The agriculture, cattle, and sheep markets made many people large profits and, as with the stones and metals, relied on the railroad to bring the goods to the consumers. With the aid of the railroads there was an abundance of agricultural goods in the United States, “American commercial farmers, constantly opening new lands, produced much mor...
From 1871 to 1900, about another 170,000 miles of railroad tracks were added. Congress approved the Pacific Railway Act in 1862. That authorized construction of a railroad from coast to coast. Counties were able to work together easier due to the less travel time; which created an interconnected society. The use of steam engines made it possible so people could travel further distances much easier than if they were using only horse drawn wagons. The Railroads also created jobs across the United States that aided in the building of cities and towns across the country. With the invention of the steam engine those living in large cities across the country were able to obtain goods faster than they had been able with only horse powered means. Whatever good the railroads did for the country it also was rough on those who built it. Living in railroad construction camps and Laying track was an extremely hard way to live and earn a living. Railroad construction crews had to lay tracks across and through mountain, across lakes and rivers. They also were subjected to extreme weather conditions. The railroad camps draw all types of rough and tough characters, almost all of whom were looking for ways to make easy money, illegally or legally. Living conditions in the camps were often very rough and crude. The federal government aided in the building of transcontinental railroads by land grants. Railroad companies
Although not a natural resource, railroads were considered one of the key factors in almost every widespread industry. It allowed companies to quickly send products across the entire nation without using expensive and time-consuming caravans or wagons. Cornelius Vanderbilt was a prominent leader in the railroad industry at this time. He was already in his later years by the time the Gilded Age rolled around and didn't even get to see the uprising of some of the greatest leaders of the time. The railroad companies took advantage of their necessity by constantly overcharging customers, especially farmers. This led to one of the first labor unio...
In 1863, the overall enormous construction project, The Transcontinental Railroad, began with the tracks forming from the Central Pacific to the east of Sacramento, where it was completed. The Union Pacific Railroad started building their railroad in 1865, while the Central Pacific Railroad started in 1863. “Congress granted both railroads large tracts of land and millions of dollars in government loans” (The First Transcontinental Railroad 116).
Ophem, Marieke Van. "The Iron Horse: the impact of the railroads on 19th century American society."
In Henry George’s article, What the Railroad Will Bring Us, it discusses the main social, political, and economic transformations that the trans-continental railroad would bring to the state of California. More importantly, he discusses not only the benefits, but also discusses the major drawbacks with the arrival of the railroad. Henry George stated the railroad would be the “greatest work of the age” (297). With a railroad stretching from the Atlantic to the Pacific, multiple benefits would be brought to the state of California. First, the railroad will not only create a new means of transportation across the United States, it additionally would also become “one of the greatest material prosperity” of its time (298). This means more people, more houses,
Railroads first appeared around the 1830’s, and helped the ideas of Manifest Destiny and Westward expansion; however, these were weak and didn’t connect as far as people needed, thus causing them to be forced to take more dangerous routes. On January 17th, 1848, a proposal was sent to Congress by Asa Whitney to approve and provide federal funding...
During the late 1700’s, the United States was no longer a possession of Britain, instead it was a market for industrial goods and the world’s major source for tobacco, cotton, and other agricultural products. A labor revolution started to occur in the United States throughout the early 1800’s. There was a shift from an agricultural economy to an industrial market system. After the War of 1812, the domestic marketplace changed due to the strong pressure of social and economic forces. Major innovations in transportation allowed the movement of information, people, and merchandise. Textile mills and factories became an important base for jobs, especially for women. There was also widespread economic growth during this time period (Roark, 260). The market revolution brought about economic growth through new modes of transportation, an abundance of natural resources, factory production, and banking and legal practices.
The growth of the Northern and Midwestern populations brought about the need for railroad system expansion. The need grew greater to connect the farm and grazing areas of the Plains states with the industrial northeast. In 1862, President Lincoln signed the Pacific Railway Act authorizing the construction of the Transcontinental Railroad.
The Pacific Railroad bill of 1862 launched the transcontinental railroad construction project. The Pacific Railroad bill granted 6,400 acres of public lands and government loans ranging from $16,000 to $48,000 per mile of track completed to the Union Pacific Railroad and Central Pacific Railroad companies. (Pacific Railroad Bill) Following the Pacific Railroad bill a series of federal and state acts between 1862 and 1871 granted more than 130 million acres of public land and supplied additional monetary loans of approximately $150 million dollars to the expansion of the railroads. (Gillon p.652)
The main reason for the transcontinental railroads to be built was to bring the east and west together. The building of these railroads caused huge economic growth throughout the United States. The railroad created opportunities for everyone across the US.
In the late 1800’s and early 1900’s the invention of the automobile was still relatively new. Railways served as a primary means to transport commodities across America. However, before World War I and then again after, wealthy businessmen privately owned and controlled the operations of these railroads. The United States still recovering from the global conflict, noticed an upswing in the national economic markets, like the housing market, and needed to implement legislation to ensure railway service continued to increase commerce in America (Federal Railroad Administration, 2012). The Great Railway Strike of 1877 and the Pullman Strike of 1894 revealed nationally, the vulnerabilities of railroads systems due to stoppages relating to labor
The mid 19th century was an age of growth like no other. The term “Industrial Revolution” refers to the time period where production changed from homemade goods, to those produced by machines and factories. As industrial growth developed and cities grew, the work done by men and women diverged from the old agricultural life. People tended to leave home to work in the new factories being built. They worked in dangerous conditions, were paid low wages, and lacked job security (Kellogg). It is difficult to argue, however, that the economic development of the United States was not greatly dependent on the industrial revolution.
When time came to build the transcontinental railroads, the government had given about 150 millions of acres of land for the railroad development, which would greatly influence transporta...
Throughout the late nineteenth and the early twentieth century, the United States economy changed dramatically as the country transformed from a rural agricultural nation to an urban industrial gian, becoming the leading manufacturing country in the world. The vast expansion of the railroads in the late 1800s’ changed the early American economy by tying the country together into one national market. The railroads provided tremendous economic growth because it provided a massive market for transporting goods such as steel, lumber, and oil. Although the first railroads were extremely successful, the attempt to finance new railroads originally failed. Perhaps the greatest physical feat late 19th century America was the creation of the transcontinental railroad. The Central Pacific Company, starting in San Francisco, and the new competitor, Union Pacific, starting in Omaha. The two companies slaved away crossing mountains, digging tunnels, and laying track the entire way. Both railroads met at Promontory, Utah on May 10, 1869, and drove one last golden spike into the completed railway. Of course the expansion of railroads wasn’t the only change being made. Another change in the economy was immigration.