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Transcript of Transcontinental Railroad
Definition of the Transcontinental Railroad: A railway built to make passage from the eastern U.S to the western U.S easier.
The Transcontinental Railroad represented Manifest Destiny because Americans could get to the land the U.S just bought faster than they had before. Manifest Destiny is the belief that it was America's destiny to expand to the Pacific coast.
The Transcontinental Railroad was constructed to go from Council Bluffs, Iowa to the San Francisco Bay, in California. This railroad was meant to connect the east United States to the western United States.
What Technology Was Being Used
The transcontinental railroad was constructed within a six-year span almost entirely manually. Employees drove spikes into different, dangerous mountains, enclosed the holes with black powder, and withered in and out the rock inch by inch. Small carts moved the drift from cuts to fills. Overpasses, including one 700 feet long and 126 feet in the air, had to be constructed to move over a lengthy river.
Conditions were difficult for a few reasons. One, men lived in tents or in converted boxcars. Two, for every man killed in a work accident, 4 were murdered in “Hell-on-wheels” towns. These were towns that could be packed up and moved along the tracks. Three, Chinese people had to do very dangerous work blasting and laying ties over treacherous terrains. Lastly, the work force faced challenges such as raising tracks over terrain that was very tall.
The project took about 6 years.
Cobblestone article: The Builders of the First Transcontinental Railroad
Cobblestone article: An Empire of Steel
The Transcontinental Railroad and Manifest Destiny
Gadsden’s Purchase provided the land necessary for a southern transcontinental railroad. Also it attempted to resolve conflicts that lingered after the Mexican-American War.
The Gadsden Purchase
The Gadsden Purchase
The steel industry played a big part in building this railroad. Andrew Carnegie owned most of this industry. The steel industry made train axles, machine-moving vehicles, train rails, and bridges for this railroad to become a success. Andrew Carnegie's company constructed bridges that replaced old, shabby ones that were deteriorating because they were so rotten.
THE BIG FOUR
Louie , Owen and Ryan
All the people trying to find a job such as privates, sergeants, lieutenants, captains, colonels, Chinese workers, the Irish, and former slaves worked on the Transcontinental Railroad. The Chinese wanted to work, but were banned until a railroad baron insisted that the Chinese should be able to work. The Chinese people were paid 27 to $30 to do exhausting construction work and were paid less than their Irish colleagues. The Chinese had a more healthy standard of living than any of their other colleagues. They washed their clothes, bathed themselves, and did not drink whiskey.
General William Tecumseh Sherman wrote in 1867: "The more we can kill this year, the less will have to be killed the next year, for the more I see of these Indians the more convinced I am that they all have to be killed or be maintained as a species of paupers." As you can see, the white explorers and workers were not fond of these Indians, and wanted them out so they could better develop the land for themselves. When these people came into the Native Americans’ territory they interrupted a tradition that had been going on for many generations, but did not take time to realize it. The white settlers and Native Americans had a vigorous conflict that resulted in an all-out war. This ended up negatively affecting Native Americans.
The Transcontinental Railroad had room to expand. So, the U.S bought the Gadsden area to expand trading opportunities. This area provided ways to resolve conflicts between the U.S and Mexico and it provided the usage of land for a southern Transcontinental Railroad.
The railroad consisted of trains like
these on the railroad.
Some big businessmen including Mark Hopkins, Charles Crocker, Leland Stanford, and Collis Potter Huntington were railroad barons of this railroad. These people were known as the Big Four. The goal of these people was to build the Central Pacific Railroad, which was the western portion of the First Transcontinental Railroad. These people could also be known as primary investors to this railroad.
The Big Four