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Transcontinental Rail Road: A Significant Contribution to American History

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America’s timeline is overflowing with important people, places, inventions, and events that all bare significance and are responsible for shaping American life as we know it today. The building of the Railroad railway systems and of the Transcontinental Railroad forever changed American transportation, its economy and overall way of life. The Industrial Revolution was a key period in American history and the railroad was of extreme importance to the Industrial Revolution.
Railroad was the first big business in America and is still a crucial component on how America runs and transports. Railroads are just as big and important now as they were back then. The railroad was developed in Great Britain and the first successful locomotive was invented by George Stephenson of England in 1804. John Stevens is thought to be the father of Americas railroads because he was granted the first railway charter in North America in 1815. The first railroad track in North America was only thirteen miles long and opened in 1830.Construction of this track began at Baltimore Harbor on July 4, 1828 where the last surviving signer of the Declaration of Independence, Charles Carroll, who was 91 years old at that time, turned over the first spade full of dirt and laid the first stone for that railway.
In 1862, Abraham Lincoln signed a bill authorizing the construction of the first Transcontinental Railroad. It was the largest government construction project in United States history to that date and of that time. There were only two companies, Union Pacific and Central Pacific, that were responsible for the building of the Transcontinental Railroad. Union Pacific started construction in the East and Central Pacific started construction in the West. The...


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...tinental Railroad, 1869" EyeWitness to History, www.eyewitnesstohistory.com (2004).

A&E. "Transcontinental Railroad." History.com. A&E Television Networks. Web. 22 Jan. 2013.


Wallace D. Farnham (1963). Review of Wesley S. Griswold 'A Work of Giants: Building the First Transcontinental Railroad' Business History Review, 37, pp 464-465. doi:10.2307/3112726.

"Railroads." Dictionary of American History. 2003. Encyclopedia.com. 25 Apr. 2014 .

the Editors of Publications International, Ltd.. "Railroad Expansion" 19 May 2008. HowStuffWorks.com. 25 April 2014.

AUTHOR ushistory.org TITLE OF PAGE Early American Railroads TITLE OF PROGRAM U.S. History Online Textbook URL OF PAGE http://www.ushistory.org/us/25b.asp DATE OF ACCESS Friday, April 25, 2014 COPYRIGHT 2014



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