The Impact of Transcontinental Railroad on California's Development

Sita Dahal

While the completion of the first transcontinental railroad will rightfully be remembered as a milestone in American history, it also contributed to the birth of a railroad empire that would dominate the evolution of California for years to come. Most California schoolchildren know the history of the First Transcontinental Railroad, which connected the east coast to the Pacific coast and was completed 150 years ago this week. Central Pacific and Union Pacific rail line executives meet and shake hands in this iconic photo taken by Andrew J. Russell on May 10, 1869.

Central Pacific Railroad, an American railroad company founded in 1861 by a group of California merchants later known as the "Big Four" (Collis P. Huntington, Leland Stanford, Mark Hopkins, and Charles Crocker); they are best remembered for building part of America's first transcontinental rail line. The construction of the western half of the railway was a long and difficult process, which was eventually completed by thousands of Chinese immigrants. Two years after its founding, Central Pacific had traveled only 36 miles and had only 600 of the 5,000 workers they needed.

More catastrophically, the railroads introduced cattle to industrial production in the United States, so they became another resource that could be mined on a large scale. Both railway companies aggressively hired Chinese workers because they were seen as hardworking and willing to accept lower wages than white workers, mostly Irish immigrants.

As construction progressed, Central Pacific and Union Pacific competed to see who could track the most tracks each day. Thus, to carry out this work, both groups formed separate construction companies and dominated their management, as well as the railway. Under this provision, at a time when the conflict of interest was still a primitive concept, they were effectively contracting with themselves, taking care to make generous profits for the construction companies at the expense of the railroad.

The President of the Union Pacific helped found Credit Mobilier, a construction company that allowed investors, including several members of Congress, to win lucrative construction contracts while risking bankruptcy for the railroad. The construction of the railroad provided many opportunities for financial scams, bribery, extortion, and extortion. The biggest financial scandal of the 19th century arose from the construction of railways.

"The central role of the railroads in American expansion and development was used morally and politically to justify a moratorium on non-intervention laws and direct federal and state involvement in its construction. Many railroad builders saw the Plains Indians as clearing the way.

Work on the railroad was physically demanding and sometimes dangerous, and attracting workers was a problem. Before, during, and after the construction of transcontinental lines in the southern states, thousands of slaves and then freedmen worked on the railroads to level lines, build bridges, and blow up tunnels. Between 1867 and 1969, thousands of African Americans changed history by traveling on the National Railroads as Pullman porters.

The first railroads in America were built through populated areas, whose residents immediately began using them, generating income even before the railroads were built. By 1900, several routes ran in parallel, including the North and South Pacific, extending west from the Mississippi to the Pacific like the first route. The Union Pacific Railroad was considered a short, fast, and safe line to all points to the west. The transcontinental railroad has long been the only means of transportation in Central America.

The web radiates from the junction points, sending north and south settlers who have come west to devour millions of acres of land. California's symbolic and tangible link to the rest of the country was unified at the summit of Promontory, Utah, when the "final peak" was pushed to connect with Central Pacific and Union Pacific Railroad tracks, thus completing the First Transcontinental Railroad on May 10, 1869 (before that, only a few local railroad lines were operating in the state, the first of which was the Sacramento Valley Railroad). The expansion of the transcontinental rail line to Los Angeles set off a boom in the southern part of the state, a boom that was made even stronger when the Santa Fe Railroad granted Los Angeles its eastern line in 1885, in direct competition with the South Pacific. Not only did he create a much faster and easier way to travel to the state from the East Coast and Midwest, but he also helped develop trade and agriculture, creating a monopoly on the country's economy and government. which eventually became known as the octopus.

When California was admitted as a U.S. state in 1850, it was in many ways an isolated outpost in the Pacific for nearly two decades thereafter, until the completion of the first transcontinental railroad in 1869. Great railroads, the rise of transcontinental culture in America. It's a revolution that reduces travel time from the East Coast to the West from months to about a week, and costs less than previous land and sea options that open up economic and cultural opportunities to move people and goods.

This opened up California, other parts of the United States, and the Pacific world to more travelers, tourists, ex-pats, and settlers. Chinese workers first went to work in the Central Pacific when she began crossing the Sierra Nevada mountains in California in 1865. The Central Pacific freed the Chinese workers in April 1869 when the railroad was completed at Promontory, Utah.

Union Pacific's advance through Upper Plains also eventually stranded construction workers on the Plains Indian Road. Scouts and builders fought the Sioux, Arapaho, and Cheyenne as the railroad passed through Native American homes and hunting grounds. Dodge became Union Pacific's chief engineer in 1865, and the railroad's encroachment of Native American territories led to ongoing conflict during the construction of the Western Front. In the end, the land grant proved invaluable to both railways but played only a minor role in funding their construction.

Payments for the sections of track built were credited to the railroad, which used the funds to pay contractors' bills. In most cases, the contract for the construction of a certain kilometer was concluded between the railway and some private person, who then gave it to the construction company. It was possible to earn at the enterprise not on the railway itself, but its construction.

In May 1868, Young signed a $2.125 billion contract with the Union Pacific to build a 150-mile railroad line from Echo to the shores of the Great Salt Lake. Finally, in the summer of 1862, the United States Congress voted for a railroad line connecting the populated eastern part of the country with the new young states in the west. Ideas for a transcontinental rail line were proposed to connect the two halves of the country, and routes were considered for many years. The Central Pacific Railroad will build tracks from California to the east, and the Union Pacific Railroad will build tracks from the Missouri River to the west.

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