19th Century Railroad Industry Analysis

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The late nineteenth century saw a huge development in the United States’ economy, and the railroad industry was a leading contributor to why. Through transportation, jobs, expansions, and other factors, the railroad industry played a primary role in the evolution of the economy. The late 1800s marked a time of growth, and railroads provided quicker, more effective ways of shipping, communication, and more. When the railroad industry surged, the economy surged, and when the railroads faltered, so did the economy. Railroad strikes and events in their department took a toll on the government. Other industries relied on the railroads to uplift their business endeavors. The railroad industry had a vital impact on the late nineteenth century economy …show more content…
“ ' Fueled by government subsidies and land grants, during the 1870s the railroad industry became the largest commercial sector in the United States. The Chicago Tribune called it ‘the very heart and life of the modern system of commercial existence’” (Siggerud 4). Another branch of the industry was effective communication. The trains were much more efficient in carrying letters from Point A to Point B than a delivery man on horseback. Citizens all over the US were able to reach one another more quickly, which aided more productive transmission (Seely 1). As railroads took the lead in transportation, this opened up a lot of work and jobs in this …show more content…
One central example was The Great Railroad Strike of 1877. This was a movement by railroad laborers. “When workers finally revolted in 1877, their cause, which became known as the Great Railroad Strike, marked the first national labor event in United States history and served as a turning point for the American labor movement” (Piper 93). At this period in time, strikes were uncommon as the workers stance on fair labor went unrecognized and hardly made a ripple. In the spring of 1877, railroad labor wages were cut down a total of 45% in two phases. A group of company engineers for B&O Railroad announced no trains would leave their station until wages were restored and raised (Piper 95). President Rutherford B. Hayes attempted to silence their movement, but it spread across the country to dozens of other stations where workers gave the same outcry (Piper

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