Venn Diagram of Railroads Pictures of Nature Pictures of Railroads
Land Grants Between 1850 and 1871 the federal government made huge land grants to the railroads – a total of 170 million acres. These grants were to help the Railroads earn money to lay track across the country. In the 1860 ’ s two companies began to race across the country – the Central Pacific moved east from Sacramento and the Union Pacific moved west from Omaha.
Land Grants In 1869 both companies reached each other at Promontory Point in Utah.
Land Grants The joining of these railroads made the first transcontinental railroad
Land Grants To pay to build the railroads, the companies sold their land for between $2-$10 an acre. Some companies also sent agents to Europe to sell land to immigrants. By 1880, 44% of the settlers in Nebraska and 70% of settlers in Minnesota and Wisconsin were immigrants from Europe.
Workers on the Railroad 20,000 men worked to build the first transcontinental railroad over 6 years. Civil War veterans, immigrants from Ireland and China, African Americans, and Mexican Americans did the hard labor required to build the railroad.
Workers on the Railroad On the Central Pacific line more than 90% of the labor force (12,000 people) was Chinese. While the Chinese workers received the same amount of pay as the whites, they did not receive lodging and board like the whites did.
Workers on the Railroad Working on the railroad was extremely dangerous and hard work. Men died from a variety of accidents including the railroad ’ s adoption of using nitroglycerin to make tunneling work more efficient.
Changes to America brought by the Railroad The railroad helped to connect settlers in the west with the well-established states in the East. This helped to unify this vast nation into one America. The railroads allowed for items from the west to arrive in the East for market. Cattle, sheep, grain, corn and exotic produce such as oranges were shipped from the west to the Eastern cities. This created markets for Western settlers and new experiences for Easterners.
Changes to America brought by the Railroad The railroad dramatically decreased the amount of time required to travel between the two coasts. This decrease in time is what led to a greater connection between the East and West.
Changes to America brought by the RR Mode of Transportation Approximate Time between NYC and San Francisco when the RR began Safety of Transportation Train10 daysSafest Ship (around Southern tip of South America) 6 monthsSafe Wagon6 months from Missouri plus the time to get to Missouri Least Safe
Changes to America brought by the Railroad Safety Time Sketch a graph of the safety and speed differences between these modes of travel RRShipWagon
The Effect of Railroads on Native Americans The train companies ran their track through territory previously controlled by various Native American tribes. To stop the initial conflicts between the two groups, the railroad companies realized that the Native Americans would be weakened without a large buffalo population. Therefore trains often stopped to allow passengers or workers to shoot as many buffalo as possible – then the buffalo were often left to rot on the prairie.
The Effect of Railroads on Native Americans Buffalo Bill Cody killed over 4000 bison in 2 years to provide meat for Railroad workers Shooting buffalo from a train
The Effect of Railroads on Native Americans Millions of buffalo used to roam the American plains, but by 1880 just a few thousand remained with the largest herd (a few hundred) hiding in Yellowstone National Park. Some believe that by decimating the buffalo population, the Railroad Companies and other buffalo hunters did more damage to the Plains Indians than the American Army.