manifest destiny transcontinental railroad

Use the below information to write a 6-page research paper on the Transcontinental Railroad and its effects on Manifest Destiny. This will be added to 4 other research papers to create a 25-page research paper on Manifest Destiny.

THIS RESEARCH PAPER IS ONLY REGARDING THE TRANSCONTINENTAL RAILROAD AND MANIFEST DESTINY.


Transcontinental Railroad Outline:

  • Building of the Transcontinental Railroad (Primary source #4)
  • Movement of people and goods in relation to the American Industrial Revolution (see secondary source #7)
  • National Railways of Mexico and American Railroad Unions (see secondary source #2)
  • Mexican railroad workers and the American Railroad (see secondary source #3), also applicable to immigrants

Thesis:

While the idea of an American Manifest Destiny took the better part of a century to come to fruition and maturity, it is so pivotally rooted on the Industrial Revolution, Transcontinental Railroad, and immigrants that without any of these it would never have been realized.

Introduction:

While the idea of an American Manifest Destiny took the better part of a century to come to fruition and maturity, it is so pivotally rooted on the Industrial Revolution, Transcontinental Railroad, and immigrants that without any of these it would never have been realized. The popular editor and columnist John Louis O’Sullivan says, “… in a spirit of hostile interference against us, for the avowed object of thwarting our policy and hampering our power, limiting our greatness and checking the fulfillment of our manifest destiny to overspread the continent allotted by Providence for the free development of our yearly multiplying millions.”(7) And thus, the term “Manifest Destiny” was coined as the motivator of wars, dreams and the God given right of freedom.

The American Industrial Revolution was gateway to Manifest Destiny. With the introduction of the industrial mill in the 1790’s, modeled after the British design (Secondary #5), increased the speed in which cotton thread could be spun into yarn. This same model and process began to revolutionize other industries and a mass increase of productivity was born. The American Industrial Revolution also brought forward wage labor, the coined term “market revolution” and an improved transportation system for raw materials.

Although the locomotive was an invention of earlier years, Manifest Destiny and the American Industrial Revolution urged the rush for the completion of the Transcontinental Railroad (primary #3). The Transcontinental Railroad is arguably the greatest accomplishment of America in the 19th century. Prior to the Transcontinental Railroad, the Central Pacific and the Union Pacific were two rail lines that joined in Utah, on May 10, 1869 creating the first rail line to connect citizens and goods from San Francisco, California all the way to Omaha, Nebraska.

As the Euro-Settlers pushed west in expansion, they were quick to realize that they were not alone. During the building of the Transcontinental Railroad, the California Gold Rush and the Mexican-American war came an influx of Mexican and Chinese immigrants (secondary source #8). Although these immigrants had gained entrance to America like the Euro-Settlers, they were treated with harsh discrimination. Although Mexican Americans were given opportunity to American citizens after the Mexican-American War, they were still treated as second-class, discriminated citizens.

“The Oregon Treaty was one of the first successes of Manifest Destiny.” (secondary #9) In 1846, the Oregon Treaty was signed and proved that Manifest Destiny was real and proved that the west was worth fighting for. Prior to the Oregon Treaty, the Oregon Trail, a 2,200-mile-long route stretching from Missouri to Oregon, led settlers seeking land and freedom to the wide-open, unsettled, West; The picture of Manifest Destiny.

Two years after the Oregon Treaty was signed, gold was discovered while James Marshall was constructing a sawmill in California (secondary #11). As the rumors of the deadly Oregon Trail spread east, so did the rumors of gold in California. Although it would be another 20 years before the railroad would be complete, Clippers were commissioned to take those seeking the “American Dream” from the east and into San Francisco.

Bibiliography

Primary:

Secondary:

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