Business growth on both sides of the country was expedited by a new form of cheap distribution into profitable, expanding markets. Easy transportation facilitated the concept of business travel and expansion on an unprecedented scale. However, some of the largest impacts of the Transcontinental Railroad can be seen through the crosscountry exchange of ideas. Before the railroad existed, the only fast exchange of information was written through the pony express. The Transcontinental Railroad created an outlet of communicating new ideas and information in person. A smooth and swift crosscountry exchange of people and ideas not only made America more infrastructurally sophisticated it acted as a foundation for the Western United States to grow from very little to the political, social, economic, and technological center that it is today.
The construct of the Transcontinental railroad began in 1863 and ended in 1869. After it was complete people used it very much to travel across the country and people still it today to travel to places. People offend only believe the railroad was one of the most amazing that happen to our country and it only caused great things to happen. However, this is not all true. The railroad did cause great things like it helped increase westward expansion in the United States of America but it also caused a lot of horrible things like causing the removal of many Native American tribes in the west. So, after the Transcontinental Railroad was completed, there were positives effect but also negative effects that occur in the US.
Established in 1842, the US House & Senate Committees have looked back at the railroad and used it to advance the ways and means of transporting goods, supplies, mail, and people. Look at what it has done; it has served as an artery, moving what is needed throughout the entire nation from the Atlantic to the Pacific. From giving jobs to those minority groups and once former slaves after the Civil War, throwing the stock market and economy left and right, assisting Abraham Lincoln in winning elections and also winning the Civil War, helping rebuild the South and the nation’s economy from the bottom up during the reconstruction era, taming the Wild West (which has a major direct influence on the American Government System), serving as one of the best ways of getting mail to citizens across the US, and expanding intercontinental trade to have its own manifest destiny. This railroad had a significant affect in the growth of this nation and its government. It’s relationship and way it impacts the government is a result from multiple chain reactions that originated from the 1860s, 70s, 80s, etc. and I strongly believe, after all of my research, that our nations governmental system would be many decades behind if it wasn’t for the transcontinental
Similar to the light bulb’s legacy of ideas, the transcontinental railroad paved the way for new transportation. “The transcontinental railroad act is the first step in creating a continental common market.” This quote by, Charles R. Morris, defines the wide-spread uprising in the American Economy after establishing a railroad that would last a lifetime. The Transcontinental Railroad economically transformed America because of the trade and commerce it brought. Now capable of fast communication, we could quickly and cheaply of transport goods and ourselves. t’s wide impact developed a independent country were we could efficiently practice a free enterprise. Bringing in trade, shipping and new exports/imports, it elevated our economy to a higher level of technology.
The Transcontinental Railroad is a marvel of engineering and perseverance. A transcontinental railroad is railroad that crosses through a continent. It was built between 1862 and 1869 across the United States. The initial project was proposed in 1845, but it took more time to start the dangerous construction. It had multiples consequences for the United States, not all positive. But the Transcontinental Railroad did affect the westward expansion.
The Embargo Act of 1807, under President Thomas Jefferson caused the states, in the Northern and Southern regions of the Untied States, to form an interrelationship for economic self-reliance, from Great Britain. Although the Embargo Act was unsuccessful in gaining economic independence, the act created the necessity of a fast transportation system that would connect raw materials to manufacturers. The dawn of steel transportation railroads in the late 19th century, pushed military advantages, economic expansion, the start of private business relationship with the federal government and an industrialized new American way of life in the ambition of building a modern industrialized America.
“If any act symbolized the taming of the Northwest frontier, it was the driving of the final spike to complete the nation’s first transcontinental railroad.”1 The first railroad west of the Mississippi River was opened on December 23, 1852. Five miles long, the track ran from St. Louis to Cheltanham, Missouri. Twenty-five years prior, there were no railroads in the United States; twenty-five years later, railroads joined the east and west coasts from New York to San Francisco.2
“Before the building of the Transcontinental Railroad, it cost nearly $1,000 dollars to travel across the country. After the railroad was completed, the price dropped to $150 dollars.”(History.com Staff). Prior to the railroad the average citizen of America could not afford to travel across the country cheaply. America waited for a means of transportation which would connect them from the Western to Eastern states. The responsibility of creating the railroads were left up to construction companies. Once this invention was created, traveling became quick, easy and affordable. The Transcontinental Railroad could be defined as the most significant change in America, during the 19th Century.
In 1860, the United States had more railroad track than the rest of the world combined. Shipping freight by rail became much more practical and affordable, easily beating out the use of steamboats. The railroad directly led to the increase of urban centers. Chicago, for example, virtually quadrupled its population during the 1850’s. By the 1880’s, there were at least 93, 267 miles of rail that stretched across the plains and just ten years later, there were 163,597 miles of rail. By 1862, Congress passed the Pacific Railroad Act, which gave the Central Pacific and the Union Pacific Railroads responsibility for building the transcontinental railroad. Congress also granted both railroads lands and millions of dollars of government loans. May 10, 1869, after six long years of hard intensive labor, the tracks of the two railroads finally met at
for it (Cooke 254). If it had been left to the government, it would have taken
The Transcontinental Railroad was one of the most ambitious engineering projects, economic stimulants, and efficient methods of transportation in the early United States. If completed, the United States would be truly be united from east to west. The purpose of this paper is to examine how the Transcontinental Railroad helped develop new opportunities for many aspects of American life.
The transcontinental railroad was the most influential innovation of the United States, that brought a revolution of how people traveled. One year after the Civil War ended the people of the United States were looking for a way to unite their country back together. This helped mold the United States as to what it has become today. It helped people cross the country and improved how goods were transported. The man that was forming the transcontinental railroad was a merchant named Asa Whitney. He had asked the government for funding to construct one of the greatest innovation of the United States. “Two railroads, the Central Pacific starting in San Francisco and a new railroad, the Union Pacific, starting in Omaha, Nebraska, would build the rail-line.” (ushistory.org). One fear of building the railroad was the danger of the “Great American Desert” because of the lack of resources. The Central Pacific was primarily made by Chinese immigrants. The Union Pacific was primarily made up of Irish immigrants. By spring of 1866 the Central Pacific had only build 68 miles of track from Sacramento, while the Union Pacific going west from Omaha built 200 miles of track in less than a year. Therefore the Union Pacific made millions more. The next three years the railroads would continue to try and make history.
Nineteenth century America was a time of rapid growth and expansion. The movement of settlers further and further west accompanied by technological advances led to the major growth of cities and industries across the American frontier. However, it was the major innovations of transportation that had the most significant impact on the expansion of Midwestern and western America. The construction of canals and roads led to the increase in the use of stagecoaches, steamboats, and ultimately railroads.
Railroads have been an important part of America’s history. These railroads had a major role in the settlement of the West. The most important railroad in American history is the transcontinental railroad. The transcontinental railroad impacted western settlement by bringing in immigrants, aiding travel to the frontier, and changing people and the economy.