How did mining encourage the growth of railroads on the frontier?

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mkoren | Middle School Teacher | (Level 3) Senior Educator

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Mining impacted the growth of railroads on the frontier in many ways. Because so many people went to the west to find gold and other minerals, the population of the west increased at a very rapid pace. Since so many people were going to the west, they needed a way to get there. The railroads provided that option. Additionally, because many people settled in the west as a result of mining, farming, and cattle ranching, businesses began to move westward in order to sell products to the people living in the west. The businesses needed a way to transport products and people to and from the west. This gave the railroad companies a reason to expand. To encourage expansion, the government often helped railroad companies by providing them with land grants. With land grants and with an increased demand for transportation services, railroad companies saw the potential for large profits. Thus, spurred on by mining and the resulting growth that followed, railroad companies had every reason to expand to the frontier.

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