The American Railroad and Industrialization

Thesis: This exhibit demonstrates that railroads were one of the driving forces behind the growth of the United States during the second American industrialization (1870-1910)

Subject A: The second and third sources of mine show the overall reasoning for the railroads growth in this period. The railroad became the prominent transportation method during this time period. Whether it was for transporting goods, people, or even war supplies, the railroad was very important and beneficial to the people using it at the time. With the railroads importance, the iron and steel required to build the railroad system was an important part of the railroads impact on America.

Subject B: The fifth source of mine gives the size of the american railway system through the years of the second industrial revolution. The numbers state that the railroad system grew from about 30,000 miles of rail in 1860, to an astonishing 254037 miles in 1916. During this 56 year period, the railway system grew to over 8x it’s size. This correlates with my Voyant analysis where some key words across all my sources  included: expansion, new, and united. All these words show the positive impact of the railroad on America, and how it’s impact was viewed.

Subject C: These photos below help show the growth of the railroad system in the United States. The first two photos show some maps of the overall growth of railroads during the early years of the second American Industrial revolution. The third photo is a picture taken during the joining of the transcontinental railroad, a huge project that required a lot of man power, and materials in order to create the railroad. The huge amount of materials needed to create all the rails for the growing railway caused many factories to open up along with numerous jobs to be created. rail-road-1railroad204481.01_1


Engelman, Ryan. “The Second Industrial Revolution, 1870-1914.” Accessed December 08, 2018.

Source 2:  Fan, Yingling. “The Glory and Contradictions of American Railway Expansion, 1852-1920.” Global Transit Innovations. March 30, 2018. Accessed December 08, 2018.

Source 3:   Catton, Bruce. The Centennial History of the Civil War / Bruce Catton. Garden City, NY: Doubleday, 1961.

Source 4: Russell, Andrew J. “The Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History.” Historical Context: The Global Effect of World War I | Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History. Accessed December 08, 2018.

Source 5:  “Railroad History, An Overview Of The Past.” Accessed December 08, 2018.

Source 6:

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