p. 8 RAILROADS • The growth and consolidation of the railroad industry influenced many facets of American life
TRANSCONTINENTAL RAILROAD • Building the transcontinental railroad—stretching from East to West—helped promote settlement on the Plains. • From 1850 to 1871, the government granted huge tracts of land to companies ready to lay railroad tracks. • In 1867, the Central Pacific began building east from Sacramento and the Union Pacific west from Omaha. • In 1869, the two routes met in Utah, completing the first transcontinental track.
The transcontinental railroad was completed in 1869. The Central Pacific and Union Pacific railroads met in Promontory Point, Utah and laid a Golden Spike
WHO BUILT THE RAILROADS? • Irish and Chinese immigrants plus African Americans and Mexican Americans did much of the back-breaking work. • By 1888, more than 2,000 railroad workers had died and another 20,000 had been injured. • Workers earned very little—and Asians and African Americans less than white workers. IMMIGRANTS FROM CHINA LAID TRACK
RAILROAD AND TIME • The railroads helped link the nation. • Schedules were difficult to maintain, however, as each community set its own time standard. • So, in 1883, the railroads and many towns began using four standard time zones.
RAILROADS SPUR OTHER INDUSTRIES • The rapid growth of the railroad industry influenced the iron, coal, steel, lumber, and glass businesses as they tried to keep up with the railroads demand for materials • The spread of the railroads also led to the growth of towns, new markets, and opportunity for profiteers
RAILROADS LED TO GROWTH OF CITIES • Many of today’s major cities owe their legacy to the railroad • Chicago, Minneapolis, Denver, and Seattle all grew up thanks to the railroad
THE GRANGE AND THE RAILROADS • Farmers were especially affected by corruption in the railroad industry • Grangers (a farmers organization) protested land deals, price fixing, and charging different rates to different customers • Granger Laws were then passed protecting farmers • States were given regulation control of railroads by the Courts GRANGERS PUT A STOP TO RAILROAD CORRUPTION