Business owners made lots of money from the railroads because they were able to transport goods farther and faster with ease. Although the railroads tremendously impacted businesses and therefore the economy, the native americans were negatively impacted because the railroads were being laid on “their” land. This caused distrust between the settlers and the natives because of the “disrespect” for the land. Because of the new ways of transportation, the industrial revolution took place causing skilled artisans to be replaced by unskilled workers that used large complex machines.
One of the Framers’ main focus when they were writing the Preamble was the promotion of general welfare. The improvement of the economy was key for them because in order to have a successful nation, there needs to be a stable economy. After making the improvement of the economy a focal point, all it took was one century and America completely revolutionized its economy, a great feat for a newly born country. Although not all the decisions that were made to improve the economy resonated with the American people, but the general decision making was sub par. The reason that the creation of an amazing economy happened was solely based on the Framers’ perseverance through the rough patches they encountered.
The Transcontinental Railroad transformed the United States socially by allowing people to travel across the country, bringing people together, and beginning discrimination against the Chinese.
The railroads became one of the key elements in the national transportation network for people and products, since railroad tracks could be built almost anywhere and rapidly. Railroads were expensive to build, so the government financed
The building of roads, canals and railroads played a large role in the United States during the 1800s. They served the purpose of connecting towns and settlements so that goods could be transported quickly and more efficiently. These goods could be transported fast, cheap and in safe way through the Erie Canal that was built to connect the Great Lakes to New York. Railroads were important during Civil War as well, because it helped in the transportation of goods, supplies and weapons when necessary. These new forms of transportation shaped the United States into the place that it is today.