Railroads Transform Texas Economy Define: Subsistence Farming With current transportation options, rivers and ox carts, commercial farming was impossible From 1876-1890 Texas had slightly less than 8,000 miles of track built By the 1900’s Texas led the nation in railroad mileage.
Paying for the Railroads Railroads were purchased through land grants. Once the railroads were finally constructed, railroad company’s sold the land on either side of the railroad to commercial farmers. Businesses moved in to sell products to the farmers Result: The growth of Texas cities
The Expansion of West Texas Why was West Texas land cheap for settlers? Dry – Limited Rainfall How did settlers combat this issue? Windmills – Drilled wells and pumped water
King Cotton Cotton did not only benefit the farmers, but also paved the way for new industries King Cotton made it difficult to run self-sufficient farms due to the great amounts of time that was needed to run the cotton fields How did this change create an industrial Texas? What would be the result of an industrial Texas?
King Cotton (cont’d) How would a bad crop, or drought affect not only the farmers, but the other people of these cotton towns? How would these cotton towns help immigrants?
Industries created by King Cotton Textile Mills Cotton by-products such as cotton seed oil Flour mills Cattle Industry grew even greater Cattle by-products: cowhide, bones, and tallow Lumber Coal
Life in the Lumber Industry With the expansion of the railroads, the lumber industry flourished. Lumber was needed for railroad ties, fuel for trains, and the increase in buildings and housing in cities. Lumber mills began popping all throughout East Texas Some lumber mills were so large they became their own communities
“Company Towns” These company towns that grew around the lumber mills were tightly knit communities. People who worked at the mill would live, shop, worship, and participate in the same activities together. This companionship with others was a stark contrast to life on the farm and attracted many people
“Company Towns” People who lived in these company towns were not always as happy as they initially hoped People were paid low wages, and their wages were paid in script, or payment that could only be used in the company town
Coal Industry Texas had plentiful amounts of low grade coal – this low grade coal had little or no value prior to 1870 Around the year 1870 railroad companies began to switch from lumber to coal to fuel the locomotives. This made a market for Texas coal – cheap, plentiful, and easy to extract Strip Mining
Lives depend on King Cotton Events were planned around Cotton Booms and Busts were felt by all Debt was acquired when droughts and boll weevils destroyed crops Everyone in some way or another bowed down to King Cotton
The New Industrial Worker The unpredictable financial life of farming led many to seek wage earning jobs Texas industrial workers were paid less than the national average Children made up a large portion of the work force. 12 hours/6 days a week “City Life” intrigued many over the “dull” life of farming
The other side of industry life… Working in mines and factories didn’t always provide the safest of working conditions Miss work…no insurance…no pay Broken equipment came out of pocket Rarely got paid on time
Labor Unions Workers united to gain better working conditions, pay, and other benefits Unions achieved their goals through strikes Strikes are organized work stoppages to influence business owners to provide a better work environment