The Effect of the Transcontinental Railroad

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As the need of human transportation and various forms of cargo began to rise in the United States of America, a group of railroads with terminal connections along the way began to form across the land mass of this country, ending with the result of one of the most influential innovations in American history, allowing trade to flow easily from location to location, and a fast form of transportation, named the Transcontinental Railroad. America at this time consisted of overland travel and ocean travel. The journey all the way across the continent by land was risky and extremely difficult. It consisted of passing over mountains, plains, rivers and deserts. It also was a very timely process. In ocean travel, each ship would have to take the route around Cape Horn at the bottom of South America. This timely trip would have an average time of six months. They could also cross the Isthmus of Panama and risk getting yellow fever and other diseases. The idea came to life in 1845 when a woman by the name of Asa Whitney presented to congress a written plan that she hoped would be handed over to the federal government. Her goal was for the federal government to consider a plan that would include the building of a railroad that began near the Mississippi River and ended near the Pacific Ocean. At first look, funds were far too low, and a plan would need to come into place to collect funding. The federal government began receiving funds from the Oregon Boundary Dispute which was concluded in 1846, the discovery of gold in California in 1849, and a collection of western territories. In the Year 1853, the congress approved the idea with a collection of funds. They began to survey different possible routes. In terms of railroad construction, t... ... middle of paper ... ...e Americans, resulting in a large depletion of land. As this benefited the people that had migrated throughout the United States, it really harmed the Native American population. Works Cited The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed. (Columbia University Press, 2013), s.v. "Transcontinental Railroad," PBS. "Transcontinental Railroad Impact." PBS. PBS, 2013. Web. 12 Feb. 2014. Staff, History. "Transcontinental Railroad." A&E Television Networks, 2010. Web. 11 Feb. 2014. University of California, Harvard. "Immigration, Railroads, and the West." Open Collections Program: Immigration to the US,. Harvard University, n.d. Web. 10 Feb. 2014. John Debo Galloway, The First Transcontinental Railroad: Central Pacific, Union Pacific (New York: Simmons-Boardman, 1950), 141,

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