The map based on the Westward Expansion between 1860 and 1890 provides a concise history of the economic and geographical progression underwent by America. The expansion was a significant aspect of America’s development based on the changes evidenced in major cities, agriculture, railroad networks, states, and territories. Nonetheless, the exciting dimension regarding the Westward Expansion involves the role that the railroad assumed in the country’s expansion. It is clear from the map that the progression of the railroad influenced the process by connecting cities, opening up new territories, facilitating the growth of agriculture, and supporting the development of the economy between 1860 and 1890. The railroad network, while serving as an essential form of transport, managed to establish the platform upon which knowledge, culture, and innovations would be distributed and attained across America during the period in question.

The development of the railroad network was crucial in allowing the administration to enable the growth[A1] . In fact, this development played a central role in the evolution of new economic order. Initially, the railways were complementary to the waterways as competitive long-haul carriers of general freight. By the end of the ‘iron horse’ epoch, this network had realigned the economic system and extended it to a continental scale.[A2]  The native tribes that occupied the territories at the time [A3] initiated aggressive attacks against settlers.[1] Native Americans were permitted to possess small colonies after the end of the Civil War. As a result, the government decided to establish a considerable portion of the Western land as a reservation for the respective tribes in the 1860s.[2] While other tribes welcomed this idea, some units opposed the U.S. Army to secure their territories in the West. The railroad’s significance became eminent to the settlement of Americans in the West after the deployment of the Transcontinental Railroad in 1862.[3] With the railroad in place, it was possible for the settlers to travel inwards in a bid to create administrative structures and work cooperatively with the Native Americans that inhabited these areas. For example, the government was able to establish and ratify agreements that focused on land transfers based on rail routes or settlements.[4]

The agreements eventually led to the founding of administrative posts, which would ultimately morph into towns and settlements. Interestingly, these towns, connected by the railroad network, managed to appeal to considerable populaces that altered them from a cultural and learning standpoint.[5] Therefore, as illustrated by the map, places such as St. Louis (Missouri) and Cincinnati (Ohio) became attractive territories for populations mostly consisted of farmers and laborers. Additionally, the railroad managed to connect cities such as Chicago (Illinois) from the East with towns such as San Francisco (California) in the West. However, during the 1860s and 1870s, Native Americans that opposed the reservation scheme established by the government fought against American settlements further affecting troop installations. These events would eventually coincide with the migration of large portions of settlers to the West for the exploitation of the Gold Rush via the Transcontinental Railroad throughout the 1880s.

The Westward Expansion also occurred in tandem with progressions in the field of agriculture. Due to the implications of the Industrial Revolution, agricultural innovations and inventions increased and became imperative to the efficiency of the farming sector. However, without an active transportation network, it was difficult to enhance the country’s agricultural production and commerce. In this respect, the creation of a railroad network significantly facilitated the spread and distribution of such inventions. For example, the Reaper, invented in 1831 by Robert McCormick, was unwieldy and necessitated transportation from its assembly point in Virginia to farm territories and lands based in locations within the West, such as Kansas, Missouri, Kentucky, Ohio, and Nebraska.[6] The railroad network was the most efficient and effective approach for relocating the innovations since it facilitated the growing transportation demands arising from augmented agricultural production and decreased costs that would have been otherwise experienced in creating water canals or roads. In this respect, the railroad assumed a role in facilitating the Westward Expansion based on its positive implications on the agricultural sector.

To this end, the Westward Expansion that occurred between 1860 and 1890 was a proper illustration of the development and progression that the US attained. Despite the destructive and regressive effects derived from the American Civil War, the country was able to achieve considerable economic, geographical, and territorial growth as an outcome of the events that occurred during the period in question. Interestingly, it would be impossible to discard the considerable role that the railroad network assumed in the success of the Westward Expansion. In fact, as the basis for the expansion, the Transcontinental Railroad facilitated the events in question by allowing movement from the East to the West. Regardless of the opposition orchestrated by some Native American tribes, the train network managed to enable the development of major cities and territories enhanced the agricultural sector as shown by increased agrarian inventions, and the distribution of agricultural produce, facilitated the administration of these locations that would eventually grow into significant settlements and states.


Borneman, Walter. Iron Horses: America’s Race to Bring the Railroads West. New York: Little Borneman, 2016.

Hagger, Nicholas. The Secret American Dream: The Creation of a New World Order with the Power to Abolish War, Poverty, and Disease. New York: Duncan Baird, 2013.

Robert Wilhelm. The Bloody Century: True Tales of Murder in 19th Century America. New York: Night Stick Press, 2015.

                [1] Walter Borneman, Iron Horses: America’s Race to Bring the Railroads West (New York: Little Borneman, 2016), 14.

                [2] ibid, p. 14.

                [3] ibid. p. 21.

                [4] Robert Wilhelm, The Bloody Century: True Tales of Murder in 19th Century America (New York: Night Stick Press, 2015), 46.

                [5] Nicholas Hagger, The Secret American Dream: The Creation of a New World Order with the Power to Abolish War, Poverty, and Disease (New York: Duncan Baird, 2013), 29.

                [6] Walter Borneman, Iron Horses: America’s Race to Bring the Railroads West (New York: Little Borneman, 2016), 119.

 [A1]Misplaced phrases.

 [A2]Your paper was short of over 50 words. I had to add these sentences to meet the required word count.

 [A3]Avoid being redundant.

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