HIS204: American History Since 1865
Instructor: Aimee Thibodeaux
July 30, 2012
Communication and travel are two of the leading ways that advanced technology led the end of isolation. Open lines of communication allowed people to be able to keep in touch. From the beginning, communication by letter was on the way to end isolation. In America, the pony express made this possible. Technology then led from the pony express to the beginning of the U.S.P.S. and on to email, phones, text messaging, and video chatting. Travel and the technology to advance it led to the railroad system. Travel advanced further because the technology led to the advent of automobiles and flight. This made isolation and almost a non issue because of the ease that people were able to travel, both nationally and internationally. During the first years of America, people sent letters by the pony express. This way of getting mail would take; depending on your location; upwards of a week to ten days. The Pony Express connected the coasts in 10 days - the fastest delivery ever was recorded at 7 days 13 hours, carrying newly elected President Abraham Lincoln’s inaugural address. The riders selected were reportedly as young as 11 years old, and were excellent horsemen. Fearlessly, they traveled the trail day and night, rain, snow, or shine. Representing the best of what Americans can be, and the ruggedness and ‘can do’ spirit that made this country strong, the Pony Express lives on in our hearts and imaginations today as one of the greatest enterprises in our history.(SPE,1861) Riders were often overly tired and more often than not subject to attack from Native Americans. The Pony Express; in its short 18 months of operation; opened lines of communication between the new federal government and state governments. This allowed for laws to be more easily established and enforced over such a large geographical area. Due to the short life of the Pony Express, the United States decided that they need a postal service that would be faster than pony express. Thus the United States Postal Service was born and put into action. In the many years that the U.S.P.S. has been in function, they have never had a lay off nor have they ever taken a bail out. Even though many people have moved away from using the postal service’s many people have decided to use them to ship care packages to soldiers overseas. When technology began to increase and the turn computer age was born people slowly began to use computers for more of a daily use than just an upper end business use. When the turn of the century happened almost everyone in America had a computer in their home. At the same time people were beginning to use cell phones and almost everyone had a cell phone when the 21st century came around. With all the advances of technology for different ways to communicate, there were also many ways that people commuted to different locations and without these ways of communication this travel would have taken many days’ even weeks before people would see results from a letter written. Today, trains are used for many things; such as carrying freight, carrying passengers, and most often they are used to ship coal from one place to another. This technology came around in the early 1820s. The only thing that trains were really used for in the early years was fast travel for people that didn’t want to travel by horse and carriage. In later years, after automobiles were invented people moved away from railway travel to traveling by cars. There was a time in this country when railroads crisscrossed the nation, one could find a pair of railroad tracks only a very short distance from their home, and almost every town, large and small, boasted a train station of some type. During the height of the industry, commonly referred to as the "Golden Age" from the late 19th century through the 1920s there were more than 254,000 miles of railroad in...