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The Effects Of Railroads On Washington State

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The Effects of Railroads on Washington State Railroads brought crowds of people to the northwest looking for a new life, and madetransportation around the northwest easier and faster. They also provided jobs in the northwestwhich brought many immigrants to Seattle, and revolutionized the way people in Washington livedby allowing news, information, and technology to spread freely. In 1883, a railway connecting thePuget Sound with Portland and the east coast was completed (LeWarne 166). This was the mainreason for Washington s rapid growth in the late 1800 s and early 1900 s. Washington spopulation grew from 23,955 residents in 1870, to 1,141,990 residents in 1910 (LeWarne 161). The following research shows how and why railroads were the most influential technologicaladvance in Washington from the mid 1800 s to the early 1900 s. When a trans-continental railway from the east coast to Tacoma was completed, it was mucheasier, faster, and cheaper for people to immigrate to Washington. Therefore, many people came tothe northwest seeking opportunities and a new lifestyle. This railway also had an effect onWashington s economy. The construction provided many jobs, most of which were filled byhard-working immigrants (LeWarne 167). And because of all the people brought by the railway,the economy naturally grew as new companies started and existing ones grew. The railway broughtcrowds of people to Washington. It was completed in 1883, and Washington s population increasedby about 1,118,000 people from 1870 to 1910 (LeWarne 161). Railroads were directly responsible

for this statistic. The rapid growth of population, agriculture, and industry, due largely to therailroads, resulted in early territorial or state status for great sections of the west. (Johnson 18). Basically, railroads brought people to the northwest and made it what it is today. Not only did railroads bring people to the northwest, but they revolutionized the way peoplelived in the northwest. Before the invention of railroads, the west coast was basically isolated fromthe rest of the country. It could take months to travel across the country, so people in Washingtondidn t know the latest news from the capital or the rest of the east coast (Turner 42). The inventionof railroads connected Washington with the rest of the country. Railroads brought news, technology,and information to Washington from the east coast much faster. Before railroads, transportationaround the northwest was crude and very slow. It depended on the horse and wagon. (Wing 11). Around the turn of the century, an electric interurban railway from Tacoma to Seattle was built. This made transportation faster and helped industries in both cities. The invention of railroads brought crowds of people to the northwest and revolutionized lifein the northwest. Basically, railroads opened the door to the northwest, especially Washingtonbecause of it s abundance of valuable natural resources. Railroads also provided transportationaround the northwest. For these reasons and the others mentioned in this project, Railroads were themost influential technological advance in Washington from the mid 1800 s to the early to mid1900 s.




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