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Industrialization and Urbanization in America


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Railroads p. 270


  • Transcontinental:

  1. “Nothing was more important to America’s industrial growth than __________________.”

  1. Why didn’t the 30,000 miles “add up to a national system of transportation?”

(List two reasons)

  1. What was the problem with track gauge in the 1860s?

  1. Describe what would happen to your shipment if you sent it hundreds of miles cross country.

  1. How long did it take for goods to reach Chicago from New York?

  1. What was the transcontinental railroad?

  1. How did the US federal government encourage people/companies to build railroads across the western part of the country?

  1. Why DO YOU THINK local governments would give companies money to build railroad lines through their towns?

  1. How many more miles of railroad track were there in 1900 compared to 1860?

  1. MATH CONNECTION: what percent of increase was that?

Cornelius Vanderbilt

  1. How did Vanderbilt make money on the RAILROADS?

  1. How long did it take for a shipment to get to Chicago after Vanderbilt changed the tracks/gauge on the railroads between Chicago and New York?

  1. What affect DO YOU THINK this had on the price of shipping?

Railroads and Growth

  1. What items were in high demand to build/maintain the railroads?

  1. How many trees would it take to lay 3 miles of railroad track?

  1. What were two industries that experienced “rapid growth” because they provided goods used to make the railroads?

  1. How many people worked on the railroads in 1900? (at that time there were about 75 million people living in the US)

How Railroads Changed Business

  1. Why didn’t the people in Springfield buy the stove made in Pleasantville?

  1. How DO YOU THINK the railroad will change this? (Don’t read ahead, yet. Use your huge brain to answer this)

  1. How did the cost of transportation keep the two stove companies small?

  1. What were the 2 effects of the railroad on the stove companies?

National Markets

  1. Why does the Pleasantville company need to keep lowering its prices?

  1. What is a “national market?”


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