From Their Earliest Beginnings, Railroads Have Played An

1075 WordsJan 6, 20175 Pages
From their earliest beginnings, railroads have played an extremely vital role in shaping America; its society, its culture, and its destiny. Taking inspiration from the first railroads of Britain, American businessmen soon channeled the vast majority of their wealth and efforts into promoting the development of railways in the United States. And with its truly immense territory, growing population, and trailblazing spirit, America soon embraced the idea of a railroad that would connect the Pacific to the Atlantic which would allow for a greater flow of goods from east to west, shorter travel times, and a goal towards its manifest destiny. After five years after Congress passed the Pacific Railroad bill which authorized the construction of…show more content…
Whitney, a Chinese goods merchant who was obsessed with the transcontinental railroad thanked Congress for ”eliminating infernal ocean commutes.” However, on May 15, after hundreds of thousand of dollars in patchwork, regular passenger service was opened for business. Travelers could make the trip between San Francisco and New York in a week. The coasts were connected; and the world as Americans knew it had grown gradually smaller. The transformation achieved in intercontinental trade was substantial. Within ten years of its completion, the railroad shipped $50 million worth of goods coast to coast every year. Just as it opened the markets of the west coast and Asia to the east, it brought products of eastern industry to the growing populace beyond the Mississippi. The railroad ensured a production boom, after the railroad was completed, people had better access to mineral resources and more pay ores like gold, silver, and platinum were discovered as a result. Mining towns sprang up in many areas, populating areas that have never been settled. This essentially made the transcontinental railroad, America 's first technology corridor. As it encouraged the growth of American business, so too did it promote evolution of the nation 's public discourse and intellectual life. Americans could travel across the length of the continent in a matter of days, and gaze upon
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