The Transcontinental Railroad Term Paper by scribbler

The Transcontinental Railroad
Presents the history of the building of the transcontinental railroad in the mid 18th century by the Union Pacific Railroad and the Central Pacific Railroad of California.
# 152478 | 2,140 words | 5 sources | MLA | 2013 | US

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This paper explains that the transcontinental railroad, also called the Pacific Railroad and the Overland Route, established the much needed railroad connection between the American Atlantic and Pacific coasts. The paper explains that, even though the idea of the railroad was accepted right away, for a long time, it remained only a dream because of the issue of slavery, arguments over its route, lack of available workers and the complexity of the task. The paper underscores the social, economic and political advantages created by the railroad shrinking the distance between the two halves of the country, which was among the first steps in establishing America as a united nation.

From the Paper:

"The thought of building a railroad of this magnitude was more of a dream than an idea. A convention held in 1838, conducted by John Plumbe was among the first steps in its planning. In the next few years, several bills had been presented with regards to this railroad to allocate lands and financial assistance to aid in its construction. However these bills failed to pass due to the discrepancies regarding its path. The congress responsible for the project got split into two parts - the northerners and southerners. They wanted to have the route passing through their sides of the country. Slavery was a concern in the new west. Another major incident at this time was the gold rush in California's Sutter's mill. The idea of digging up gold for free made a significant section of the population to drift towards California in 1849, a year after the gold rush started. Over half a million people from inside the country and another quarter million from overseas headed towards the western side of the country in search of gold. This event increased the importance of trades across the country and boosted the necessity to have that railroad. This drift caused the population remaining in the east to be just over 50%."

Sample of Sources Used:

  • "Completing the Transcontinental Railroad, 1869 - Driving the Golden Spike." Eyewitnesshistory 2004,
  • "History of the Transcontinental railroad",
  • "Transcontinental Railroad."
  • John T. Doolittle "Chinese-American contribution to the transcontinental railroad", , April 29, 1999,
  • "The transcontinental railroad - An overview"

Cite this Term Paper:

APA Format

The Transcontinental Railroad (2013, February 20) Retrieved October 07, 2022, from

MLA Format

"The Transcontinental Railroad" 20 February 2013. Web. 07 October. 2022. <>