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Railroads Unite America - PowerPoint PPT Presentation


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Railroads Unite America. The Transcontinental Railroad. Completed in 1869 Connected the Atlantic Coast to the Pacific Coast Reduced travel time from months to days.

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The Transcontinental Railroad

  • Completed in 1869
  • Connected the Atlantic Coast to the Pacific Coast
  • Reduced travel time from months to days
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By the 1890s, railroads supplied cities and towns with food, fuel, mail, building materials, and access to markets.

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Railroads & mail-order merchants made it possible for people in remote rural areas to enjoy inexpensive consumer goods.

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Cornelius Vanderbilt

  • Built a trading company with his own steamships and expanded to ocean going ships.
  • Gained control of the New York and Harlem Railroad in 1863
  • Purchased several other railroads and merged them into one of the first giant corporations in American history.
  • Built the Grand Central Depot (Grand Central Station today) in 1871
  • Streamlined railroad service in the U.S.
  • Built up a $100 million fortune (worth about $140 billion today)
  • Founded Vanderbilt University
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Railroad “barons” created vast railroad networks and monopolies with free land given by the government: Pacific Railway Act...

  • Raised money by selling many of their land grants
  • Used Chinese and Irish immigrants to lay tracks