How did the railroads in the west influence miners, ranchers, farmers, and Native American Indians?I am supposed to write a short paragraph for each one and I have not one clue... please help...

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bullgatortail eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The railroads primarily helped most businessmen--including miners, ranchers and farmers--to move their merchandise at a much faster speed to customers in other parts of the United States. They were also able to purchase merchandise from the East and West Coasts and have it delivered at a much quicker rate. Railroads soon reached nearly every corner of the United States, enabling people and products to move to these locales as well.

As for the Indians, the railroads brought more people and more industry, causing the Native Americans to move from their own lands to new ones and, eventually, to the reservations which ended their old way of life.

pohnpei397 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

For all of the first three of your groups, the railroads were pretty useful.  In all three cases, they allowed those businesses to boom.  The reason for this is that they allowed the people in those businesses to get their products back out to where people would buy them.  It's pretty hard to have a mine if you can't get the gold or copper or whatever out to the cities where there are factories.

For the Indians, the railroads were bad news.  They brought more settlers out into the West and more settlers meant more people who would want the land that the Indians had.