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Exploring the Differences between Northern and Southern Railroad Construction

Railroad construction played a crucial role in shaping the United States' development and connectivity. This article aims to provide a comprehensive overview of the differences between northern and southern railroad construction. By examining various aspects, we can better understand the historical, economic, and social disparities that emerged during this transformative period.

I. Overview of Northern and Southern Railroad Construction:

  1. Geographic Factors:

    • Northern Railroads: Faced challenging terrains like mountains, rocky terrain, and densely populated regions.
    • Southern Railroads: Generally benefited from flatter landscapes and fewer geographic obstacles.
  2. Economic Factors:

    • Northern Railroads: Developed earlier due to a stronger industrial base, leading to extensive commercial and industrial connections.
    • Southern Railroads: Primarily focused on agricultural transportation, connecting plantations to major ports for exporting goods.
  3. Financing and Investment:

    • Northern Railroads: Attracted more financial backing from investors due to their established industrial and commercial centers.
    • Southern Railroads: Often faced financial challenges due to the reliance on agricultural income and the aftermath of the Civil War.

II. Technological Differences:

  1. Track Gauge:

    • Northern Railroads: Utilized the standard gauge of

Irish

Beginning in 1863, the Union Pacific, employing more than 8,000 Irish, German, and Italian immigrants, built west from Omaha, Nebraska; the Central Pacific, whose workforce included over 10,000 Chinese laborers, built eastward from Sacramento, California.

Who was the head of the Union Pacific?

Lance M. Fritz (Feb 5, 2015–)Union Pacific Railroad / CEO

Who were the main workers for the Union Pacific?

Thousands of workers, including Irish and German immigrants, former Union and Confederate soldiers, freed slaves, and especially Chinese immigrants played a part in the construction. Chinese laborers first went to work for the Central Pacific as it began crossing California's Sierra Nevada Mountains in 1865.

Who was the main force behind Pacific Railroad Company?

From the beginning, then, the building of the transcontinental railroad was set up in terms of a competition between the two companies. In the West, the Central Pacific would be dominated by the “Big Four”–Charles Crocker, Leland Stanford, Collis Huntington and Mark Hopkins.

Who was in charge of building Union Pacific Railroad?

Dr. Thomas Clark Durant

Under the guidance of its dominant stockholder Dr. Thomas Clark Durant, the namesake of the city of Durant, Iowa, the first rails were laid in Omaha. The two lines were joined at Promontory Summit, Utah, 53 miles (85 km) west of Ogden on May 10, 1869, hence creating the first transcontinental railroad in North America.

Who financed the transcontinental railroad?

Building was financed by both state and US government subsidy bonds as well as by company-issued mortgage bonds. The Western Pacific Railroad Company built 132 miles (212 km) of track from the road's western terminus at Alameda/Oakland to Sacramento, California.

How were the building of the railroads financed?

Receiving millions of acres of public lands from Congress, the railroads were assured land on which to lay the tracks and land to sell, the proceeds of which helped companies finance the construction of their railroads. Not all railroads were built with government assistance, however.

Frequently Asked Questions

How much money did it cost to build the Transcontinental Railroad?

By one estimate, the project cost roughly $60 million, about $1.2 billion in today's money, though other sources put the amount even higher. While the railroad's construction was a mammoth undertaking, its effects on the country were equally profound.

Why were people interested in building the transcontinental railroad?

Instead of having to trek through the untamed wilderness or sail around South America, Americans could now ride on a train and get from Council Bluffs, Iowa to Sacramento, California in a matter of weeks. The Transcontinental Railroad also allowed for western goods to be more easily and quickly transported.

Who wanted the transcontinental railroad?

One of the early and most prominent people making the case for a transcontinental railroad was Asa Whitney. In 1849 he published his ideas on the idea of a railroad that began in Chicago and went to California. There were many others who also joined the chorus.

What was the problem with building the Transcontinental Railroad?

Each company faced unprecedented construction problems—mountains, severe weather, and the hostility of Native Americans. On May 10, 1869, in a ceremony at Promontory, Utah, the last rails were laid and the last spike driven.

What problems did the Transcontinental Railroad cause?

The completion of the transcontinental railroad led to heightened racial tensions in California, as white workers from the East Coast and Europe could more easily travel westward where immigrant laborers were prevalent, says Princeton University Assistant Professor of History Beth Lew-Williams, author of The Chinese

What is one impact of the construction of the Transcontinental Railroad?

Just as it opened the markets of the west coast and Asia to the east, it brought products of eastern industry to the growing populace beyond the Mississippi. The railroad ensured a production boom, as industry mined the vast resources of the middle and western continent for use in production.

Which difficulties did builders of the transcontinental railroad find ways to overcome?

The following are two of the difficulties that builders of the transcontinental railroad found ways to overcome: Natural barriers such as mountains, rivers. and forests. A need for workers.

Why did Lincoln support the transcontinental railroad?

The 16th President of the United States, Abraham Lincoln, was instrumental in the development of the Transcontinental Railroad. In 1862 he signed the Pacific Railway Act that launched the plan. His goal: to unite a nation of settlers and build a railway system to support the expanding communities from east to west.

Which president pushed for the idea of a transcontinental railroad?

It was through Judah's efforts and the support of Abraham Lincoln, who saw military benefits in the lines as well as the bonding of the Pacific Coast to the Union, that the Pacific Railroad finally became a reality.

What were some of the benefits of the transcontinental railroad?

Surging Interstate Trade

Just as it opened the markets of the west coast and Asia to the east, it brought products of eastern industry to the growing populace beyond the Mississippi. The railroad ensured a production boom, as industry mined the vast resources of the middle and western continent for use in production.

Why did the federal government decide to support the construction a transcontinental railroad?

Connecting the two American coasts made the economic export of Western resources to Eastern markets easier than ever before. The railroad also facilitated westward expansion, escalating conflicts between Native American tribes and settlers who now had easier access to new territories.

Who helped build the Transcontinental Railroad?

Chinese laborers

The construction of the Transcontinental Railroad was an engineering feat of human endurance, with the western leg built largely by thousands of immigrant Chinese laborers. The building of the Transcontinental Railroad relied on the labor of thousands of migrant workers, including Chinese, Irish, and Mormons workers.

Who were the key people in the transcontinental railroad?

Central Pacific Railroad, American railroad company founded in 1861 by a group of California merchants known later as the “Big Four” (Collis P. Huntington, Leland Stanford, Mark Hopkins, and Charles Crocker); they are best remembered for having built part of the first American transcontinental rail line.

Who was mainly involved with building the transcontinental railroad?

Chinese laborers

Beginning in 1863, the Union Pacific, employing more than 8,000 Irish, German, and Italian immigrants, built west from Omaha, Nebraska; the Central Pacific, whose workforce included over 10,000 Chinese laborers, built eastward from Sacramento, California.

Who was involved in the construction of railroads?

Many workers contributed to the construction of railroads. On the East Coast, Native Americans, recently freed black people, and white laborers worked on the railroads. On the West Coast, many of the railroad workers were Chinese immigrants.

Who were the owners of the transcontinental railroad?

First transcontinental railroad
Other name(s)Pacific Railroad
OwnerU.S. Government
LocaleUnited States of America
TerminiCouncil Bluffs, Iowa (Omaha, Nebraska) Alameda Terminal, starting September 6, 1869; Oakland Long Wharf, starting November 8, 1869 (San Francisco Bay)

FAQ

Who helped build the Transcontinental Railroad quizlet?
Chinese, Irish, and German immigrants were hired to build the railroad because they worked for less money and many American men were: serving in the army, wanted higher paying jobs, left for the gold rush.

What were some of Abraham Lincoln's goals in the creation of the railroad?

As a once Illinois railroad lawyer, Abraham Lincoln was convinced that railroads were essential to America's future – drawing the nation together by trade, by travel, and by the defusing of yeomen farmers and immigrants, across the United States.

Which president wanted to build the Transcontinental Railroad?
Abraham Lincoln

Sixteenth president of the United States. In 1862, President Lincoln signed the Pacific Railroad Act into law, directing the Union Pacific and Central Pacific to build the nation's first transcontinental railroad.

Who was in charge of the Union Pacific transcontinental railroad?

Thomas Durant

Thomas Durant (1820-1885): Vice-president of Union Pacific and operational leader of the railroad. A medical doctor and Wall Street investor, “Doc” Durant hired Grenville Dodge as chief engineer and created the Crédit Mobilier to finance railroad construction.

Who was the leader of the transcontinental railroad?

Leland Stanford

The Big Four

Four northern California businessmen formed the Central Pacific Railroad: Leland Stanford, (1824–1893), President; Collis Potter Huntington, (1821–1900), Vice President; Mark Hopkins, (1813–1878), Treasurer; Charles Crocker, (1822–1888), Construction Supervisor.

Who led the construction of the Union Pacific Railroad?

Thomas C. Durant

The construction of the UP was led by Thomas C. Durant, vice president and general manager of Union Pacific, president of the Credit Mobilier, and a self-serving financial strategist.

Who were the bosses of the transcontinental railroad?

The Central Pacific's “Big Four” railroad bosses Leland Stanford, Collis Potter Huntington, Mark Hopkins, and Charles Crocker are often the only people named and written about in history textbooks—but the people who actually built the railroad are not!

When did the Union Pacific start building the transcontinental railroad?

By connecting the existing eastern U.S. rail networks to the west coast, the Transcontinental Railroad (known originally as the "Pacific Railroad") became the first continuous railroad line across the United States. It was constructed between 1863 and 1869.

When did the Union Pacific and the Central Pacific Railroad meet?

May 10, 1869

The Railroad Act of 1862 put government support behind the transcontinental railroad and helped create the Union Pacific Railroad, which subsequently joined with the Central Pacific at Promontory, Utah, on May 10, 1869, and signaled the linking of the continent.

What happened on May 10th 1869?

Wedding of the Rails” Officials and workers of the Union Pacific and the Central Pacific railways held a ceremony on Promontory Summit, in Utah Territory—approximately thirty-five miles away from Promontory Point, the site where the rails were joined—to drive in the Golden Spike on May 10, 1869.

Where did the Union Pacific and Central Pacific Railroad begin their construction?

Beginning in 1863, the Union Pacific, employing more than 8,000 Irish, German, and Italian immigrants, built west from Omaha, Nebraska; the Central Pacific, whose workforce included over 10,000 Chinese laborers, built eastward from Sacramento, California.

Where did the Union Pacific and Central Pacific railroads start?

The Pacific Railroad Act stipulated that the Central Pacific Railroad Company would start building in Sacramento and continue east across the Sierra Nevada, while a second company, the Union Pacific Railroad, would build westward from the Missouri River, near the Iowa-Nebraska border.

What did the Pacific Railway Act called for?

In 1862, Congress passed the Pacific Railway Act, which designated the 32nd parallel as the initial transcontinental route, and provided government bonds to fund the project and large grants of lands for rights-of-way.

What act called for the construction of the transcontinental railroad?
The Pacific Railway Act, which became law on July 1, 1862, offered government incentives to assist “men of talent, men of character, men who are willing to invest” in developing the nation's first transcontinental rail line.

What is the name of the Pacific Railroad?

By connecting the existing eastern U.S. rail networks to the west coast, the Transcontinental Railroad (known originally as the "Pacific Railroad") became the first continuous railroad line across the United States. It was constructed between 1863 and 1869.

What was the railroad expansion called?

The Transcontinental Railroad

The Central Pacific Railroad Company started construction of the Transcontinental Railroad in Sacramento, California, while the Union Pacific Railroad Company started near the Iowa-Nebraska border. Both companies were promised vast amounts of land and government bonds for each mile of track laid down on the railroad.

What differences are there between northern and southern railroad construction

Who created the Pacific Railway Act?

President Abraham Lincoln

Annotation: The Pacific Railway Act authorized construction of the first transcontinental railroad, extending from the Missouri River to the Pacific Ocean. The act was approved and signed into law by President Abraham Lincoln on July 1, 1862.

Why did president lincoln decide to support the construction of the transcontinental railroad

Why do you think President Lincoln decided to support the construction of the Transcontinental Railroad, a very expensive project, even though the Civil War 

What were the results of the construction of the Transcontinental Railroad?

Just as it opened the markets of the west coast and Asia to the east, it brought products of eastern industry to the growing populace beyond the Mississippi. The railroad ensured a production boom, as industry mined the vast resources of the middle and western continent for use in production.

Which of the following was not a result of the completion of the Transcontinental Railroad?

Expert-Verified Answer. The correct answer is C) improvements in working conditions for Chinese workers. The completion of the Transcontinental Railroad resulted in all of the following except the improvements in working conditions for Chinese workers. On May 10, 1869, the Transcontinental Railroad construction ended.

What were three negative effects of the Transcontinental Railroad?

But there was also a dark side to the historic national project. The railroad was completed by the sweat and muscle of exploited labor, it wiped out populations of buffalo, which had been essential to Indigenous communities, and it extended over land that had been unlawfully seized from tribal nations.

What were the effects of the Transcontinental Railroad quizlet?

They brought western beef and farm products to eastern consumers. In turn, items made in eastern industries were transported west by train, improving the lives of frontier settlers. As waves of pioneers traveled west, the growth of railroads encouraged the expansion of towns and cities.

What was one consequence of the construction of the transcontinental railroad?

The Transcontinental Railroad reduced travel time from New York to California from as long as six months to as little as a week and the cost for the trip from $1,000 to $150. The reduced travel time and cost created new business and settlement opportunities and enabled quicker and cheaper shipping of goods.

Which railroad began at Omaha Nebraska and worked westward?

The Union Pacific Railroad

Incorporated on July 1, 1862 under the Pacific Railroad Act of 1862, the Union Pacific Railroad established its headquarters for railroad operations at Omaha, Nebraska. The Union Pacific constructed westward from Omaha to meet the Central Pacific line coming from California.

What railroad pushed westward from Omaha?

The Union Pacific

The Union Pacific began pushing westward from Omaha, Nebraska.

Which railroad started in Omaha?

Union Pacific

Union Pacific marked the occasion with a groundbreaking ceremony at the Omaha settlement in Nebraska Territory Dec. 2, 1863. A lack of funding delayed the project's beginning for a short while, but on July 10, 1865, the first rail was finally laid.

What railroad company begins in the west and works westward?

The Pacific Railroad Act stipulated that the Central Pacific Railroad Company would start building in Sacramento and continue east across the Sierra Nevada, while a second company, the Union Pacific Railroad, would build westward from the Missouri River, near the Iowa-Nebraska border.

Which railroad started to build west from Omaha Nebraska on July 10 1865?

From there, 1,066 miles of Union Pacific rails spread out across Nebraska. The first rails were laid in Omaha on July 10, 1865, and it was two days short of a year later that Union Pacific's construction crews reached Grand Island.

Who usually made up the crews building the railroads? Chinese immigrants made up 90% of the Central Pacific Railroad's workforce. Attracted by the Gold Rush, many Chinese lived in California before the building of the Transcontinental Railroad.

Who was the notoriously corrupt railroad owner?

Jay Gould

Jay Gould Infamous for manipulating stock, Jay Gould was the most notoriously corrupt railroad owner. He became involved in the budding railroad industry in New York during the Civil War, and in 1867 became a director of the Erie Railroad.

Who were the workers who built the railroad?

The building of the Transcontinental Railroad relied on the labor of thousands of migrant workers, including Chinese, Irish, and Mormons workers. On the western portion, about 90% of the backbreaking work was done by Chinese migrants.

Who were the primary builders of the railroad?

Beginning in 1863, the Union Pacific, employing more than 8,000 Irish, German, and Italian immigrants, built west from Omaha, Nebraska; the Central Pacific, whose workforce included over 10,000 Chinese laborers, built eastward from Sacramento, California.

  • What group composed 80% of the laborers who built the railroad?
    • Chinese workers

      The number of Chinese workers on CP payrolls began increasing by the shipload. Several thousand Chinese men had signed on by the end of that year; the number rose to a high of 12,000 in 1868, comprising at least 80% of the Central Pacific workforce.

  • How did railroad construction in the South differ from railroads in the north?
    • Southern railroad management was inefficient, fractious, and ill suited to large-scale business operations, critics have charged, and because Southern roads were laid with track produced in England or the North and operated with locomotives built and fitted out in shops outside of the South, the network, such as it was

  • How were railroads different in North and South?
    • Southern railroads west of the Mississippi were isolated, disconnected, and differed widely in gauge. Several of the Northern railroads, in contrast, were complex networks in themselves, and many cities were served by more than one. The fact that most used the same gauge made transfer even easier.

  • Did the North have a better railroad system?
    • The industrialized Union possessed an enormous advantage over the Confederacy — they had 20,000 miles of railroad track, more than double the Confederacy's 9,000 miles.

  • In what way was the Great Northern different from other railroad lines?
    • The Great Northern Railway was the only "transcontinental" service built with almost no land grants from the federal government, and one of the few that did not go into receivership in the Panic of 1893. It's transcontinental route primarily from St.

  • How did the difference of railroads between the North and the South become a major factor of the Civil War?
    • Destroying the Confederacy's railroads took away another advantage the South had over the North – land mass. By shrinking the vast space the Confederate Army could operate within, the Union was able to contain the Confederate army to a much smaller, and much more vulnerable, piece of land.

  • What were the major challenges of building the transcontinental railroad?
    • Each company faced unprecedented construction problems—mountains, severe weather, and the hostility of Native Americans. On May 10, 1869, in a ceremony at Promontory, Utah, the last rails were laid and the last spike driven.

  • Which describes a major challenge facing the builders of the transcontinental railroad responses?
    • Answer. Crossing the Sierra Nevada Mountains would be your answer.

  • What was the engineering challenge of the transcontinental railroad?
    • The Central Pacific met its greatest challenge at the outset—the towering Sierra Nevada, which presented enormous engineering obstacles and strangling winter snows. Deep fills, rock cuts, high trestles, snaking grades, and 15 tunnels through 6,213 feet of solid granite blooded the CP crews.

  • What was the biggest impact of the transcontinental railroad quizlet?
    • The completion of the Transcontinental Railroad crashed through the barriers built in the Civil War and made America a unified country. The created American pride and Americans began thinking of themselves as a continental nation. It also transformed the economy of America.

  • What was the most difficult challenge of building the transcontinental railroad?
    • Builders of the transcontinental railroad faced geographical obstacles across the entire line. But none were quite as formidable as the snowy granite mountain range rising east of Sacramento. Getting through the Sierra Nevada would require fortitude, technology -- and the sacrifice of many workers' lives.

  • Who led the union pacific construction
    • Samuel H. Chittenden correspondence ... Chittenden (1845-1909) was employed as a survey engineer during the construction of the Union Pacific transcontinental 

  • Who was the man who built the Union Pacific Railroad?
    • Under the guidance of its dominant stockholder Dr. Thomas Clark Durant, the namesake of the city of Durant, Iowa, the first rails were laid in Omaha. The two lines were joined at Promontory Summit, Utah, 53 miles (85 km) west of Ogden on May 10, 1869, hence creating the first transcontinental railroad in North America.

  • Who controlled the Union Pacific Railroad?
    • Jay Gould. Jay Gould, (born May 27, 1836, Roxbury, New York, U.S.—died December 2, 1892, New York, New York), American railroad executive, financier, and speculator, an important railroad developer who was one of the most unscrupulous “robber barons” of 19th-century American capitalism.

  • Who was in charge of building the railroad?
    • Thomas Durant (1820-1885): Vice-president of Union Pacific and operational leader of the railroad. A medical doctor and Wall Street investor, “Doc” Durant hired Grenville Dodge as chief engineer and created the Crédit Mobilier to finance railroad construction.

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