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The transcontinental railroad

            Thesis: The transcontinental railroad greatly increased Westward expansion in.
             the United States of America during the latter half of the nineteenth century.
             The history of the United States has been influenced by England in many ways.
             In the second half of the 1800's, the railroad, which was invented in England,.
             had a major effect on Western expansion in the United States.
             "Railroads were born in England, a country with dense.
             populations, short distances between cities, and large.
             financial resources. In America there were different.
             circumstances, a sparse population in a huge country, large.
             stretches between cities, and only the smallest amounts of.
             money." ("Railroad" 85).
             The first American railroads started in the 1830's from the Atlantic ports of.
             Boston, New York City, Philadelphia, Wilmington, Charleston, and Savannah.
             (Douglas 23). Within twenty years, four rail lines had crossed the Alleghenies.
             to reach their goal on `Western Waters' of the Great Lakes or the tributaries of.
             the Mississippi. Meanwhile, other lines had started West of the Appalachian.
             mountains, and by the mid-1850's Chicago, St. Louis, and Memphis were connected.
             to the East. Still other lines were stretching Westward, beyond the Mississippi.
             An international route connected New England and Montreal and another one.
             crossed Southern Ontario between Niagara, New York, and the Detroit River.
             During the 1850's, North and South routes were developed both East and West of.
             the Alleghenies. It was not until after the Civil War, however, that a permanent.
             railroad bridge was constructed across the Ohio River. After the Civil War, the.
             pace of railroad building increased. The Pacific railroads, the Union Pacific.
             building from Omaha, Nebraska, and the Central Pacific building from Sacramento,.
             California, had started to build a transcontinental railroad during the war to.
             help promote national unity. They were joined at Promontory, Utah, on May 10,.

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