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The Transportation Revolution 1800-1840
Transcript of The Transportation Revolution 1800-1840
designed by Péter Puklus for Prezi
Steam power shaped the technology of the 19th century. The steam engine, developed first in England and later refined in the United States, provided a more reliable and dynamic source of power than water or wind.
The steamboat was built by american born engineer Robert Fulton in 1807.
His ship, the Clermont, navigated from New York City to Albany upstream.
This invention transformed trade by commercializing and accelerating transportation against the current.
New innovations in Transportation
New developments inclue the steamboat, canals, railroads, and toll roads or "turnpikes".
These resources opened up land for settlement in the west and contributed to the expansion of the American public sphere.
They also promoted trade by lowering transportation costs and times and linking local farmers to national and world markets.
The advancement of the railroad opened vast new areas of the american interior to settlement.
It also supported the mining of coal for fuel and the manufacturing of iron for rails.
The first commercial railroad, the Baltimore and Ohio, was built in 1828 and was only 13 miles long.
The Erie Canal
The state- financed Erie canal, finished in 1825, was 363 miles long and allowed goods to flow between the Great Lakes and New York City.
The canal revolutionized trade and attracted many settlers migrating from New England.
It gave birth to new cities along its path, such as Buffalo, Rochester, and Syracuse.
It made New York City a primary trading port and sparked the construction of several other elaborate canals.
Excerpt from a letter by Thomas S. Woodcock, a New York engraver, describing a trip on the Erie Canal between Schenectady and Buffalo in 1836
". . . These Boats have three Horses, go at a quicker rate, and have the preference in going through the locks, carry no freight, are built extremely light, and have quite Genteel Men for their Captains, and use silver plate. The distance between Schenectady and Utica is 80 Miles, the passage is $3.50, which includes board. There are other Boats called Line Boats that carry at a cheaper rate, being found for 2/3 of the price mentioned. They are larger Boats, carry freight, have only two horses, and consequently do not go as quickly, and moreover have not so select a company. Some boats go as low as 1 cent per Mile, the passengers finding themselves."
Newspaper article in
announcing the voyage of the Clermont, August 17, 1807
“Mr. Fulton’s ingenious Steam Boat, invented with a view to the navigation of the Mississippi from New-Orleans upwards, sails to-day from the North River, near the State Prison, to Albany. The velosity of the Steam Boat is calculated at four miles a hour; it is said that it will make a progress of two against the current of the Mississippi; and if so it will certainly be a very valuable acquisition to the commerce of the Western States.”
[New York] American Citizen, August 17, 1807
Several innovations in transit of this time period, such as the Erie Canal, were confined solely to the north and did not connect to Southern regions. This exclusion of the south drove a farther wedge between the two different regions.
The American understanding of freedom at this time changed to include a strong dependence on physical mobility and the opportunities that came with transportation.