Term Paper: Social, Economic and Political Results

Pages: 8 (2210 words)  ·  Bibliography Sources: 1+  ·  Level: College Senior  ·  Topic: American History  ·  Buy This Paper

SAMPLE EXCERPT:

[. . .] This strike continued in one form or another from 1922 to 1928 (Davis, 1997).

While railroads aided big business, they also helped individuals, particularly small farmers. Railroads made it easier for settlers to get to new farmland. In addition, it gave them a way to market their crops. The railroads benefited because they often sold the land the government had given them as land grants to settlers (AUG, 2002b).

Political Impact:

During the middle of the 19th century, as small railroad companies were forming, gradually joining, and eventually spanning the country, the United States faced a looming political crisis that culminated in the Civil War. All the Presidents during this era were aware that the country could unravel. They recognized that the South might eventually secede from the union. The railroads were recognized as crucial, politically, to keeping the country connected and in encouraging a feeling of unity among the various regions of the country. They may not have realized that railroads would help the Union win the Civil War.

Reinforcements brought in by train allowed the South to win the first Battle of Bull Run (UP, 2002). General Lee used the railroads to move his troops around, but the North, having considerably more in the way of railroads, used them more extensively to move supplies, weapons and ammunition. Railroad tracks became a military target (AUG, 2002a).

By the end of the Civil War, it was clear to the government that holding such a large country together would be a challenge. The need for nationwide railways was becoming very obvious (SU, 2002). In addition, Congress believed that the country's national defense demanded coast-to-coast railroads (UP, 2002). Before the war, the Southern politicians had argued for a southern transatlantic route, but once the south seceded, the Northern states could influence its route. In 1862 the Pacific Railroad Act, ordering the transatlantic railroad, was passed and signed by President Lincoln. The route chosen would follow the Platte River valley (UP, 2002). President Grant, who followed Lincoln in 1868 in the White House, also recognized the military need for a nationwide system of railroads (UP, 2002), probably because of the benefit they brought the North during the Civil War.

Conclusions:

The building of the great railroads were engineering marvels. In some places the tracks climbed twenty-five hundred feet within fifty miles, and then dropped six thousand feet within seventy-five miles (Lander, 1855). The laborers blasted through mountains to make tunnels and built trestles larger than ever seen before, with all labor done by hand. In the process, railroads changed the social, political and economic climate of our country, as they encouraged immigration and migration, changed how we looked at business investment, and helped preserve the Union.

Bibliography

Author not given (AUG). The Civil War. In History Central: The History of Railroads. 2002 [cited 21 November 2002]. Available from World Wide Web: http://www.historycentral.com/railroad/History.html

Author not given (AUG). Immigrants and Railroads. In History Central: The History of Railroads. 2002 [cited 21 November 2002]. Available from World Wide Web: http://www.historycentral.com/railroad/History.html

Bowles, Samuel. 1869. The Pacific Railroad Open. How to go: What to see. Travel Guide for Travel to and through Western America. In Central Pacific Railroad Photographic History Museum. 2002 [cited 21 November 2002]. Available from World Wide Web: http://www.historycentral.com/railroad/History.html

Buck, Robert Enoch. 1998. Railroads and capital: money, credit, and the industrialization of shoemaking. American Journal of Economics and Sociology. October.

Davis, Colin J. 1997. Power at Odds: The 1922 National Railroad Shopmen's Strike. Urbana: University of Illinois Press.

Jencks, SH. "The Diary of S.H. Jencks." The Journal, Nanty Glo, PA. January 6, 1999. [Cited 21 November 2002]. Available from World Wide Web: http://www.geocities.com/Heartland/Hollow/5913/interests/Jencks/SHJ_Intro.html

Lander, F.W. 1855. "Report of a Reconnaissance from Puget Sound, via South Pass, to the Mississippi River." In Reports of Explorations and Survey to Ascertain the Most Practicable and Economical Route for a Railroad from the Mississippi River to the Pacific Ocean. [Cited 21 November 2002]. Available from World Wide Web: http://lcweb2.loc.gov/ammem/ndlpcoop/moahtml/afk4383.html

Rapczynski, Joan. Native American - Culture in Crisis. In Yale-New Haven Teachers Institute. 2002 [cited 21 November 2002]. Available from World Wide Web: http://www.cis.yale.edu/ynhti/curriculum/units/2001/4/01.04.09.x.htm

Steiner, Stan. 1979. Fusang: The Chinese Who Built America: The Chinese Railroad Men. New York: Harper &… [END OF PREVIEW]

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https://www.essaytown.com/subjects/paper/social-economic-political-results/2687025.