Railroads of the Great West

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Railroads of the Great West

By | November 2009
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What was the role of the railroads in the settlement of the Great West? The role of the railroads in the late 1800’s increased the population and the economy of the Great West. With the completion of the railroads in 1869, it opened the market for the eastern and western communities of the United States to bind the unsettled territory together. The railroad brought so much change at a rapid, exhilarating rate. It meant change in the lives of Indian people, white settlers, and even the game of hunting . I believe that the completion of the railroads in the Great West had 100% positive affects on the United States, even though there were some complications and conflicts.

The First Transcontinental Railroad went into construction around 1863. With the idea of railroads, it stimulated economic growth. While producing many jobs for the population, it decreased poverty in the United States. The construction opened jobs for many immigrants and war veterans from the American Civil War. The American Civil War, from 1861-1865, slowed the construction down for a few years. The war was the primary task of the United States. The war needed soldiers, steel products, and lumber for the continuous battle. These necessities were also the main products for the railroad construction at the time. The laborers needed steel products for railroad engines, rails, and spikes. Also, lumber was needed for the railroad ties and rail stations. When the war ended in 1865, the construction of the railroads kicked off to a start. The economy increased and laborers were able to provide for their families.

The Indian People did not like the idea of the railroads being constructed. The railroads would interfere with the buffalo hunting and the Indian Peoples’ settlements. The railroads created a problem, bringing an increasing number of white settlers and new ideas to the West. This made the Indian People insecure about their settlements and their way of life. The western lands were once the...

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