The United States’ first transcontinental railroad was completed in November 1869. Nicknamed the “Overland Route,” it linked the sprawling, sparsely populated American West with the bustling and closely connected urban areas in the Midwest and East Coast.
Over the next 20 years, railroad construction boomed, influencing the economic and cultural growth of the United States.
Consult National Geography Standard 1: How to use maps and other geographic representations, geospatial technologies, and spatial thinking to understand and communicate information.
- Discuss different representations of geographic data: maps, charts, graphs, globes, models, etc.
- Discuss different types of maps: thematic, topographic, satellite, street or highway, etc.
- Discuss questions 1-3 in the Questions tab.
- Discuss the geographic context of the U.S. in the late 1800s.
- What social and economic changes was the nation undergoing? For example:
- recovery from the Civil War (Reconstruction)
- growth of big business (the Gilded Age)
- greater social mobility for the African American population
- new waves of immigration
- Discuss questions 4-9 in the Questions tab.
art and science of making maps.
sharing of information and ideas.
Atlantic coast of the United States.
study of monetary systems, or the creation, buying, and selling of goods and services.
activity that produces goods and services.
area of the United States consisting of the following states: Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, Ohio, South Dakota, and Wisconsin.
movement of a group of people or animals from one place to another.
road constructed with metal tracks on which trains travel.
path followed by merchants or explorers to exchange goods and services.
movement of people or goods from one place to another.
Pacific coast of the United States, usually excluding Alaska.