Before the Transportation Revolution, products had to be floated downstream on rafts or boats, eventually reaching New Orleans and other gulf towns and then taken by ship to eastern cities or foreign markets. The trip was long and arduous and required pilots of the boats and rafts to return home over hundreds of miles on overland paths.
Initially used on the deeper rivers, the steamboat was quickly adapted to carry large cargoes on shallower western rivers.
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Allowed Americans to travel across the country and transport goods into new markets that weren’t previously available.
Transportation Revolution Shelby
Definition <ul><li>Transportation revolution: the period where steam power, railroads, canals, roads, and bridges emerged as new forms of transportation </li></ul><ul><li>Began in the early 1800s </li></ul>
Why did it occur? <ul><li>Development of large-scale industrial production </li></ul><ul><li>Each of the three economic regions (the West, the South, and the North) needed an affordable yet faster means of transporting their goods to another. </li></ul>
Steamboats <ul><li>1807- Robert Fulton demonstrated the feasibility of steam-powered boats </li></ul><ul><ul><li>His steamer made the trip on the Hudson River from New York to Albany and back in five days </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Although rafts and riverboats continued to carry agricultural products downstream, the steamboats easily moved against the current </li></ul>
Erie Canal and the Canal Frenzy <ul><li>The growing canal system connected major trading and manufacturing centers together. These artificial waterways linked interior areas to natural waterways, providing a new form transportation. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>1825: the Erie Canal, the first major canal project, was completed; spanned 363 miles and connected Buffalo and Albany, New York. The success of the Erie Canal initiated a canal-building frenzy in both the East and the West. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>1840: the United States had over 3,000 miles of canals. As a result, shipping costs dropped dramatically </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Westerners were now in ample supply of affordable eastern and foreign goods in local stores, now that the price of these products no longer burdened by high transport costs. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>However, canals were expensive to make and not well-maintained. </li></ul>
Railroad Boom <ul><li>Late 1830s: as the canal boom slowed, the railroad boom kicked into gear </li></ul><ul><li>1840: about 3,000 miles of track had been lain in America and investment in railroads had outstripped that in canals </li></ul><ul><li>1860: a network of 30,000 miles linked most of the nation's major cities and towns </li></ul><ul><li>At first, they extended only short distances. Eventually, extension and connection of short lines soon provided uninterrupted transportation over long distances. </li></ul>
Railroad Boom - Benefits <ul><li>Railroads were faster, cheaper, and had greater range than canals. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Railroads could reach interior areas, including places where an insufficient water supply or rough terrain made canals impossible. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Unlike canals, which froze in winter or became impassable when water was low, railroads ran year-round and they could easily cross hills and mountains. </li></ul></ul>
Results <ul><li>Led to westward expansion </li></ul><ul><li>Increased the population of cities that were previously secluded due to location, which contributed to the rise of manufacturing and industrialization </li></ul><ul><li>Helped create a national market </li></ul><ul><li>Increased the pace of business </li></ul><ul><li>Increased job opportunities </li></ul><ul><li>Reduced the costs of shipping, making products more accessible and reducing the cost </li></ul>