Railroads and Conflict in the West

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How did trains and railroads change life in America?

Trains and railroads changed America by making goods cheaper. This helped grow the middle class. They led to the standardization of time and the birth of suburbs. Trains even increased the ability of people to take better advantage of leisure time.

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In a figurative sense, the railroad shrunk the size of the United States as it helped it to literally expand. A common statement about trains was that they "destroyed time and space." They sped up travel to rates unseen before and shortened months-long journeys into days.

During the industrial revolution, it was the railroad that impacted most Americans in the most tangible ways. Most middle and upper-class Americans did not work in factories. For them, trains were one of the few pieces of large industrial machinery that they experienced first hand. The railroad was the biggest sign to them that the world had entered a new industrialized era.

Railroads allowed raw materials to get to factories and manufactured goods to get to markets more quickly and cheaply than ever before. This gave rise to a consumerist culture and increased the standard of living of the growing middle class.

The railroad encompassed all aspects of this industrialized age. It meant that cities and rural areas alike...

(The entire section contains 3 answers and 812 words.)

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