American West United States Research Paper

Pages: 10 (3016 words)  ·  Style: MLA  ·  Bibliography Sources: 10  ·  File: .docx  ·  Level: College Senior  ·  Topic: American History

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Competition and Regulation

During the time when railroads were being developed in the West and some of the railroad companies had experience bankruptcy, some of them were in debt and some started the wars regarding the rate. For this purpose, there was need to limit competition and therefore, lines that worked in the same territory had to either share the area or there was call of distributing the profit equally. This agreement among railroad companies led to the process of pooling, in which the rates were high (Bianculli, 56). The companies lacked cooperation and therefore, ensure that they would get maximum number of customers and therefore, they would pay bribes or rewards to large customers in order to ensure that they would use their lines and therefore, with such unethical practices, prices for long haul was low as compared to short haul. This led to monopoly. Therefore, the government had to action in terms rate setting.

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During the 1860s, maximum rates were set up state governments as they experienced pressure mainly from farmers and attempts were made to ban the rate discrimination. In the year 1886, Wabash vs. Illinois, the Supreme Court gave the ruling that federal government was given the power to regulate the railroads and Interstate Commerce Act of 1887 was passed (Biannually, 59). This legislation concentrated on ensuring that the rates were reasonable and prohibited unethical practices such as difference in rates of long and short haul as well as pooling. The Interstate Commerce Commission was also formed to investigate and review the rates of rail roads. However, the Commission's power was limited and most of its decisions were rejected.

Immigration

Research Paper on American West United States Became Assignment

In the year 1862, President Lincoln along with the Congress had signed the Pacific Railroad Bill, which permitted public land to be used for constructing transcontinental railroads. Tracks for Central Pacific Rail Road started in California towards the east and the Union Pacific Railroad were set up from west of Missouri River (Banerjee, 200). The nature of work during the construction of railroad was considered to be dangerous and therefore, the challenge for the American government was to attract workers. Majority of the laborers employed in the Central Pacific project were Chinese. Chinese were recruited by companies as they were considered to be hard workers. Furthermore, they were also willing to work at lower wages as compared to Irish workers.

Connecting Different Regions

The development of transcontinental rail in American West connected different parts of United States. Journey from San Francisco to New York was a matter of days as compared to earlier, when it used to take six months.

Rail Roads and Native Americans

Railroads were considered to be a pathway to come in direct contact with Native Americans, who were living in the west. It was believed that interactions between European-Americans and Native Americans would change the behavior of the latter by civilizing them and converting them to Christianity. During this time, Americans considered the west to be lands, which rightfully belonged to them and therefore, it was also their duty to save the Indians and to educate them in accordance to the American culture (Swanson, 96).

It should be noted that the railroads in America's west had a negative impact as well as it changed the lives of Native Americans. The regions of native tribes that been where the tracks had been laid and therefore, the war of culture was initiated as the Indians believed that the American government had invaded their lands. Railroads also increased the population in American West as Europeans Americans started settling their. This reduced the buffalo herds, which were primary source of food for the Indians (Tye, 78). Frequently, these areas became urban areas and buffaloes were primarily killed by European-Americans for sports and leisure. Most of the buffaloes were gone during 1880 and areas in the west of America had experience a sharp increase in population. Farming also started in these lands in order to meet the food demands and requirements of the population.

Opening West to Rest of United States

The transcontinental railroad concentrated on connecting the West to rest of United States. Business tycoons realized the significance of railroads as they were more reliable for transportation of goods from rural areas to urban areas (Banerjee, 220). The early years of railroad construction experienced a significant boom and within a short time period, hundreds of rails were constructed in the western part of United States. Furthermore, agreements were being made by organizations to further expand their railroads. Prominent railroads in the west coast included the Transcontinental Railroad, Great Northern, Northern Pacific and Santa Fe.

In terms of area, western region of United States was large and diverse and therefore, it was not densely populated. Rail roads were being developed in these regions. The Great Northern and Northern Pacific railroads required huge investments and therefore, land offices were instituted in all the main cities to allow people from Scandinavian countries and north Europe to settle in west. Montana, Washington and Iowa were the few states, which experienced huge population boom after the development of rails.

In the west, towns were created near the vicinity of the railroad. For instance, Great Northern railroad had been successful in establishing various towns and even today are known as railroad towns (Craig, Palquist&Weiss, Thomas, 184). Example of railroad town is Whitefish Montana, which is near the main track of Great Northern. Another town near the Great Northern is Havre Montana, which was established in the year 1888. For Union Pacific, Cheyenne Wyoming is another railroad town nearby.

Analysis

During the nineteenth century, there was an awareness among the American industrialists that there was need to develop new mode of transportation in order to promote business and ensure that industries grow in United States. The Industrial Revolution played a significant impact in the development of technologies and economics. One of the most major impacts was made on the development of railroads. New industries were the product of Industrial revolution and therefore, railroad technology changed the face of Industrialization as well as the landscape and terrain. Developments had been made to install various factories that contained several workers, natural resources such as iron, coal and oil were produced in United States and developments were made in technology. In Westward expansion, railroad played a significant role. During that time, the West was considered to be unexplored and unchartered region, but the development of railroads had allowed European-Americans to explore the area and to tame it.

The westward expansion was initiated with the Manifest Destiny, which was spread further after the completion of Transcontinental Railroad. The construction of railroads in West America allowed the west to experience economic growth, population boom, development of urban areas and development of farming and agricultural sector in United States. The passing of the Pacific Act and building of Transcontinental Railroad concentrated on creating a pathway to the west and therefore, offered opportunities for Americans. One of the most notable impacts of railroads on West America was the development of railroads and recruitment of workers. Italian, German, Irish and Chinese laborers had been recruited to work on railroads. The Transcontinental railroad was completed within six years and during this time, the west experienced tremendous growth and development in terms of railroads expansion. With the rapid development in industries, United States experienced a boom in population and therefore, urban areas started to increase. In order to get full advantage of industries, railroads had been developed as a mode of transportation during the nineteenth century and were important in terms of economic growth.

During the time when railroads were being developed in the West and some of the railroad companies had experience bankruptcy, some of them were in debt and some started the wars regarding the rate. The development of transcontinental rail in American West connected different parts of United States. Journey from San Francisco to New York was a matter of days as compared to earlier, when it used to take six months.

Conclusion

Railroads in west America had completely changed its terrain. Massive development, urbanization, development of industries and population boom in the west are the impacts of railroads.

Work Cited

Bain, David Haward. Empire Express; Building the first Transcontinental Railroad. Viking Penguin. 1999.

Banerjee, A.E.D. a. N.Q. "The Railroad to Success: The Effect of Infrastructureon Economic Growth," Providence, Brown University. 2006.

Beebe, Lucius. The Central Pacific & The Southern Pacific Railroads: Centennial Edition. Howell-North. 1999.

Bianculli, A.J. The American Railroad in the 19th Century: Locomotives. University of Delaware, Newark. 2001.

Cooper, Bruce C., "Riding the Transcontinental Rails: Overland Travel on the Pacific Railroad 1865 -- 1881" Polyglot Press, Philadelphia. 2005.

Cooper, Bruce Clement (Ed), "The Classic Western American Railroad Routes." New York: Chartwell Books/Worth Press, 2010.

Craig, L.A. Palquist, Raymond B. And Weiss, Thomas. "Transportation improvements and land values in the antebellum United States: a hedonic approach." Journal of real estate finance and economics 16(2):… [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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