Sample Term Paper

The 1800s

In 1800, when Thomas Jefferson was elected as America’s third president, he declared a wish, and that wish was to encounter a waterway that connected two large sea bodies, the Atlantic Oceanand the Pacific together. He decided to initiate a trade-route that would keep people connected throughout the country. At that time the United States did not stretch all the way across the continent.

A team of explorers dispatched byJeffersontraveled acrossNorth Americaall in search of a waterway that would fulfill the purpose. This team was headed by two proficient leaders; Meriwether Lewis and William Clark from 1803 to 1806. En route, they discovered that theRocky Mountainsdivided the land and unfortunately, concluded that there was no coast-to-coast waterway. It then struckJeffersonthat a different transportation system would have to be invented to facilitate transportation and communication between American communities. This new invention would involve inland infrastructure, such as roads, rivers and railroads.

By the middle of the 19th century, dirt roads had been constructed in parts of the country. The use of river steamboats increased. Boats also swam across man-made canals which helped strengthen local economies. At the time of the inception of the American Railroad system, many people were skeptic that the train technology would not work. However, within no time, the railroads became the most popular form of land transportation in theUnited States.

Moving towards the end of 19th century, railroad culture was deeply ingrained into the American lifestyle and became much more than just a mode of traveling. Trains turned into popular characters and backdrops for the literary spectacles of prolific writers such as Ralph Waldo Emerson, Nathaniel Hawthorne and Walt Whitman. Within the first hundred years of theUnited States, transportation links had structured an entirely new national economy.

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