Describe the transportation revolution in the first half of the 19th century.

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pohnpei397 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The transportation revolution was a process in which the US's transportation network grew fairly rapidly, making it possible to move goods and people from place to place relatively quickly.  This contributed greatly to the development of the US economy.

The transportation revolution started out with the building of roads.  But these were not of good quality and it was still very hard to haul much freight using animal power.  The next step was to create canals, which made it easier to move goods by water.  This became even easier with the development of steamboats, which could move goods easily upstream as well as down.  Finally, the transportation revolution culminated with the development and expansion of railroads, which could haul huge amounts of cargo and did not need to follow waterways.