Saturday, December 09, 2006

Impact of the transcontinental railroad

From: Michael Ferrie

I am doing a project on the transcontinental railroad for history at school and I was looking for pages concerning the impact on white Americans during and after the railroad was built. I was searching on the web and can't find anything ... —

Michael Ferrie


Blogger CPRR Discussion Group said...

From: "Kevin Bunker"

Michael, good as the question is, there's really not that simple an answer. But, if you take a hard look at what existed before for Americans before the completion of the Pacific Railroad and after – in terms of transportation, communication, movement of goods from East to West and West to East, and at the nation's economy before (yes, drained by the Civil War but boosted by the wealth of mining riches in the West), perhaps you'll see the answer. A colleague once put it very simply, in terms we late 20th-early 21st centuries Americans can understand best: the CPRR-UPRR completion was the equivalent of the NASA Space Shuttles and maybe more. It represented the largest single change in such a short time span, culturally, industrially and technologically that anyone had ever seen before May 1869. It affected not just white Americans, but everyone on the continent, and launched a whole pattern of development that changed the face of the nation entirely and many of the ways in which it conducted business.
I leave it to you to make your own assessments beyond what I have mentioned here. The more you think about all this, I suspect the more you'll see on your own.
–Kevin Bunker

12/09/2006 11:06 PM  

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