The Transcotinental Railroad

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by McPritch
Last updated 6 years ago

Social Studies
American History

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The Transcotinental Railroad

In 1862, Abraham Lincoln signed the Pacific Railroad Act into law that gave land across America to the Central Pacific and the Union Pacific Railroad Compainies. They were to build a transcontinental railroad that linked east and west America. The Central Pacific would start in the west and work eastward, and the Union Pacific would start in the east and the two would meet in to middle. They laid over 2000 miles of track, having to blast through mountains and build bridges before meeting at Promontory Summit, Utah.

The Transcontinental Railroad

Sources: 1.) "Transcontinental Railroad." A&E Television Networks. Web. 5 Nov. 2015.2.) "Completing the Transcontinental Railroad, 1869." Completing the Transcontinental Railroad, 1869. Web. 5 Nov. 2015.3.) Mrs. Campbells notes

How did the Continental Railroad impact economic, social and geography in the United States after Reconstruction?During the construction of the transcontinental railroad, the steel industry experienced lots of growth. Miles and miles of steel were needed to make all of the steel rails for the tracks. These companies were able to find new ways to produce steel cheaply and efficiently. The railroad was able to take settlers to the west, to new land, and then carry back to the east food from farmers and meat from cattle ranchers. It greatly reduced the cost of traveling westward and the chances of disease and death on the journey. Also, to lay the railroad, workers had to blow up mountains and clear land for the tracks. This had a large impact on the geography of the land.

Governor Stanford hitting in the last spike in Promontory Summit, Utah

Many Chinese workers died using explosives to clear the land.

Progress was slow, but sped up after the Civil War. About 14,000 Chinese immagrants were hired to work on the railroad, because they accepted lower pay than white men. But it was dangerou work and many died in explosions, rock slides, and heavy snowfalls beore the railroad was complete. It was finally finsished May 10,1869. Governor Stanford hit in the last spike, made of gold, at the ceremony celebrating the completion of the railroad.

ByMary Collier Pritchett


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