Send the link below via email or IMCopy
Present to your audienceStart remote presentation
- Invited audience members will follow you as you navigate and present
- People invited to a presentation do not need a Prezi account
- This link expires 10 minutes after you close the presentation
- A maximum of 30 users can follow your presentation
- Learn more about this feature in our knowledge base article
9 Movement and Communication
Transcript of 9 Movement and Communication
"I can" Statement
How did reform and Westward expansion ultimately lead to the Civil War?
I can explain how reform and westward expansion ultimately led to the Civil War.
The Pony Express
To be a rider on the Pony Express, you needed to be small and lightweight. Riders were normally 100-115lbs (which is the size of a jockey for horse racing today). This helped to not tire the horses as much as if larger riders were riding. They also hired men around 18 to 20 years old, but it wasn't unheard of to have 14-year-old riders.
In exchange for their $50 monthly salaries, Pony Express riders were expected to take a loyalty oath. Those who broke this oath risked losing their high-paying job.
The Pony Express was a mail-delivery system that used horse-and-rider relay teams to speed mail along a 2,000-mile route between St. Joseph, Missouri, and Sacramento, California. While the company only operated for 19 months, beginning in April 1860, it set a new standard for rapid mail delivery. In the mid-19th century, California-bound mail had to either be taken overland by a 25-day stagecoach or spend months inside a ship during a long sea voyage.
Riders faced many dangers while on route. Weather, harsh terrain, and threat of Native American attacks made the ride difficult. Even with all these dangers, only one rider was reported to have died during his service for the Pony Express.
The Pony Express, meanwhile, had an average delivery time of just 10 days. A series of 200 stations were set up where a lone horsemen would ride between stations at breakneck pace, switching mounts every 10-15 miles and then handing their cargo off to a new courier after 75-100 miles.
“I do hereby swear, before the Great and Living God, that during my engagement, and while an employee of Russell, Majors and Waddell, I will, under no circumstances, use profane language, that I will drink no intoxicating liquors, that I will not quarrel or fight with any other employee of the firm, and that in every respect I will conduct myself honestly, be faithful to my duties, and so direct all my acts as to win the confidence of my employers, so help me God.”
When Western Union completed the transcontinental telegraph line at Salt Lake City on October 24, 1861, the Pony Express became obsolete. Two days later they stopped service just
two days later. Despite operating for only 19 months, its riders had successfully delivered some 35,000 pieces of mail and traveled more than half a million miles across the American frontier.
The push to create a transcontinental telegraph line had begun in the fall of 1860 when Congress authorized a subsidy of $40,000 a year to any company building a telegraph line that would join the eastern and western networks. The Western Union Telegraph Company, as its name suggests, took up the challenge, and the company immediately began work on the link that would span the territory between the western edge of Missouri and Salt Lake City.
Congress Makes a Deal
The obstacles to building the line over the barely populated and isolated western plains and mountains were huge. Wire and glass insulators had to be shipped by sea to San Francisco and carried eastward by horse-drawn wagons over the Sierra Nevada. Supplying the thousands of telegraph poles needed was an equally daunting challenge in the largely treeless Plains country, and these too had to be shipped from the western mountains. Indians were also a problem. In the summer of 1861, a party of Sioux warriors cut part of the line that had been completed and took a long section of wire.
In addition to helping invent the telegraph, Samuel Morse developed a code that assigned a set of dots and dashes to each letter of the English alphabet, allowing for the simple transmission of complex messages across telegraph lines. In 1844, Morse sent his first telegraph message, from Washington, D.C., to Baltimore, Maryland.
On October 24, 1861, workers of the Western Union Telegraph Company linked the eastern and western telegraph networks of the nation at Salt Lake City, Utah, completing a transcontinental line. For the first time, instantaneous communication between Washington, D.C., and San Francisco was available.
In the 1800s, stagecoaches were more than just a way to travel—they helped people throughout the country stay connected. Stagecoaches carried passengers but also mail, news, and even money. People depended on stages to keep in touch with friends and family. Business owners used it to send instructions and payments. In towns across America, the arrival of the stagecoach was an exciting event of the day.
It took a special kind of person to be able to successfully drive a stagecoach. "A good driver was the captain of his craft. He was feared by his timid passengers, awed by stable boys, and was the trusty agent of his employer." Proper handling of the horses and the great coaches was an art that required much practice, experience, and not the least, courage. All stagecoach drivers, including Charley, considered their whips worth their weight in gold. Drivers considered their whips a badge of honor. Whips were never sold, loaned, borrowed, or traded because they were seen as "part of the driver."
Before the construction of the transcontinental railroad, reaching the west would either take six months of land travel or six weeks of traveling by sea around South America. Interest in building a railroad uniting the continent began soon after the use of the locomotive. The first trains began to run in America in the 1830s along the East Coast. By the 1840s, the nation's railway networks extended throughout the East, South, and Midwest.
On July 1, 1862, Lincoln signed the Pacific Railway Act, authorizing land grants and government bonds to two companies, the Central Pacific Railroad and the Union Pacific Railroad. The first rail was spiked on October 26, 1863 by the Central Pacific Railroad as construction crews began building the line east from Sacramento. The Union Pacific Railroad began their side of the track in July 1865 at Omaha, Nebraska. Each line was given twenty sections of land for each mile of track completed. Second, they gave loans: $16,000 for each mile of track of flat prairie land, $32,000 per mile for hilly terrain, and $48,000 per mile in the mountains.
Working on the Railroad
With tens of thousands of Civil War veterans out of work, hiring for the Union Pacific was easy. The men, mostly Irishmen, worked hard and efficiently. Finding workers was a more difficult task for the Central Pacific. Within three years, 80% of the Central Pacific workforce was made up of Chinese workers. They blasted tunnels through the solid granite of the Sierra Nevada-- sometimes progressing only a foot a day.
While the Central Pacific fought punishing conditions moving eastward through mountains, across ravines, and through blizzards, the Union Pacific faced resistance from the Sioux, Cheyenne, and Arapaho tribes who were seeing their homelands invaded and irrevocably changed. The railroad workers were armed and oftentimes protected by U.S. Calvary and friendly Pawnee Indians, but the workforce routinely faced Native American raiding parties that attacked surveyors and workers, stole livestock and equipment, and pulled up track and derailed locomotives.
On April 9, 1869, Congress established the meeting point in an area known as Promontory Summit, north of the Great Salt Lake. Less than one month later, on May 10, 1869, locomotives from the two railroads met nose-to-nose to signal the joining of the two lines. At 12:57 p.m. local time, as railroad dignitaries hammered in ceremonial golden spikes, telegraphers announced the completion of the Pacific Railway. Canons boomed in San Francisco and Washington. Bells rang and fire whistles shrieked as people celebrated across the country. The nation was finally united. The six-month trip to California had been reduced to two weeks. Within only a few years, the transcontinental railroad turned the frontier wilderness of the western territories into "civilized" areas to live full of Americans and immigrants, enabling businesses, and essentially ending the traditional Native American way of life.