Industrialization The Railroads Learning Targets: Know the provisions of the Pacific Railway Act. Know the two railroads that built the transcontinental railroad and where they each start from. Know the influence that Cornelius Vanderbilt held over America. Know the significance of “air brakes” Be able to discuss how the time zones came about. Be able to discuss how “land grants” worked with the railroads. Know Jay Gould’s trading practices Be able to discuss what took place with the Credit Mobilier Scandal. State the ways in which the expansion of railroads spurred America’s industrial growth. Linking the Nation The railroad boom began in 1862 when President Abraham Lincoln signed the Pacific Railway Act, This act provided for the construction of a transcontinental railroad by two corporations, the Union Pacific and the Central Pacific railroad companies. To encourage rapid construction, the government offered each company land along its right-of-way. (About 1-5 miles on either side of the tracks) The railroads sold the land on either side of the tracks to settlers to pay for the cost of building the railroad. Linking the Nation -The Union Pacific and Grenville Dodge The Union Pacific began pushing westward from Omaha, Nebraska. At the height of the project, the Union Pacific employed about 10,000 workers. Camp life was rough, dirty, and dangerous, with lots of gambling, hard drinking, and fighting. Linking the Nation -The Big Four and the Central Pacific The Central Pacific Railroad began as the dream of engineer Theodore Dehone Judah. Because of a shortage of labor in California, the Central Pacific Railroad hired about 10,000 workers from China. Railroads Spur Growth -The Benefits of a National System To make rail service safer and more reliable, in 1883 the American Railway Association divided the country into four time zones in regions where the same time was kept. Air brakes enabled railroads to put longer and heavier trains on their lines. The Land Grant System The federal government gave land grants to many railroad companies. Railroads would then sell the land to settlers, real estate companies, and other business to raise money they needed to build the railroad. Robber Barons -The Credit Mobilier Scandal Credit Mobilier was a construction company set up by several stock holders of the Union Pacific. Credit Mobilier greatly overcharged the Union Pacific making it look like the Union Pacific was going bankrupt. The Union Pacific, owned by the same people as Credit Mobilier, asked the government to bail them out, which the government did and the owners made millions! By the time the Union Pacific railroad was completed, the investors made several million dollars. Review Questions: What were the provisions of the Pacific Railway Act? What two railroads built the transcontinental railroad and where did they each start from? What influence did Cornelius Vanderbilt hold over America? What were the significance of “air brakes”? How did the time zones come about? How did the railroads use “land grants”? What were Jay Gould’s trading practices? What took place with the Credit Mobilier Scandal? Essay Question and Answer: In what ways did the expansion of railroads spur America’s industrial growth? By linking the nation, railroads helped increase the size of markets, providing greater opportunities for many industries. Huge consumers themselves, the railroads also stimulated the economy by spending extraordinary amounts of money on steel, coal, and timber, among other needs.