The transcontinental railroad impacted the United States in many ways. The building of the transcontinental railroad allowed people to travel quicker and more easily to the western regions of our country. As people moved westward, this allowed for the expansion of businesses and industries. Businesses began to move westward to meet the needs of the people and provide products to them. As our industries grew, so did our economy.
As people moved westward, eventually more states became part of the United States. The transcontinental railroad sped up this process. Six states became a part of the country in 1889 and 1890. Four more states joined between 1896 and 1912. However, as people moved westward, there were more conflicts with the Native Americans. The Native Americans had been forced to relocate to lands west of the Mississippi River in the 1830s and the 1840s. As Americans began to move to the western areas, they came into contact with the Native Americans. There were many battles for land between the Americans and the Native Americans. The Native Americans suffered greatly as a result of this westward expansion. They lost their land, had their way of life and culture disrupted, and died from diseases as Americans moved westward.
Eventually, many Americans believed we should expand beyond our borders once we reached the Pacific Ocean. This eventually led to American imperialism overseas and helped establish the United States as a world power.