Definition of transcontinental railroad
A train route across the United States, finished in 1869. It was the project of two railroad companies: the Union Pacific built from the east, and the Central Pacific built from the west. The two lines met in Utah. The Central Pacific laborers were predominantly Chinese, and the Union Pacific laborers predominantly Irish. Both groups often worked under harsh conditions.
Words nearby transcontinental railroad
MORE ABOUT TRANSCONTINENTAL RAILROAD
What is the transcontinental railroad?
The transcontinental railroad was a train route across the United States that was finished in 1869. The route connected the east and west regions of the U.S. by rail for the first time.
The transcontinental railroad began construction after the Pacific Railway Act was signed by President Abraham Lincoln in 1862. While Lincoln was motivated by the railroad’s military potential and his personal interest in railroads, most of the other people involved were motivated by the money the government promised as part of the project.
The transcontinental railroad has been seen as one of the most important building projects in American history. The railroad would greatly help the American economy and make travel to the newly obtained California territory much easier. However, the railroad greatly worsened the life of the Native Americans in the United States because it increased the number of Americans who were moving west and led to the near extermination of the American bison.
As well, the building of the railroad affected a lot of immigrants. The eastern portion of the railroad, under the Union Pacific Railroad, was built mostly by Irish laborers. The western portion, under the Central Pacific Railroad, was built by Chinese workers. Both companies paid their workers poorly and endangered their lives.
Today, much of the transcontinental railroad is still in use and is operated by Union Pacific Railroad.
Why is transcontinental railroad important?
According to the Library of Congress, Congress had been discussing the possibility of a transcontinental railroad since at least the 1840s. The prefix trans- means “across,” and continental describes something that is related to a continent. The railroad was intended to cross the United States.
The first person to give a serious proposal to Congress was New York merchant Asa Whitney in 1845. While Whitney’s proposal didn’t get support from Congress, it did motivate the body to begin surveying potential routes.
A railroad connecting the coasts was a popular idea at the time, but it always met with argument and debate in Congress. Southern politicians opposed a railroad in the North that would further improve the Northern economy, and Northern politicians strongly opposed a Southern railroad that could be used to expand the slave trade.
Today, the transcontinental railroad is often taught about in schools due to the impact it had on the history of the United States, both good and bad.
Did you know ... ?
In 1852, Congress sponsored three surveys for potential routes of the transcontinental railroad known as the Pacific Railroad Surveys. The man in charge of these surveys was Secretary of War Jefferson Davis. Davis would later have a much bigger impact on American history by serving as the President of the Confederacy during the American Civil War.
What are real-life examples of transcontinental railroad?
This map shows the finished route of the transcontinental railroad:
Most Americans are familiar with the transcontinental railroad because it is often covered in history classes.
On my way to Salt Lake City to commemorate the 10,000 Irish railroad workers who built the transcontinental railroad that was completed in #Utah in 1869.
— Daniel Mulhall (@DanMulhall) May 9, 2019
May 10 marks the 150th anniversary of the #GoldenSpike—a ceremony commemorating the completion of the Transcontinental Railroad in Promontory Summit of the Utah Territory. Throughout the week, I’ll be sharing #Spike150 trivia.
— Senator Mitt Romney (@SenatorRomney) May 6, 2019
What other words are related to transcontinental railroad?
True or False?
The transcontinental railroad was a railroad that connected the northern and southern regions of the United States.
How to use transcontinental railroad in a sentence
It was from a former Railroad Commission employee who had gone to work for an oil and gas developer.
A Railroad Commission employee drove him 80 miles to his home in Freer.
Kocurek and Wright, who worked in different Railroad Commission districts, were fired within months of each other in 2013.
But two oil and gas inspectors for the Texas Railroad Commission may have done their jobs just a little too well.
He said he prefers to forget about his 18-month stint with the Railroad Commission.
At six o'clock I felt once more the welcome motion of a Railroad car, and at eight was in Venice.
The old stage-road from Dublin to Galway measures 133 miles, or nearly seven more than the Railroad.
A little inquiry by the officers showed that the trouble originated in the rejection of the bills by the railroad.
Probably he indited something fully equal to the London Times Georgia railroad story.
It may be that gasolene and repairs cost more than a railroad fare once a week, but I have abstained from making a comparison.Ancestors|Gertrude Atherton