How The Transcontinental Railroad Revolutionized America

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President Abraham Lincoln once said, “A railroad to the Pacific Ocean is imperatively demanded in the interests of the whole country,” (Sandler 13). Change is a necessity of life, but positive change is rare. One of these rare instances was the event that connected the coasts of the United States. The Transcontinental Railroad not only connected America, but changed America. This massive railway revolutionized America by making American life faster paced than ever before.
Before any transportation was made between the coasts, though, there was technology to be put in place. Until the 1830’s, stagecoaches, wagons, and boats were the sole means of traveling. These vehicles were forced to travel across terribly made roads that made even six-team stagecoaches struggle to manage two miles per hour (Wormser 2). This, combined with badly built stagecoaches made travel miserable (Wormser 6). Meanwhile in
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In 1849, the California Gold Rush drew attention to the Pacific Coast. Around that time, Theodore Judah, an engineer, discovered Donner Pass in the Sierra Nevadas in 1860 (Railroad). With this discovery in hand, Judah rushed to President Abraham Lincoln and Congress with the proposal of a Transcontinental Railroad. Due to the Civil War in 1861, much of the southern congressmen had fled, leaving no one to oppose the idea of a Transcontinental Railroad (Blumberg 25-26). Judah easily convinced congressmen from the north by saying that a railroad from the North to the resources, mines, and land of the West would not only help them win the war, but protect possible states from southern control (Wormser 57). In the end, Lincoln, previously having been a railroad attorney, supported the Transcontinental Railroad (Wormser 58). Also, Lincoln had promised a railroad from the East to the West during his campaign, so he jumped at the chance to fulfill that statement (Blumberg

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