Westward expansion from 1860 to 1890

Development is a trend that happens often, and it cannot be fought. Therefore, when development happens, it should be embraced. In the ancient days, people used horses and donkeys as well as chariots as their means of transport. However, as time went by transformation and development occurred, and as you walk past the towns, it is uncommon to come across a donkey or a horse because vehicles have taken the lead in popularity in the transport industry (Eckert & Kohler, 2014). In the area of communication, technology has changed the use of messengers to deliver messages, use of drums and smoke for signals to the use of faxes, emails as well as televisions and radios. Simply, development has enhanced communication and transport in the entire world. Besides, lives have been improved making life easier. In addition, communication and transportation have been made reliable, efficient, cheap, safe, and faster.

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By analyzing the westward expansion 1860 and 1890, it will be easier to see how development has happened. America had the desire in the westward expansion to have power in the western parts territories of America that were occupied by other nations and the land that were free. It is relevant to understand that England influenced the U.S in various ways. Railway roads were invented by England, and In the middle of the 18th century, the railroad led to great impact in the expansion of the U.S to the west (Roza, 2011). At that time, the population in England was dense, economic resources were in plenty, and the spaces between the towns were short. On the contrary, America was sparsely populated with little income and the distances between the towns outsized. However, later in the 1960s-90s, the westward expansion was increased by the railroad construction.

The Westward Expansion of the 18th century is considered as the main subject and the vital factor in the history of America. The utmost influence that wrought America and its democratic system is the availability of huge land in the western region. After the Revolution, the triumph of sovereignty that led to the constant surge of the settlers to the valley of Mississippi opened the western parts of the U.S. The West was a region with lofty mountains, rocks, deserts, and large distance. After the discovery of paths, migration to the west of America was made easier due to the use of ox-driven carts that could cross the deserts and mountains (Torr, 2003). It should be noted that at this time people were now moving out of the densely populated to the isolated regions in the west of the United States. As a result, there was the growth of infrastructure to the west. Railways were created, and later development of cities followed as the construction of communication lines continued.

The development of infrastructure that stretched from east to the west resulted in increased migration to the West. The colonists settled in the free lands where they started developing it by starting agriculture in both large and small scale. The advancement of more roads and railroads in the west that linked with the eastern part was boosted by these practices. The roads and the railways made transportation of produce easier to the far markets in the eastern parts of America thus making agriculture productive. The construction of the roads led to more opportunities, which meant that new towns and markets would be developed. Also, this resulted in the development of manufacturing factories. Later the towns turned into large cities, and the industries transformed into large enterprises. It’s essential was to realize these roads were created to join towns as well as companies in the America Western regions.

Massive growth of agriculture as well as industries in America West regions in 1861-65(Roza, 2011) was perceived. The increase occurred because of the increased population in the western region. The economic proficiency was mainly concentrated in the Midwest, Northeast of America and the plain states. Agriculture and industrial works liberated the southern parts while the northeast was the center of manufacturing industries. This was enabled due to the efficiency of communication and transportation.

By the 1860s, the North and the Midwest invented networks that connected all the cities. Short lines were built to connect the regions with cotton to oceans and rivers. The Midwest was highly dense with over 80% of its farms situated 5miles away from the roads that enhanced transportation of agriculture materials to the international markets (Quay, 2002). The short lines were built due to sound financial systems that were located on the railroad’s bonds and Wall Street. After in 1890 the lines were split up into 20 trunk lines. The government and local states financed the lines even though they did not use them.

Before 1860, the advancement of the railroad had been brought to a stop by the southern states. Nevertheless, in 1862 after withdrawal from the United States Union, the acts of the Pacific railways were implemented thus allowing the first transcontinental railroad to be completed in the year 1869 (Domnauer, 2010). After the railroad was completed, transportation, which took six days from New York to San Francisco, was enabled. Along the border of Canada, the Santa Fe and the Southern Pacific were constructed in the Great Northern and South Pacific. As a result, there was the hastening the suburb in the West allowing the submission of fields on credit and family-size farms. The finances from the Northern region were used to fund the creation and development of railways during the restoration time in 1890. These railways were modern in terms of the services rendered, track gauge as well as equipment. The construction of railroads brought about skilled artisans thus breaking much of the western regions seclusion.

In conclusion, it is notable that improvement and development took place and that the state has improved over the years. The growth and development are in terms of agriculture, urbanization transport, and communication. The westward expansion and transcontinental railroad played a significant role because it connected San Francisco and New York as well as other western cities. Due to this, there was economic development as agriculture and trade emerged through the construction of railways. Transport development made it easier for farmers to transport their products to other markets. Also, towns were born along the railway stations, which led to the elaboration of the major towns and cities, which contributed to the elaboration of the western part.



Domnauer, T. (2010). Westward expansion. New York: Children’s Press.

Eckert S, & Kohler S (2014). “Urbanization and health in developing countries: a systematic review”. World Health & Population.

Quay, S. (2002). Westward expansion. Westport, Conn.: Greenwood Press.

Roza, G. (2011). Westward expansion. New York: Gareth Stevens Pub.

Torr, J. (2003). Westward expansion. San Diego: Greenhaven Press.