Railroads And Their Rising Impact On The 19th Century American Society

2436 words - 10 pages

The nineteenth century America was a period of history following a number of long lasting wars and also a whole new start to new changes in society. With the collapse of multiple nations that were in contact towards the United States, it paved the way for the growing influence and development for the United States, spurring military imperialism and conflicts, and advances in scientific exploration and technologies. Because of the ideas and resources that were began to spread, develop and flourish in areas of the western hemisphere, the nineteenth century also saw opportunities in construction, communication, and in particular the transportation systems. But as different aspects of society began to improve and that more and more freedom were in the hands of the citizens and government, the competitive market not only expanded in profit and wealth, but simultaneously faced minor conflicts due to the abuse of their rights and property. Because of the rise of new technological advancements and resources, railroads in the 19th century American society quickly boomed cities and came across as the most dominant source of transportation, as it predominantly played a role in the expansion of industry across the United States. Also, it was a movement most efficient in creating their own monopoly and was quickly adopted by many other countries that sought influence.
In order to detail the rise of railroads throughout this era of technological boom, it is important to understand the Industrial Revolution, which was the start of this success; it paved the way for major changes in the modern society we live in today. This is the period between the 18th and 19th centuries when major changes in agriculture, manufacturing, mining, transportation, and technology had a “profound effect on the socioeconomic and cultural conditions of the time”. Although the Industrial Revolution took place in England at the time, the rapid technological change there would eventually be a part of the transformation towards the United States. A number of “immigrants with advanced knowledge of English technology arrived in the United States eager to introduce new machines”(From Revolution to Reconstruction), and among them, the development of the steam engine. During the beginning stages of the nineteenth century, railroads only played a minor role in America’s transportation systems. At this time, the more common sources of transporation pertained to turnpike road networks, and canal and waterwat networks which were built depending on the terrain and structure of the land. But the railway network that was created in the preceding years and allowed better efficiency in accordance to time. Raw materials and products could be moved more quickly and cheaper than before (Barnett). It allowed ideas to spread more quicly, from previously what was by horse and by man to communicate among others. The work of railroad pioneers eventually led the nation to be linked together, and eventually...

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