Essay about The Rise Of Railroad Development

830 Words Jun 26th, 2016 4 Pages
Railroad development was paramount in shaping westward expansion and urban growth from 1860 to 1890. Conversely, rapid growth of cities in eastern America eventually led to overproduction of railways based on privatized industry and government subsidies. This symbiotic relationship fueled industrialization and rapid economic recovery for a country so desperately in need. In 1860 railroads hardly expanded further west than St. Louis. Many Americans believed the west to be comprised of nothing but dry desert and conflict with Native Americans. By 1870 the first transcontinental railroad connected San Fransisco to New York City. This was the proof of concept that led to increased production of railways west of the Mississippi. “The five transcontinental railroads with other subsidiary lines framed the network in the west, and pulled millions of settlers and pioneers into the Great West” (Wang 226). This mass migration was also correlated to the creation of cities and industries as well as an expanded economy. “The government can function as a catalyst for development, especially in times when capital is scarce” (Wang 230). Funding for railroad corporations in the west was sparse at first. Most funding came from those who lived close to rail routes or in terminal cities (Wang 224). In 1864, new legislation was enacted that provided lavish grants to railroad corporations; 90 percent of which went to the west Reconstruction after the Civil War created an even…

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