What were the benefits and drawbacks of having a railroad run through your city in the 1800s? Beginning in the early 1870s, there was a marked rise in the number of railroads being built throughout the United States. Before the year 1871, around 45,000 kilometres (about 28,000 miles) of track had been built.
The increasing railway network in the United States received an additional 170,000 miles of track between the years 1871 and 1900. The construction of the transcontinental railways is largely responsible for the expansion of the population.
The Pacific Railway Act was approved by Congress in 1862, and it was this act that gave the go-ahead for the building of a transcontinental railway. On May 10, 1869, the first railway of its kind was finally finished. By the year 1900, there were a total of four more transcontinental railways that linked the eastern states with the west coast.
The railway made it possible for more people to live in cities and for others to go to previously unexplored regions. As a result of the massive rise in the number of people and products that the railway enabled, business flourished. In the grand scheme of things, the railway was a significant achievement in all facets of the Industrial Revolution, particularly with regard to time and distance.
The expansion of companies that could send goods to new markets, dangerous working conditions for railway employees, and a rise in immigration and migration to western states were all contributing factors.
It was the introduction of the railway, which brought white settlers to the prairie states by the boxcar full, that was directly responsible for the devastation of the prairie grasslands, which once covered millions of acres… Over the course of the last several decades, significant progress has been made to restore prairies by reseeding them with grasses that are native to the area.
Emigrants, who had previously been limited to travelling to the West by waggon paths, found that it became much simpler to do so. In many cases, railway companies held the right-of-way that ran alongside their lines, which made it easier for those companies to sell property to prospective homebuyers. People who had relocated to the West were able to get their mail and consumer items more easily as a result of railroads.
With support from the federal government in the form of land grants, construction of four of the five transcontinental railways was made possible. The railways were guaranteed property on which to lay their tracks and land to sell, the revenues from which helped corporations fund the building of their railroads after receiving millions of acres of public lands from Congress.
This enabled the companies to construct their railroads. However, the government did not aid in the construction of every single railway. Smaller railways were required to acquire property from individual owners in order to build their lines, and some of these landowners were opposed to the railroads and refused to give rights of way.
The process of laying track and surviving in and among the construction camps of the railway was sometimes exceedingly challenging. Not only did employees working on the building of railroads have to contend with harsh climatic circumstances, but they also had to instal tracks through and through a variety of natural topographical features, such as rivers, gorges, mountains, and desert.
The building camps for the railway drew a diverse cast of individuals, virtually all of them were searching for methods to make a fast profit, whether legitimately or illegally. This was typical of other huge economic opportunity scenarios that arose throughout the country as it expanded. The way of life in the camps was sometimes exceedingly primitive and difficult.
By the year 1900, a significant portion of the nation’s railway system had been constructed. The construction of the railway not only made it possible for people to settle in the western part of the nation, but it also created new economic possibilities, sped up the growth of towns and villages, and, in a broader sense, united the country. The significance of railways was not completely understood until the 1894 Great Railroad Strike, which resulted in their temporary shutdown.
Railroads contributed to the development of a civilisation that is more linked. Because there was less time spent travelling, counties were able to collaborate on projects with more ease.
People were able to travel to faraway places much more rapidly than they would have been able to do so if the only mode of transportation available was horse-drawn carriages. This was made possible by the invention of the steam engine.
In spite of the fact that railroads made life somewhat less difficult, there were negative consequences for both the environment and the people as a result of their construction. These negative consequences included the depletion of natural resources, an increase in air pollution that had a negative impact on people’s health, and an increase in the number of diseases that were prevalent at the time.
Railroads were crucial in the development of cities since they offered the most employment opportunities. The transportation of commerce and raw materials was a key factor in the development of cities thanks to railroads. Railroads were a major element in the downfall of cities because they diverted people away from manufacturing jobs. The migration of settlers to more rural regions was one factor that contributed to the downfall of once-thriving cities.
The railway made it possible for more people to live in cities and for others to go to previously unexplored regions. As a result of the massive rise in the number of people and products that the railway enabled, business flourished. In the grand scheme of things, the railway was a very successful endeavour in all facets of the Industrial Revolution, particularly in terms of time and distance.