Q:

What were the effects of the Transcontinental Railroad?

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Quick Answer

Among the many positive effects of the transcontinental railroad are the following improvements: faster and safer transportation from coast to coast, boosts in international and intercontinental trade, faster spreading of ideas and expansion of the United States into areas not previously settled. Negative effects existed as well. More intrusion on Native Americans took place, and there was a rise in racial tensions in the nation.

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What were the effects of the Transcontinental Railroad?
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As the transcontinental railroad began operation, changes came fast and furious in America. Though there was expansion in settled areas within the nation, the country itself seemed smaller as reaching the various locations became easier. Trade of goods and ideas was easier and faster between the Atlantic and Pacific coasts. Goods coming into the West Coast from Asia reached the East Coast more rapidly, and goods from Europe reached the West Coast quicker. These accomplishments led to a great improvement in America's international status. Native Americans, however, suffered even greater defeats as they were pushed out of yet more land they had established as their own. Racial tensions increased not only against the Native Americans but other groups as well. The Chinese had come to the West Coast in great numbers, and many were hired to work on the railroad. When the job ended, they had difficulty finding work, and Americans feared the Chinese workers taking their jobs. This led to the passing of the Chinese Exclusion Act to prohibit more immigration from China and to send some of the immigrants home. The act was not repealed until 1943.

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Related Questions

  • Q:

    How long did it take to build the Transcontinental Railroad?

    A:

    It took 6 years to build the Transcontinental Railroad. It was built between 1863 and 1869 and it measured 1,776 miles in length. This was the first time that the Atlantic and Pacific coasts were connected by railroad in the United States.

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  • Q:

    What are some facts on when the first transcontinental railroad was completed?

    A:

    The first transcontinental railroad was completed on May 10, 1869. It linked the Central Pacific Railroad, which stretched east from Sacramento, California, and the Union Pacific Railroad that went west from Omaha, Nebraska. To mark the occasion, a final golden railroad spike was driven into the tracks at the location where two railroads met in Promontory, Utah.

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  • Q:

    What are the Pacific Railroad Acts?

    A:

    The Pacific Railroad Acts are a series of formal decisions that were made by Congress to promote the construction of the transcontinental railroad. These acts authorized the issuance of government bonds to help raise funds, and granted land to railroad companies for construction.

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  • Q:

    What were the effects of the Watergate scandal?

    A:

    The direct effect of the Watergate scandal was the resignation of Richard Nixon as President of the United States. A number of Nixon's aides were sent to federal prison. Congress subsequently passed several laws concerning campaign financing, government ethics and freedom of information. A long-term effect was a widespread distrust by the American public in the presidency and the nation's political institutions in general.

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