Railroads and the American Civil War Essay by Meggs

Railroads and the American Civil War
Examines how railroads affected the outcome of the American Civil War.
# 27517 | 2,348 words | 11 sources | MLA | 2002 | US
Published on Jun 10, 2003 in History (U.S. Before 1865) , History (U.S. Civil War 1860-1865)

$19.95 Buy and instantly download this paper now


During the Civil War, railroads, which previously satisfied the demand for cheap industrial and agricultural movement, became increasingly helpful in mass transportation of troops and goods. The paper shows how railroads shaped the outcome of the Civil War and subsequently decided the fate of the nation by unifying the states after the war.

Paper Outline:
I. Introduction
II. Intended usage for the railroads during construction
A. Industrial revolution and the beginnings of the railroads
B. Northern reasons for building the railroad: race between companies to connect most cities
C. Southern reasons for building the railroad: movement of cotton D. Rising demand for cheap, mass movement of troops and goods III. How railroads aided the war effort
A. Helped divide country into different economical groups by geographical placement
B. Physical attack: ram into enemy positions, trains, etc.
C. Movement of troops to battle sites
D. Communication service when telegraph lines were cut
IV. Aftermath of railroad involvement in the war
A. Railroad contributions to the science of war- mass transportation B. Abolish slavery- constitutional amendment, states united
C. Preservation of the Union- Physically bound union together
D. Deterred foreign countries from attacking the US
V. Conclusion

From the Paper:

"After filling the demand for efficient land travel in the different sections of the US, the railroads hit their peak usage and importance during the Civil War. Before and during the war, railroads drew the economic lines of the war. By 1861, America had grown apart both politically and economically (Industrial). The South used rails for movement of cotton, while the North concentrated on industrial advances. The railroads helped the different businesses excel, furthering sectionalism by dividing the country into its profiting businesses. The railroads divided the nation into regions of political unity and economic ties (Ward 134). The Southern people were leaning more towards democratic ideals, while the North believed in more republican politics. The South was angry because they believed that the North was oppressing them. The South did not like the importation and exportation taxes of the North because they benefited little from the money. The South also believed that the Northern states were unconstitutionally treating the South by taking away the states' rights to have slavery."

Cite this Essay:

APA Format

Railroads and the American Civil War (2003, June 10) Retrieved February 03, 2023, from https://www.academon.com/essay/railroads-and-the-american-civil-war-27517/

MLA Format

"Railroads and the American Civil War" 10 June 2003. Web. 03 February. 2023. <https://www.academon.com/essay/railroads-and-the-american-civil-war-27517/>