The Midwest has been vital in shaping the United States since its induction to the Union during the Louisiana Purchase. The Midwest has been integral for the creation of the transcontinental railroad, routes for the underground railroad and the orphan train. Iowa has also play a large role in theses same areas well as the suffragist movement, famous robberies, people, inventions, and even, alcohol.
Although the Transcontinental Railroad did not start in the Midwest, rather on the coasts. The Midwest was vital because it was the connector for the Central Pacific and the Union Pacific Railroads. The eastern terminus of the railroad was determined by President Lincoln and placed by the Union Pacific from Council Bluffs, Iowa (the end to the eastern tracks) to Omaha, Nebraska (the beginning to the western tracks). Council Bluffs was also to be used as the Transfer Depot that have up to seven railroads and transfer mail and other goods. This area was decided on, to keep the construction of the railroad away from the civil wars that were still occurring in Missouri. President Lincoln also decided on the area because of the political sway that he had. From the 1860 republican nomination that he won in Iowa in comparison to the 10 percent vote in Missouri that Lincoln had.
The Midwest played a major role in the underground railroad. Seven states had a total of twenty-three underground railroad sites that were used as “stations” to help slaves escape from the brutality of slave owners and plantations in the South. The Midwest had “railroads” and “stations” as far west as Nebraska City, Nebraska, as far east as Salem, Ohio, the “railroad” even traveled as far north as Milton, Wisconsin. Then, when the civil war ended and the events of the Emancipation Proclamation (EP) took place, Iowa was the first state to give the vote to African Americans in 1868.
Around the same period was the Orphan Train Movement. It moved children from 6-18 years old from the eastern part of the United States to the Midwest. It was to get children off of the streets in overpopulated cities in the east and give them to families in the Midwest where...