Railroad Essay

Topics: Rail transport, Economics, First Transcontinental Railroad Pages: 2 (375 words) Published: February 11, 2014

The creation of the first transcontinental railroad was a historical moment that would allow for expansion across from coast to coast. In 1870, the first tracks of a dream were being nailed into the future. In just a week, people could travel west in search of land to settle on. The railroads allowed for faster transportation, and economic development, portraying the West as a “land of limitless opportunity.”

The railroad impacted westward expansion by allowing people and cargo to be transported rapidly. They made travel safer, compared to the wagon and its accidents, and allowed settlements to import whatever they needed via the rail. Stretching from Nebraska to California, was a huge railroad that was used to transport goods to and from Native American battleground, and allowed for quick shipment of cattle and grain to eastern urban markets. By 1900, over 2.2 million foreign settlers came to the trans-Mississippi West, in hopes of getting land and employment. The rails attracted businessmen, by giving them transportation to increase their wealth by exploiting the resources of the West.

The developing railroads permitted business expansion as well, which was extremely important to economic development in America. The materials needed for the railroads, made iron, steel, copper, and many other industries prosper. They urged immigrants to concentrate on cash crops, because they brought in good revenue… or did. The farmers became dependent on the income from these crops, and when new laborsaving machines were created, agricultural demand spiked. Starting work on a farm was outrageously expensive for the time. They consumed enormous amounts of money, while producing wealth and jobs for tons of people. They connected markets, and standardized manufacturing, and even created time zones.

Settlers for the most part had a positive view of the railroads because their travel was convenient and cheap, and the communities thrived. They had unlimited...
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