Thursday, January 22, 2009

Sophs- The Impact of the Transcontinental Railroad


Taken from http://www.umesd.k12.or.us/tcr_home

By 1854, there were 15,675 miles of railroad track in the United States, but Council Bluffs, Iowa, on the east bank of the Mississippi River was the end of the line. The building of the transcontinental railroad was undertaken to link the Atlantic and Pacific coasts of North America, thereby providing safer, easier and more economical means of moving people, raw materials, and finished goods from the Mississippi River to California. One byproduct of that great venture was the need for 30,000 laborers to lay the track. These job opportunities were one way society could meet the needs of a diverse population, but finding enough workers was difficult. Many of the transcontinental railroad workers were immigrants seeking employment in a new world.

You have been sent back in time to the 1860s. The United States of America is still reeling from the effects of the Civil War. The North and South are being reunited. The country has a new mission: to unite East and West. You will take on a role from this period and define what it took to make the United States of America, a continental nation and a world power.

The class will be divided into 5 groups:

1. Union Pacific Railroad- the Irish Immigrants

2. Central Pacific Railroad- the Chinese Immigrants

3. Plains Indians

4. Plains Settlers

5. Government/ Military

Click on your group's name and answer the questions at the top of the page. Use the links towards the bottom of the web page to find the answers.(Note: Some links might not work, therefore, you must search for other helpful websites to answer your question)

Submit your answers with your group names into the appropriate class color below...

4 comments:

Plains Indians said...

Group - Kelsey, Austin, Emily, Amanda 1.How did the transcontinental railroad impact buffalo herds? By 1900, the Plains Indian population had shrunk from nearly a quarter of a million to just over a hundred thousand. Between 1872 and 1875, more than 9 million buffaloes were killed. In this slaughtering, the newly constructed transcontinental railroad played a major role.
2.What kept Native Americans so faithful to the land?

The natural environment of the Great West provided life to American Indians. It also took life! People learned that working together, and hunting together, was extremely important! Living alone on the plains meant certain death. It was a hard life, taught by Nature. The power of a tornado, a thunderstorm and its lightning, the pressing heat of a summer day, or the sweeping cold air made everyone to be acutely observant of the Earth. The native people learned from the Earth and the animals and plants. Everything fit together in this Universe as the Plains Indians understood it, and everyone and everything had its role and responsibility.
3.Did different tribes relate to the government in different ways?

Today there are 562 federally recognized American Indian tribes. Historically, they have all related to the U.S. government in various ways, although there are patterns and trends in these relationships. Specifically, tribes applied various strategies in dealing with the U.S. Some tribes fought on the battlefield as in the case of many of the plains tribes and tribes of the Great Lakes regions and in the Southeast and in the Southwest. A few groups like the Eastern Cherokees challenged the U.S. government in its own courts. Other tribes like the Sac and Fox applied delay tactics while being forced to remove from their homeland of the western Illinois area to Iowa, then to Kansas, then to Oklahoma. It is important to keep in perspective that in the early U.S.-Indian relations that the Indian nations were more powerful than the young United States.
4.How did white settlers affect that world?
The world of the American Indian changed with the coming of the white man! In some of the prophecies and stories, it is thought that it was meant to be. The white strangers were different, very different, but both races would learn from each other.
5.Could the railroad and the world of the Plains Indians have co-existed?

It would seem unlikely that the railroad and the Plains Indian and buffalo could live together in one rapidly changing world. The problem emerged with the railroad bringing an increasing number of white settlers and opportunists to the West, once the homeland for both the Plains Indian and the buffalo. Incongruent sets of cultural values and polarized mindsets found the Plains Indians and white settlers at odds. Such differences between Indians and Europeans would not allow them to live together until one defeated the other. More than a thousand wars were fought -- Indian versus white. One way of life against another one, but the victor does not always win. Hopefully, he learns. Hopefully, he learns that he must learn to live with and co-exist in other human beings for all living things are not the same.

Tim,nate,Nick, chuk said...

1. the reason why the irish immagrants came over to america is because there potatoes went bad because of a fungus that spoiled them. Also they came over because they wanted to make a fresh start and recieve better oppurtunities in america.

2.it was appealing because the immagrants needed to make money. they saw building the railroad as a good oppurtunitie. it was hard work, and long hours, but they got paid.

3.The Irish traditions were dancing and they kick and klunk there feet on the floor. Then they brought over stories of the leprechaun and the pot of gold. There known for there drinking of alcohol in there culture. The were poor and they had made there own cheap recipes mostly having potato's in them.


4. the railroad owners were exploited in many different ways. the chinese were paid 27 to 30 dollars a month. the irish were paid 35 dollars a month. the workers lived in canvas alongside the grade. the irish crew ate beef and potatoes, and the chinese ate mainly veggies and sea food. many of the conditions were hard for the workers.

some re-do. Plains Indians said...

Group- Kelsey, Austin, Emily, Amanda.
1.1.How did the transcontinental railroad impact buffalo herds? By 1900, the Plains Indian population had shrunk from nearly a quarter of a million to just over a hundred thousand. Between 1872 and 1875, more than 9 million buffaloes were killed.
2.What kept Native Americans so faithful to the land? The environment of the Great West provided life for the Indians. people learned that working together, and hunting together, was very important.Living alone on the plains meant a lot of hard ships they had to face.
3.Did different tribes relate to the government in different wayoday there are 562 federally recognized American Indian tribes. Historically, they have all related to the U.S. government in many ways, although there are patterns and trends in these relationships Tribes applied various strategies in dealing with the U.S. Some tribes fought on the battlefield as in the case of many of the plains tribes and tribes of the Great Lakes regions and in the Southeast and in the Southwest.

sam, cambria, mike, janet said...

1.Why did the Plain Settlers come to settle in Middle America?
-They came to settle in Middle America because the government encouraged Manifest Destiny.
2. What was the homesteading appealing to the Plain Settlers?
-The homestead act declared that any citizen or intended citizen could claim 160 acres of surveyed government land.East and far west closed to settlement and expansionists pushed through the Kansas,Nebraska act of 1854, which opened that territory to farmers.
4. How were the Plain Settlers exploited by the owners of the railroads?
- Some of the settlers customs and traditions were their first homes were usually dugouts, every morning the farmers wife or daughter gathered eggs to eat and sell.
5.
-they had a lot of fighting.