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“The Iron Road” PowerPoint Presentation
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“The Iron Road”

“The Iron Road”

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“The Iron Road”

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Presentation Transcript

  1. “The Iron Road”

  2. 1883 – American Railway Association divides U.S. into 4 time zones

  3. 1862 – Pacific Railway Act • Union Pacific • Central Pacific • 1865 – 35,000 miles of track • 1900 – 200,000+ miles Transcontinental Railroad

  4. Headed west from Omaha, NE in 1865 • Blizzards, scorching heat, hostile American Indians • Labor, money, & engineering problems • Irish immigrants, failed miners & farmers, ex-convicts, Civil War veterans • 10,000 workers • Hell On Wheels Union Pacific

  5. Headed east from Sacramento, CA • “Big Four” – Leland Stanford, Charley Crocker, Mark Hopkins, Collis P. Huntingdon • Hired 10,000 Chinese workers - $1/day • All equipment shipped from eastern U.S. • Had to blast tunnels through solid mountains Central Pacific

  6. Central Pacific Railway

  7. 1 mile of track – 400 rails, each rail took 10 spikes • CP – Laid 688 miles of track • UP – 1,086 miles • “The two trains pulled up facing each other, each crowded with workmen. . . . The officers and invited guests formed on each side of the track. . . . Prayer was offered; a number of spikes were driven in the two adjoining rails . . . and thus the two roads were wedded into one great trunk line from the Atlantic to the Pacific.” — How We Built the Union Pacific Railway, 1910

  8. Promontory Summit, UT – May 10, 1869 “The Last Spike”

  9. First big business in U.S. • Large railroad companies connected hundreds of small railroads • Spent huge $ on steel, coal, timber • Freight prices ↓ by half between 1860 & 1900 Railroad Growth

  10. Federal govt. gave land grants to railroads • Railroad entrepreneurs became rich – Cornelius Vanderbilt & Jay Gould, called robber barons • Investors bribed members of Congress • Crédit Mobilier Scandal – 1872 • Members of Congress buy shares at well below market price • Letter appears in New York Sun listing Congressmen • Great Northern Railroad succeeds w/o land grants or corruption Railroads & Corruption

  11. Exit Slip: How do you think the Transcontinental Railroad will transform the nation?