Essay On Transcontinental Railroad

1718 Words 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. …show more content…
They also had a hard time finding workers. Since the country was in the middle of a civil war, the men were off fighting. Most of the workers for the Union Pacific consisted mostly of Irish immigrants. Years earlier, in Ireland, a potato blight caused many Irishmen to leave and come to America. Many had been working on building the Erie Canal. Once that was completed, they had difficult time finding jobs. The Irish were discriminated against because they were looked at as poor, uneducated, troublemakers, and their religion was Catholic among a Protestant nation. Many businesses hung signs that stated, “Irish need not apply” or “No dogs or Irishmen allowed.” They were, nevertheless, able to find work on the

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