The Transcontinental Railroad And Westward Expansion



Thesis: The transcontinental railroad greatly increased Westward expansion in
the United States of America during the latter half of the nineteenth century.
The history of the United States has been influenced by England in many ways.
In the second half of the 1800's, the railroad, which was invented in England,
had a major effect on Western expansion in the United States.

"Railroads were born in England, a country with dense
populations, short distances between cities, and large
financial resources. In America there were different
circumstances, a sparse population in a huge country, large
stretches between cities, and only the smallest amounts of
money." ("Railroad" 85)

The ...

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Westward, beyond the Mississippi.
An international route connected New England and Montreal and another one
crossed Southern Ontario between Niagara, New York, and the Detroit River.

During the 1850's, North and South routes were developed both East and West of
the Alleghenies. It was not until after the Civil War, however, that a permanent
railroad bridge was constructed across the Ohio River. After the Civil War, the
pace of railroad building increased. The Pacific railroads, the Union Pacific
building from Omaha, Nebraska, and the Central Pacific building from Sacramento,
California, had started to build a transcontinental railroad during the war to
help promote national unity. They were joined at Promontory, Utah, on May 10,
1869, completing the first rail connection across the continent.

Before the transcontinental railroad, the Eastern railroads had lines running
only as far West as Omaha, Nebraska. The Western railroads had a few lines
running North and South in ...

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slamming down a record mileage
of track. At first, Congress avidly pursued the project and they had stipulated
that the Central Pacific should stop when it reached the California Border
(Congress was full of Easterners). In 1865, after much argument about the aid
the government was providing to the two companies, the actual construction of
the transcontinental railroad was started. Then in 1866, Congress decided that
two companies should build as fast as possible and meet wherever they came
together (255).

First, the Union Pacific sent out location parties, tracing the line and
clearing the path by killing the Sioux and the buffalo in the way of the
railroad. Then came the ...

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PAPER DETAILS
Added: 3/28/2008 09:58:14 AM
Category: American History
Type: Premium Paper
Words: 2619
Pages: 10

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