The Canadian Pacific Railway and its benefits to farmers, financiers, and consumers.
November 13th, 2012
The Canadian Pacific Railway (CPR) is commonly argued to be the most important transportation route in Canadian history, but most do not know the substantial benefits it provided. More specifically, it provided benefits to farmers, financiers, and consumers. The financiers of the railway were the group of people that the railway benefitted the most, mainly because of the significant amount of use it received in the 19th century.
During the 1800s and early 1900s the farmers of Canada benefitted greatly from the construction of the Canadian Pacific Railway because of the ease of transportation of goods it provided. The CPR allowed farmers to send their goods east towards the bulk of the population of Canada where they could be easily and quickly sold to waiting customers. This made the lives of farmers in the prairies much easier because their products were available to a larger population resulting in much more money for the work they did. However, while farmers benefitted, the provinces faced the challenge of a centralized government. Provinces like Saskatchewan and Alberta could not profit as much from the work of their farmers because farmers were taxed by the federal government. This meant that the provinces would have a more difficult time expanding, economically speaking, than they would have if they received taxes from the farmers. The reason that the government felt that it was necessary to tax the farmers was because there really was no limit to their expansion. With the vastly unsettled mid-west of Canada, there were virtually no limits on the expansion of farms, only limits of what the farmers could manage. As a result, some farmers were able to profit massively from the highly productive farmlands. Canada’s overall economy benefitted greatly by the success of its western farmers...