ch. 24 -1 notes

Ch. 24 – 1 notes
Ch. 24 – Industry Comes of Age – 1865-1900
• During Gilded Age, best men in business---not
• RR most important for industrial economy – 20%of
all US investments were towards RR’s
• Very expensive – required gov’t subsidies and land
• Connected country physically creating a
interconnected national market
• Single greatest factor during industrial era
• RR’s created both ‘boomtowns’ and ‘ghost towns’
Transcontinental RR
• During the Civil War, a transcontinental RR route
began (2 companies building towards each other)
• 1) Union Pacific (1865) built west from Omaha
(former soldiers, Irish, former slaves)
• Built on flat prairie w/ Na. Am. Attacks
• ‘Hell on wheels’
• The Credit Mobilier reaped huge profits
• 2) Central Pacific Co. (1862) built east from
Sacramento, CA
• The “Big Four” headed by Leland Stanford
employed many Chinese immigrants; slowly
moved eastward through the Sierra Nevada Mts.
• The two met at Promontory Point, UT in 1869
• Four other trans. RR completed by 1900
• Most successful RR builder was Northern Pacific
owner James J. Hill
• In the east, Cornelius Vanderbilt’s New York
Central RR most powerful and important
connecting different railways east of Miss. River
• Key improvements – steel rails, standard gauge
widths, Westinghouse’s air brakes, telegraphs
• RR’s spurred the industrialization in the postC.W. era for:
– food and agriculture, mining, steel, lumber
• immigrants and westward migration flourished
• time zones created b/c of RR
• RR made several millionaires, replacing
plantation owners – often through speculation
• Wrongdoings of RR included: stockwatering,
overpriced shares of stock, bribes, free passes,
• RR’s had a natural monopoly over all of their
• Farmers suffered tremendously from RR’s
• The Grange (Patrons of Husbandry) was a
social and economic network to help
• Wabash decision by the Supreme Court in
1886 declared the federal gov’t, not
individual states, must regulate interstate
• Congress passed the Interstate Commerce
Act creating the I.C.C. – a panel to set
rules for RR to abide by – no polling,
publish rates
• 1st attempt by fed. gov’t to regulate
business for society’s interest