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John A. MacDonald was Canada's first prime minister, so it's safe to say that uniting Canada was one of his foremost goals. Given Canada's immense size, transportation and communcation networks were crucial to connecting and uniting the far-flung settlements of the interior with the larger cities of the coast, and the railroad provided that.
Railroads were the fastest and most important forms of land transportation of their day, and Macdonald recognized that by speeding up travel, freight, and mail by using the railroads he could more soldily unify his country. When the trans-canadaian railroad was finally completed in 1885, it was seen as a huge step forward in helping to form the Canadian Confederacy and securing most of the territory that Canada occupies today.
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