Chapter 5: Industrialization Section 2: The Railroads SPOTLIGHT VIDEO
The Transcontinental Railroad • Began in 1862 when President Abraham Lincoln signed the Pacific Railway Act. • Connected the nation East to West. • Competition between 2 RR companies: • Union Pacific RR • Central Pacific RR
Transcontinental RR • Union Pacific RR • Engineer: Greenville Dodge • Started in Omaha, NE & pushed West • Workers faced bad weather, angry Native Am. • Labor, $ & Engineering problems. • Workforce: Civil war vets, miners, framers, ex-convicts. • Central Pacific RR • Started in Sacramento, CA. • Owned by the “Big Four” • Grocer: Leland Stanford • Shop owner: Charley Crocker • Hardware store owners: Mark Hopkins & Collis P. Huntington • Hired 10,000 Chinese immigrants & paid them about $1.00/day.
The Last Spike • Promontory, UT • Where two RR came together & final spike was Golden. • Despite Physical challenges, took 4 years to complete. • 1 mile of track: 400 rails; 10 spikes per rail. • CP RR = 688 miles of track • UP RR = 1,086 miles of track
Railroads Spur Growth • Railroads linked the nation and increased the markets for many products. • Railroads spent HUGE amounts of $ on steel, coal & timber • Smaller RR companies were combined into large RR corporations. • Cornelius Vanderbilt—one of most successful RR moguls.
RR’s spur growth (cont’d) • Increase safety on the rails, American Railway Association divided country into 4 time zones. • Eastern, Central, Mountain, & Pacific. • New locomotive technology • Invention of air brakes, longer/heavier trains • Travel is now faster & cheaper • Rail network helped unite Americans.
Robber Barons • RR cost lots of money, so the Govt. gave companies land grants. • 1850-1860 federal govt program gave more than 120 acres to RR companies. • RR Entrepreneurs made a great deal of $ and this caused lots of corruption & bribery. • Jay Gould– one of the most notorious & corrupt RR owners.
The Credit Mobilier Scandal • One of the biggest RR industry scandals • Construction company working for/with Union pacific RR signing contracts with them selves. • When the RR was about to go bankrupt, they offered congress shares of the company in exchange for more land grant. • Exposed during the election of 1872.
The Great Northern Railroad • Ran from Saint Paul, MN to Seattle, WA. • Headed by James J. Hill • Only privately funded transcontinental RR-no land grants were given. • Offered low fares to homesteaders & later sold the homesteads. • Most successful TRR & the only one not forced into bankruptcy.
Assessment • How did technology help unify the U.S.? • Why was the country divided into four (4) time zones? • How was the Great Northern different from other RR? • Writing: You are an employee of a major RR company. Your job is to write an advertisement to recruit workers for your corporation.