Western Expansion, Manifest Destiny, and the Mexican-American War

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How did railroads influence ranchers, miners, and farmers in the west?

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The construction of railroads leading to the expansion of travel in the western states had an enormous impact on many industries. Mining in particular was beginning to grow in the state of Utah near the end of the 19th century, and the expansion of the railroads led to unprecedented growth...

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The construction of railroads leading to the expansion of travel in the western states had an enormous impact on many industries. Mining in particular was beginning to grow in the state of Utah near the end of the 19th century, and the expansion of the railroads led to unprecedented growth in this industry. The use of railroads was able to provide easier access to necessary labor, food, materials, and equipment, and the railroads were also used to deliver ores and metals from the mines to places all over the country, which contributed greatly to the Industrial Revolution and the overall economic boom happening in the United States at the time. 

Farming was also affected by the growth of railroads; in particular, single-crop "bonanza farms" such as the ones in California that grew wheat were able to transport large amounts of their crops and flours for sale across the country, or move them more easily to mills for processing and storage. Perhaps more importantly, the railroad expansion west allowed for easier access to food and other necessities for the laborers who worked in these remote farming areas. The same can be said of ranching operations; cattle, sheep, and other livestock could be brought from eastern cities (where livestock from Europe had arrived in ports) to be raised on ranches in the west, and the railroads could also transport these animals for sale for other purposes (as work animals or to be slaughtered and processed for meat production).

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