Such networks can be via the tracks of either a single railroad or over those owned or controlled by multiple railway companies along a continuous route. "The presence of Chinese immigrants did not create the economic uncertainties of the 1870s, but they were often blamed nonetheless.”. The completion of these railroads brought change, both for good and bad, and had an enormous impact on the United States and other countries of the world. They borrowed heavily to finance the project, and exploited legal loopholes to get the most possible funds from the government for their planned track construction. Transcontinental Railroad Fact Sheet Prior to the opening of the transcontinental railroad, it took four to six months to travel 2000 miles from the Missouri River to California by wagon. © 2020 A&E Television Networks, LLC. The site offers visitors a brief history of the building of the transcontinental railroad as well as information on the history and technology of 19th century railroads. But that all changed on May 10, 1869, when railroad baron Leland Stanford whacked in a ceremonial gold spike to mark the joining together of the tracks of the Central Pacific Railroad and the Union Pacific Railroad in Promontory, Utah, to form the transcontinental railroad. The golden spike was removed after the ceremony and replaced with traditional iron spikes. The Central Pacific’s “Big Four”—Stanford, Collis P. Huntington, Mark Hopkins, and Charles Crocker—figured out how to tap into government coffers to finance a business that otherwise wouldn’t have been possible. Towns and cities that sprung up along the railroad further encroached upon what had been wild areas. After General Grenville Dodge, a hero of the Union Army, took control as chief engineer, the Union Pacific finally began to move westward in May 1866. After this lesson, students will be able to: 1. explain the impact of the Transcontinental Railroad on travel in America 2. compare and contrast travel before and after the Transcontinental Railroad 3. discuss the hardships faced by workers building the Transcontinental Railroad This was controversial at the time, as the Chinese were considered an inferior race due to pervasive racism. While the railroad's construction was a mammoth undertaking, its effects on the country were equally profound. By 1880, the transcontinental railroad was transporting $50 million worth of freight each year. https://www.history.com/topics/inventions/transcontinental-railroad. The exact dates of its existence are not known, but it operated ...read more, They toiled through back-breaking labor during both frigid winters and blazing summers. Map of the transcontinental route of the Atlantic & Pacific Railroad and its connections, circa 1883. Examples of continents are North America, Australia, and How to use transcontinental in a sentence. They decided on Promontory Summit, north of the Great Salt Lake; some 690 track-miles from Sacramento and 1,086 from Omaha. Though the Union Pacific celebrated its own launch in early December 1863, little would be completed until the end of the Civil War in 1865. The driving of the Golden Spike in 1869 marked the end of construction, which took seven years, employed thousands, and cost millions of dollars. They sold or gave shares in this ...read more, 1. The Transcontinental RailroadsThe Transcontinental Railroad consisted of ten major railroads that together would span the distance between the East and West Coasts of the United States. “What the transcontinental railroad did was bring the West into the world, and the world into the West,” explains James P. Ronda, a retired University of Tulsa history professor and co-author, with Carlos Arnaldo Schwantes, of The West the Railroads Made. The completion of the transcontinental railroad led to heightened racial tensions in California, as white workers from the East Coast and Europe could more easily travel westward where immigrant laborers were prevalent, says Princeton University Assistant Professor of History Beth Lew-Williams, author of The Chinese Must Go: Violence, Exclusion, and the Making of the Alien in America. The Transcontinental Railroad. November 17th, 2017 The Transcontinental Railroad is a marvel of engineering and perseverance. The Pacific Railroad Act stipulated that the Central Pacific Railroad Company would start building in Sacramento and continue east across the Sierra Nevada, while a second company, the Union Pacific Railroad, would build westward from the Missouri River, near the Iowa-Nebraska border. This railroad was the work of two railroad companies, the Union Pacific and the Central Pacific, which built their lines as fast as they could until they met in Utah in 1869. As Richard White, author of Railroaded: The Transcontinentals and the Making of Modern America, says, “They put little of their own money in it —they didn’t have much. The most remarkable fact about the transcontinental Railroad was how well Americans understood its purpose, and its benefits. The First Transcontinental Railroad (known originally as the "Pacific Railroad" and later as the "Overland Route") was a 1,912-mile (3,077 km) continuous railroad line constructed between 1863 and 1869 that connected the existing eastern U.S. rail network at Council Bluffs, Iowa with the Pacific coast at the Oakland Long Wharf on San Francisco Bay. In the 1860s, a six-month stagecoach trip across the U.S. cost $1,000 (about $20,000 in today’s dollars), according to the University of Houston’s Digital History website. The Transcontinental Railroad Was A Marvel Of Engineering And Perseverance 1148 Words | 5 Pages. ; Denby compares the billion-dollar-plus project to the building of the transcontinental railroad. In 1869, a New York Times reporter experienced the ultimate in luxury—and he did so not in the parlor of a Gilded Age magnate, but on a train headed from Omaha, Nebraska to San Francisco, ...read more, The Underground Railroad was a network of people, African American as well as white, offering shelter and aid to escaped slaves from the South. In 1862, the Pacific Railroad Act chartered the Central Pacific and the Union Pacific Railroad Companies, tasking them with building a transcontinental railroad that would link the United States from east to west. "We're building the transcontinental railroad here, six inches at a time . “What the transcontinental railroad did was bring the West … The country, from its commerce to the environment to even its concept of time, was profoundly altered after the completion of the railroad's 1,776 miles of track. “Together they gave the United States the single largest market in the world, which provided the basis for the rapid expansion of American industry and agriculture to the point where the U.S. by the 1890s had the most powerful economy on the planet.”. For example, westward expansion increased because of the railroad. The Pacific Railway Acts provided the development of the First Transcontinental Railroad. In particular, it helped turn California from a once-isolated place to a major economic and political force, and helped lead to the state’s rapid growth. Twice a week we compile our most fascinating features and deliver them straight to you. By one estimate, the project cost roughly $60 million, about $1.2 billion in today’s money, though other sources put the amount even higher. It was built on land grants, government loans, and government guaranteed bonds. It was the project of two railroad companies: the Union Pacific built from the east, and the Central Pacific built from the west. Although Europe is crisscrossed by railways, the railroads within Europe are usually not considered transcontinental, with the possible exception of the historic Orient Express. There was a time when traveling from the East Coast to the West Coast meant riding for months in a horse-drawn wagon or stagecoach, or sailing southward to Panama and then crossing the Isthmus to board another ship for a journey up the other coast. Other entrepreneurs and industries would follow the Big Four’s lead in tapping government help to build their businesses. The company suffered bloody attacks on its workers by Native Americans–including members of the Sioux, Arapaho and Cheyenne tribes–who were understandably threatened by the progress of the white man and his “iron horse” across their native lands. The Transcontinental Railroad: Men dreamed of connecting the east and west coasts of the United States of America by railroad as long ago as 1836. click for big picture: It was discussed in newspaper articles and politicians would often make speeches about it. Liverpool and Manchester Railway The opening of the Liverpool and Manchester Railway in September 1830 marked the dawn of steam-powered rail travel. William F. Chew, Nameless Builders of the Transcontinental Railroad: The Chinese Workers of the Central Pacific Railroad (Bloomington, IN: Trafford, 2003), 40-45. The original golden spike is now part of the collection of Stanford University, which was founded by Leland Stanford and his wife, Jane, in 1885 in memory of their only son. Transcontinental Railroad summary: The First Transcontinental Railroad was built crossing the western half of America and it was pieced together between 1863 and 1869. One thing I find particularity interesting about the Transcontinental Railroad, is that exactly 100 years after its completion, Americans would land on the moon, in a mission that took just over eight days. A transcontinental railroad is railroad that crosses through a continent. America’s first steam locomotive made its debut in 1830, and over the next two decades, railroad tracks linked many cities on the East Coast. "; Afterward they took jobs with the Transcontinental Railroad west from Omaha, Nebraska. This railroad was the work of two railroad companies, the Union Pacific and the Central Pacific, which built their lines as fast as they could until they met in Utah in 1869. Upon completion of the railroad, many Chinese workers returned to California in search of employment. Additionally, about 7,000 cities and towns across the country began as Union Pacific depots and water stops. Facts, information and articles about Transcontinental Railroad, an event of Westward Expansion from the Wild West. Two Competing Companies: The Central Pacific and the Union Pacific Railroad, Danger Ahead: Building the Transcontinental Railroad. The two lines of track would meet in the middle (the bill did not designate an exact location) and each company would receive 6,400 acres of land (later doubled to 12,800) and $48,000 in government bonds for every mile of track built. Prior to its construction, most railways were horse-drawn and used to haul freight such as coal over short distances. Connecting the two American coasts made the economic export of Western resources to Eastern markets easier than ever before. The Chinese laborers proved to be tireless workers, and Crocker hired more of them; some 14,000 were toiling under brutal working conditions in the Sierra Nevada by early 1867. Transcontinental Railroad The Transcontinental Railroad was a significant event in American History. All Rights Reserved. This Essay on History of Transcontinental Railroad was donated by students like you who want to improve your writing style and abilities. transcontinental railroad A train route across the United States, finished in 1869. Transcontinental definition is - extending or going across a continent. But if you see something that doesn't look right, click here to contact us! Durant swung and missed – likely because of a hangover he was suffering from the previous evening’s party in Ogden. The Central Pacific broke through the mountains in late June, however, and the hard part was finally behind them. Subscribe for fascinating stories connecting the past to the present. And even though they made major contributions to the construction of the Transcontinental Railroad, these 15,000 to 20,000 ...read more, The Crédit Mobilier scandal of 1872-1873 damaged the careers of several Gilded Age politicians. Another large example of abandonment exists near Donner Pass. The transcontinental railroad had a major effect on how Americans perceived their nation, and it became a symbol of America’s growing industrial power and a source of confidence that led them to take on even more ambitious quests. That made it possible for Americans to visit distant locales that previously they might only have heard about. Five miles long, the track ran from St. Louis to Cheltanham, Missouri. But once the railroad was built, the cost of a coast-to-coast trip became 85 percent less expensive. His attempt was followed by Union Pacific Thomas Durant’s. It developed as a convergence of several different clandestine efforts. The Cheyenne experience was different. Building the transcontinental railroad meant crossing all sorts of terrain, often involving trestles, bridges and tunnels. Known as the Pacific Railroad, the first transcontinental railroad served as an overland route that connects US to the pacific coast located at the San Francisco bay. During the railroad’s construction, numerous temporary “hell on wheels” towns of tents and wooden shacks sprung up along the route to provide living quarters for workers. Before the building of the Transcontinental Railroad, it cost nearly $1,000 dollars to travel across the country.
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