Transportation Revolution Essay

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In the years preceding the transportation revolution (1820-1850) innovations in transportation technology were emerging and becoming more and more prominent throughout the United States. As a result, the federal government poured millions into the nation’s interregional transportation systems by funding projects such as the National Road in 1808 and the construction of the Erie Canal (Completed in 1825) in hopes of stimulating the young nation’s economy as well as expanding its frontiers. Federal funding coupled with these emerging technologies set the United States up for the transportation revolution. The introduction and increased use of steam boats, locomotives, and roads had varying regional effects throughout the United States which could be seen in the social and economical changes each region experienced due to the transportation revolution. The innovations in transportation technologies brought forth an era of economic prosperity in the United States while strengthening the belief of sectionalism amongst Americans. Between 1820 and 1840 $200 million was invested in canal building across the United States, three quarters of which was provided by state governments. The construction of canals contributed to the widespread use of the steam boats which coupled with the inefficiency of roads .Although roads were good for the movement of people, they were inefficient and costly in transporting bulky goods thus making the use of waterways more appealing to merchants. This made waterborne transportation the clear alternative for trade; as it was easier, faster, and cheaper to use for moving goods. Merchants took advantage of the newly created waterways and the boom in the production and use of steam boats and railroads to move their cargo cheaply and move it further inland. The availability of cheap goods deeper inland promoted the expansion further
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