The Railways That Built America

754 Words4 Pages
What was the key invention that helped America chug ahead in the industrial race around the world? The railway system ignited many other inventions in the last third of the nineteenth century, and helped America grow into the strong industrial nation it is today. The railway system helped “the movement of settlers further and further west accompanied by technological advances led to the major growth of cities and industries across the American frontier,” (Transportation and the Expansion of America). Railroads improved how we communicated as a nation, and helped us transform our economy for a regional agrarian economy to a national industrial economic superpower. The communication in America increased immensely due to the growth of the railways. The postal service became well organized, and was able to send out the mail on trains reducing the amount of time it took to get mail. Also since railway lines were almost everywhere in the United Sates, rural towns were able to connect with people in the city, and vise versa. News was able to travel quickly because as people traveled they brought stories and newspapers with them about what was happening in their hometown. The people were more informed of the issues of the nation; therefore they were able to communicate this to the seats of government. Another reason why the railroads helped America communicate better was because of “standard time and the four time zones we know today were set in place by the nation's railroads, in 1883” (Withuhn). The railroads needed to set a time that was standard across the country to make sure train schedules were coordinated safely. The time that the trains used what was known as “railroad time” which soon the whole nation became accustomed to. Since Americans used the trains so often they “needed to be on the railroad's clock. It took the federal government 35 years to make
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