Transportations Effect on Social and Economic Change in America Between 1820 and 1860

Topics: United States, Working class, Social class Pages: 3 (761 words) Published: December 17, 2013
In what ways did developments in transportation bring about economic and social change in the United States in the period 1820 to 1860?
Between the 1820s and the 1860s, advances were being made in leaps and bounds, especially in transportation. From the invention of the cotton gin to interchangeable parts, mechanical advancements began to take effect. However, Americans were still walking on unprepared ground and taking longer to reach from point A to point B. Because of this boom in technology, in order to get material from one place to another, transportation innovations needed to take place. Thus sprang canals and steamboats to navigate these canals in a timely manner. Roads were created to make travel on horseback or horse-drawn chariots much faster and smoother. Railroads and the train were used to make interstate travel fast and efficient. However, these innovations in transportation did not just affect how fast an American got from point A to point B. Transportation developments also affected our country in other ways, such as economically and socially.

Innovations in transportation such as canals, railroads and roads, had a major effect on United States. The Philadelphia Lancaster Turnpike was the first important road in America. It connected Philadelphia with rich farm lands in Lancaster. Because of the success of the turnpike, other states were more inclined to do the same. Cumberland Road was built which connected Maryland to Illinois. Canals impacted the US as well. In 1825 the Eerie Canal was opened starting in Albany by the Hudson River to Buffalo (Great Lakes). This enthused economic growth. Tolls were placed along the length of these turnpikes and canals in order to repay construction costs. Railroads changed small rural towns to commercial metropolises. Railroads began developing in the 1830s and it connected water routes when it was first created. By the 1860s there was approximately 30,000 miles of track. Capital to finance railroads came...
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