America: The Story of Us

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America: The Story of
Us
Heartland
Video Guide
1. What was the biggest obstacle in the way of
building the transcontinental railroad?
The Sierra Nevada Mountains
2. Who were the two companies that built the
railroad?
Central Pacific and Union Pacific
3. How does the federal government pay for the
railroad?
They give federal land to the companies. For
every mile of track laid, the government gave
20 square miles of federal land to the railroad
companies.
4. Why were Chinese workers chosen to build the
railroad?
They were excellent workers and it was cheaper
to bring Chinese workers across the ocean than
other workers across the continent.
The Chinese were efficient, fearless, and hardworking.
Because they followed their own customs and drank
tea instead of unboiled water, they were sick less
often than other workers.
A great number of
Central Pacific’s
workers were from
China.
5. What happened on May 10, 1869?
The tracks from the East and tracks from the
West were connected at Promontory Point,
Utah.
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The transcontinental railroad was completed in 1869. The Central
Pacific and Union Pacific railroads met in Promontory Point, Utah
and laid a Golden Spike
6. Where does the railroad trigger a mass
migration to?
The Great Plains
7. How much of America’s land is given away
under the Homestead Act?
10% of the United States
• A homesteader had to be
21 years of age and the
head of a household
• A homesteader would
receive 160 acres of public
land in the West for free
• Each homesteader had to
live on the land, build a
home, make improvements
and farm for 5 years before
they were eligible to
"prove up".
8. List several obstacles or challenges for settlers. (Get
at least 5)
Indian raids, bad weather, strong winds,
tornadoes, lack of lumber for building material,
boundary disputes with cattle ranchers,
droughts, prairie fires, locusts, and pests
9. What happened to half the population of
western Nebraska by 1892?
Half of the population moved back East.
10. What happens to the Great Plains?
They become the “Bread Basket” of America.
11. What is “green gold”?
lumber or trees
12. Why do so many people come from Norway to
America?
They were experienced loggers or lumberjacks.
13. How many buffalo were roaming the Great
Plains in the 1800’s?
30 million
14. What new hunter arrives on the Great Plains?
Buffalo hunters or white man came with their
long distance rifle, many of whom were soldiers
from the Civil War.
15. Why is there conflict between white people
and Indians over the buffalo?
Plains Indians depended on and worshipped
the buffalo as part of their way of life. White
hunters wiped them out for profit.
16. How did the horse change the Indian way of life?
Indians became expert horsemen and were
able to hunt and fight more effectively.
17. For what purpose did the cowboy develop?
They drove cattle from the ranches of Texas to
the “cowtowns” or rail hubs of Kansas.
18. Where did the Texas Longhorn come from?
They were a product of the wild Spanish cattle
and the English cattle that roamed wild.
19. What invention will threaten the cowboy’s way of
life?
barbed wire
20. What happened to the open range?
The open range was closed forever.
21. How long did the “hay day” of the cowboy on the
open range last?
20 years
22. Where do most Indians wind up living as settlers
moved west?
reservations
23. What happened to Lt. Col. George Custer and his
men?
At Little Bighorn, MT, Custer and his 7th cavalry
were slaughtered by Sioux and Cheyenne
warriors in less than 3 hours.
24. What happened on December 29, 1890?
The 7th Cavalry massacred 200 Sioux and
Cheyenne men, women, and children.
25. How did the railroad change time?
American railroad companies set up standard
time and the US divided into 4 separate time
zones.
Why did the country need a
standard time?
It was too difficult to make train schedules when
Every community determined its own time, based o
calculations about the sun’s travels.
RAILROAD AND TIME
• Before 1883, each
community still
operated on its own
time
• For example: Noon in
Boston was 12 minutes
later than noon in New
York City
• Indiana had dozens of
different times
• No standard time
reference
PROFESSOR DOWD CREATES TIME ZONES
• In 1869, to remedy this problem,
Professor C.F. Dowd proposed
dividing the earth into 24 time
zones
• The U.S. would be divided into 4
zones: the Eastern, Central,
Mountain, and Pacific
• 1883 – Railroads synchronized
their watches across U.S.
• 1884 – International Conference
adopts zones
PROFESSOR DOWD EXPLAINS
HIS TIME ZONES
THE WORLD IS DIVIDED INTO 24 TIME ZONES
THE UNITED STATES IS DIVIDED INTO 4 TIME ZONES
RAILROADS SPUR OTHER INDUSTRIES
• The rapid growth of the railroad
industry influenced the iron,
coal, steel, lumber, and glass
businesses as they tried to
keep up with the railroads
demand for materials
• The spread of the railroads also
led to the growth of towns, new
markets, and opportunity for
profiteers
RAILROADS LED TO GROWTH OF CITIES
• Many of today’s major
cities owe their legacy to
the railroad
• Chicago, Minneapolis,
Denver, and Seattle all
grew up thanks to the
railroad
• Part of transportation
network that crossed the
country
“MY KIND OF TOWN”
26. How did Richard Sears change the way Americans
shopped?
He developed the mail order catalog, utilizing
mail and railroads to ship goods.

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