Homework Help

How did the telegraph improve American life during the Industrial Revolution?How did...

user profile pic

ilove2learn2010 | Student, Grade 9 | Honors

Posted January 5, 2011 at 8:28 PM via web

dislike 0 like
How did the telegraph improve American life during the Industrial Revolution?

How did the telegraph improve American life during the Industrial Revolution?

3 Answers | Add Yours

user profile pic

pohnpei397 | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted January 5, 2011 at 8:34 PM (Answer #2)

dislike 0 like

The telegraph did not really have a direct role in improving American life during this time.  Instead, its impact was more indirect because the main way in which the telegraph improved American life during this time was by making it easier for big businesses to operate.  Big businesses, helped by the telegraph, improved the standard of living for regular Americans.

Take, for example, railroads.  Railroads used telegraphs a lot because they needed to be able to communicate instantly between far-flung stations.  The telegraph, therefore, allowed railroads to operate more effectively.  Railroads, in turn, improved American life by allowing goods to be transported long distances, thus making more goods available to more people at a cheaper price.

Telegraphs also expanded Americans' horizons.  They made it possible for Americans to get news about what was going on in distant corners of the country and even in foreign countries.  This made Americans more aware of their world.

In these ways, the telegraph indirectly improved the lives of average Americans even though they themselves did not typically use it.

user profile pic

litteacher8 | Middle School Teacher | (Level 1) Distinguished Educator

Posted August 12, 2011 at 5:23 AM (Answer #3)

dislike 0 like
The main way the telegraph improved American life was that it made it easier to communicate across vast distances. This was useful in business. It also allowed loved ones to assure their family members that they were all right. Of course, you could only send a few words, so telegraphs weren't nearly as useful as the telephone.
user profile pic

brettd | High School Teacher | (Level 2) Educator Emeritus

Posted September 6, 2011 at 9:38 AM (Answer #4)

dislike 0 like

Actually, the telegraph was much like the original internet, and it did directly affect the quality of life for Americans, particularly out west, far from the large cities and industrial centers of the northeast.

Sears and Roebuck became a very successful company by sending a catalog of all kinds of goods to each telegraph office, so that anyone could place an order over the telegraph wires and have it shipped to them on the railroad.  Payment could be wired the same way.  So as the telegraph was the original internet, Sears and Roebuck was the original amazon.com.

Join to answer this question

Join a community of thousands of dedicated teachers and students.

Join eNotes