The Transcontinental Railroad Was A Massive Achievement For Our Country

1718 Words Oct 15th, 2016 7 Pages
The transcontinental railroad was a massive achievement for our country; its many accomplishments included expanding settlement, providing valuable jobs, and spurring immigration. Before the railroad was constructed, settlements were mostly established on the east coast. There were, however, a few settlements out west as a result of the California Gold Rush, but there was nothing in between. Traveling the 2,000 miles to California from the eastern region of the United States took five hard and often deadly month due to lack of proper transportation. After the Civil War ended, the railroad provided jobs that many returning war veterans desperately needed. There was a surge of Chinese and Irish immigration during this time, which greatly increased our country’s population. They came seeking their fortune by working on the railroad. It was around 1830 when the earliest thoughts of a transcontinental railroad surfaced. This was around the time that the first American steam locomotive, the Tom Thumb, was designed and built. William C. Redfield published a pamphlet that pushed for a “Great Railway” to be constructed to connect the Atlantic States with the valley of the Mississippi. Redfield looked back in disgust at the vast expenditures of the War of 1812 and stated, with confidence, that an amount so freely and wastefully spent then could be used, in 1830, to build a rail route not only to the Mississippi, but even all the way to the Pacific (Bain 16). The idea resurfaced…

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