Developments in Transportation Bring About Economic and Social Change in the United States in the Period 1820-1860

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AP United States History

3 April 2013

Prompt: In what ways did developments in transportation bring about economic and social change in the United States in the period 1820-1860?
Over time, transportation has shown to have an incredible impact on the United States. It has revealed to bring about economic and social changes in various ways. In the late eighteenth century ancient methods of traveling were still in use in America and it was often very slow. Americans were aware that if transportation advancement occurred, it would potentially increase foreign trade, increase land values as well as strengthen the American economy. In the mid 1800s it has been determined that transportation advancement has a drastic effect on our lives even today.

Canals, Railroads and Roads have a major effect on United States. The Philadelphia Lancaster Turnpike was the first important turnpike in America. It connected Philadelphia with rich farm lands in Lancaster. This was a success because it influenced other states to do this as well. Due to this turnpike a Cumberland Road was built which connected Maryland to Illinois. Canals had an incredible impact as well. In 1825 the Eerie Canal was opened, it starts in Albany by the Hudson River to Buffalo (Great Lakes). This helped stimulate economic growth, also the tolls helped repay for the construction costs, it gave NY access to the Great Lakes. Railroads changed small towns to commercial cities. 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 from private investors, abroad, and local governments. Fed government gave public land grants to railroads. These transportation developments have great economic and social change in the United States.

Due to these advancements the United States went through several economic changes. For example, due to the Eerie Canal, the value of...