The Transcontinental Railroad

Topics: Union Pacific Railroad, First Transcontinental Railroad, Central Pacific Railroad Pages: 4 (1391 words) Published: December 4, 2012
Immigrants were drawn to the land of opportunity to make a better life for themselves and their families. It was the Irish and Chinese that had a vast influence on the transcontinental railroad. Their hard work and perfection resulted in the early completion of the railroad. These workers faced many hardships and difficulties along the way such as discrimination, hazardous weather conditions and unleveled land but it did not hinder the fierce competition between the two groups. It was their methods and work ethics that made the transcontinental railroad such a success. Although the Transcontinental Railroad was visualized, planned out, and financed by well-known wealthy white men, it was in turn built by Irish and Chinese immigrants. The construction of Transcontinental Railroad greatly impacted America, and it was the beginning of a great advancement for the country. The construction of the Union Pacific began in 1866 in Omaha, and was mostly built by Irish laborers. They were from the Eastern Seaboard, and they were veterans of the Union and Confederate Army throughout the Civil War. The Irish did not experience the same type of racial discrimination as the Chinese did, but their pay was still relatively low for working hard in a dangerous environment. The Irish earned $35 dollars a month compared to the Chinese who earned $27 dollars a month2,3. During this time, the Irish labor force was under attack and killed by Native American war groups who believed that the railroad being built threatened the way of life of their culture and violated treaties which were granted by government treaties2. Irish immigrants used a technique that they learned from New England factories that helped make their strenuous hard labor easier. They used an assembly line method as they laid down the tracks. This was a very well organized and effective way to accomplish this; this way each person would be delegated a certain part of the task and they were to do so continually as the...
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